Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Villalon

Joel Villalon

President, Brayton Hughes

As a child, Joel Villalon discovered beauty during each of the many summer vacations he took with his parents and siblings. Whether he was hiking in the painted Grand Canyon or driving through the magnificent Centro Historico of Mexico City, his fascination with travel and the differences he noticed in space, light and architecture in different parts of the world began to take form. He still retains this sense of wonder and observation and brings that focused eye and attention to detail in each of his projects. After receiving his degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Villalon honed his skills with Larry Speck in Austin, Rafael Vinoly Architects in New York City, and SOMA in San Francisco before he ultimately joined BraytonHughes in 1992. Since joining the firm, Mr. Villalonís hand is evident in his teamís designs for the Alpine Club in Stowe, Vermont, the Fairmont in Nanjing, China, and the Overlake Golf and Country Clubhouse in Medina, Washington. He also designed several of Discovery Landís golf clubhouses: Kukio Golf Club on Hawaiiís Big Island, Mirabel Golf Clubhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona, El Dorado Golf and Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the Madison Club in La Quinta, California. He is currently working on various projects for the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana, the renovation of Ventana Inn in Big Sur, California, the Grand Hyatt SFO in San Francisco, California, the Montage SilverRock in La Quinta, California, and the Montage Spanish Peaks Lodge in Big Sky, Montana. Mr. Villalonís projects have been recognized for design excellence by the AIA receiving local, regional, and national AIA Honor Awards for his work. Please visit http://www.bhdstudios.com for more information.

Mr. Villalon can be contacted at 415-291-8100 or jvillalon@bhdstudios.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.