Hotel FF&E Means More Than Just Decorating and It Starts With Smart Design

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | February 18, 2009

Why can the manufacturer of the Dr. Skud flyswatter, which was crafted by famous French designer Philippe Starck, sell five cents worth of plastic for $12?

Why has the Motorola Razr V3 set sales records when it doesn't work any better or differently than other cell phones?

Why does Apple's iPod dominate the MP3 player market when there are many similar devices available from other manufacturers?

The answer to all three questions is the same - smart, striking design.

Americans are increasingly sensitive to and motivated by good design. Sure, we evaluate products and services with our left-brain for attributes such as price and usefulness, but increasingly we also look for right-brain qualities such as emotion, meaning, look, and feel.

In short, we don't just want products and services that are utilitarian - we want them to have style and to be objects of desire.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.