Hotels are Becoming Even More of a Home Away From Home

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | August 27, 2010

Analyzing the Similarities Between Hospitality and Residential Design

Hospitality and residential design have been borrowing heavily from each other in recent years, but now the trend is becoming even stronger as travelers want a hotel room that's especially cozy, comfortable, and homey.

That's because with the economy limiting expense account spending, business travelers are spending more time in their hotel room and less time out entertaining - while leisure travelers want a hotel that offers a little fantasy, a little sense of adventure, and a whole lot of luxury.

As a result for example, seating in guest rooms is more plush and almost theatre style, enabling travelers to be more relaxed as they work on their laptop or text on their PAD.

Designing for hospitality is about providing guests with more than just a place to stay - it's about offering them an experience, emotionally and physically, that's beyond their daily lives.

One way for me as a designer to achieve this objective is to "package" the amenities guests enjoy at home and want on the road - such as flat screen TV's, comfortable bedding, plush bathrooms, iPod docking stations, and reliable internet service - in an environment that is cutting-edge, energized, and exotic, yet still useful and inviting.

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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.