Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Palmer

Mary Alice Palmer

Principal & Director of Hospitality Interiors, HKS

As Principal and Director of Hospitality Interiors and one of the 5 leaders of HKS' global hospitality practice, Mary Alice Palmer provides a distinctly unique vision. With a rich and widely varied career in film, fashion and interior design, her path has been an unconventional mix of creative perspectives resulting in her unique point of view. HKS recruited Ms. Palmer to start the Hospitality Interiors Studio, where in the role of Creative Director, she cultivated that point of view to advance the design process through research, and storytelling to craft a narrative that works as the spine and framework for the evolution of project design.

An education at Parsons School of Design prepared Ms. Palmer for an initiation into interiors in the rarefied world of John Saladino in New York where she worked as a luxury residential designer, but wanderlust led her to California and several years spent working on design in films, TV and videos, ultimately winding up the adventure working with director James Cameron. The art of designing to propel a story became ingrained through the experience of set design.

She has designed some of the most luxurious and intricate interior spaces for brands including Auberge Resorts, Grand Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, St. Regis, W, Le Meridian, LVMH Cheval Blanc, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, etc.

Today, Ms. Palmer works with an exceptional team of creative thinkers, architects and interior designers to realize award winning environments geared to produce magical, inspiring, life enhancing experiences for guests. Through Wellness and sustainability concepts, their approach has health and well-being deeply integrated in the process, instilling better balance in a framework for travel and life. A history of successful design leadership has propelled Ms. Palmer into a globally recognized thought leader. 

Please visit http://www.hksinc.com for more information.

Ms. Palmer can be contacted at +1 214-969-3012 or mapalmer@hksinc.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.