What Types of Design Elements Create a Successful Hotel
By Kim Hehir VP of Strategic Planning, The Leading Hotels of the World | October 28, 2008
In the United States, the car became king, and families took to the roads, giving rise to the motel phenomenon. Accommodations in these establishments did not have to be elaborate, as most guests stayed only a night or two before moving on.
In urban environments, as business travel began to boom, room and public space design began to reflect the needs of the executive on the move - working desks and adequate lighting, multiple telephone lines, business centers open 24 hours a day - became de rigueur. Hotel restaurants also underwent major changes, as power breakfasts emerged as an additional opportunity to conduct meetings and strike deals.
The growth of international travel led to a mini-trend in globalization - a hotel belonging to an international chain tended to look the same and have familiar design characteristics whether it was in London, New York or Tokyo, in an effort to give the guest a sense of familiarity and security.
As travelers became more sophisticated, the demand arose for hotels with design elements that spoke of the destination; that used indigenous concepts and materials to help create a total experience. This demand for authenticity is very strong today.
Mrs. Grace Leo-Andrieu, President of GLA Hotels agrees that an important element in hotel design is preserving the history and natural charm of the surroundings. "Working local tradition and craftsmanship into a unique design such as furniture, decoration and lighting can make the difference. The design of a hotel should be in some ways a reflection of the local culture."
For affluent consumers, travel is now an integral part of their lifestyle; experience is the currency of sophistication; and the hotel itself has become an evocative and critical component of the total travel experience.