Library Archives

 
David Ashen

In the sea of ready options, limited service properties that define who they are get noticed. No one wants to choose a hotel by price alone and there's no need to. Because a place has reasonable prices, no longer negates the presence of good design. In fact, some guests even leave inspired to replicate the look of a hotel's public spaces or furnishings in their own homes, the hallmark of engaging, aspirational design. Like the new Hyatt Place near Cleveland, complete with spacious rooms with mini-refrigerators and free Wi-Fi; complimentary hot breakfast and Starbucks coffee; beer, wine and mixed drinks; a fitness gym; and eco-friendly heated indoor pool, today's limited service brands are pushing the envelope while staying affordable and providing guests with a memorable experience. Read on...

Scott Acton

According to IBISWorld, the theme park industry has grown strongly over the past five years to more than $18 billion at a 5.4% annual growth rate, largely driven by the operators securing intellectual property rights to major film franchises and entertainment, bringing films and characters into exciting new features and experiential rides that have been driving revenue and increasing profit margins. These theme parks have long known what intrigues customers and keeps them coming back, and smart hoteliers are now catching on to this trend. Let's take a look at how theme park attractions are impacting the hospitality industry's growth by infusing the elements of the big screen into the guest experience. Read on...

Raul Jose Gutierrez

There is no doubt that the bar is constantly being raised; the global explosion of new businesses, innovative new ideas and the strive for domination from heavy players such as Marriott have created a cycle of competition that pushes all businesses to get extra creative if they wish to have any kind of relevance in the market. Regardless of the industry, a strategic alliance will give a company competitive advantage and the opportunity to enter a broader range of expertise and resources. Partnerships should come about not only for the obvious benefits of expansion but to offer distinctive product lines and skill sets that differentiate them from the competition. Read on...

David Ashen

With the rise of technology innovations throughout the hospitality industry, brands are incorporating new systems that not only affect the way hotels operate, but also the guest experience. David Ashen looks at how the industry is responding with programs like mobile check-in, app-driven food service, robotics and other systems, along with their influences on the guest experience. This article will focus on the active spaces and guest-facing technologies that engage patrons directly and are perceived as influencing their experience. Read on...

Shane Weaver

Nobody would argue that technology has changed the way we work and entertain ourselves. In a broader scope, however, technology has changed the way we think. From a consumer engagement standpoint, the business community has been slower to recognize this on a grand scale, though in recent months there have been signs of catching up. Take retail, for example. Amazon and other online retailers have long been stealing market share from brick and mortar retailers. These businesses are fighting back by placing a stronger emphasis on the customer experience by embracing digital technologies, as well as immersive and interactive platforms. Read on...

John Tess

Are there opportunities for new hotel development beyond breaking new ground particularly in central downtown areas? When looking to develop a new hotel, price and location are important factors typically considered. Ground up development, which generally occurs in outer urban or suburban locations, has the appeal of starting with a blank slate which is often but not always the most economical path. New development in these areas can come with a hefty price tag for the property it sits on if what you are looking for is even available. Some thoughts to consider. Read on...

David C. Marr

Hotel lobbies hold the impressive task of shaping a guest's stay from the moment they walk through the door. Because of the importance of this space, lobbies have always been carefully planned and designed keeping guest preferences top of mind. Travelers' needs and habits have shifted dramatically in recent years, prompting a design evolution of the hotel lobby. Dave Marr, senior vice president and global head of full service brands at Hilton, explains four common themes shaping how the hospitality company designs, stages, and provides a new experience within its lobbies around the world. Read on...

Deborah  Forrest

Hotel lobbies are undergoing an exciting evolution. Architects, designers, hotel owners, and operators are re-thinking hotel lobbies and transforming them into active social hubs that are becoming the heart of hotels. With flexible designs, professionals are creating spaces that support work and play, dining venues and bars that morph throughout the day, communal tables with computers, library settings for quiet reflections, and game rooms for pure play. Read on...

Joel Villalon

While riding in a glass-roofed train through the Sacred Valley in Peru on my way to Machu Picchu, two hours into the windy, ever-changing landscape, I saw three glass capsules attached near the side of a cliff about 400 feet above the tracks. As foreign as these futuristic objects were in architectural style to anything I had seen in Peru, was the aesthetic juxtaposition necessarily bad? With recent hospitality trends of becoming more closely connected with the surrounding culture and landscape, how closely should we try to recreate an ‘authentic' experience before the experience begins to feel false and trite? Read on...

Michael Tall

An urban resort is a property that connects guests to the unique and vibrant elements within a city and outside the hotel. The hotel itself acts as a concierge service, forming a direct link between the local community and those guests who crave localized and authentic excursions. With no signs of slowing down, the urban resort trend is here to stay, and hoteliers can successfully capitalize on this growing segment by keeping the guest experience in mind. At its core, an urban resort is a respite from daily life, offering guests the freedom to choose between relaxed disconnection or active participation within the local community. Read on...

Vince  Stroop

In a time when experiences are moments-long and shared over Instagram by many users, it is hard to top the surprise factor when it comes to creating a new destination. Nor should we, as hotel designers, try. With the pace of changing trends that is being communicated to us by branding agencies, designing the next new thing can be tempting. But I am not sure that's what guests genuinely seek. And judging from the rise of Airbnb, I may be right on my guess that guests want memorable, meaningful experiences, not more selfies. Read on...

Rob Uhrin

When you think of the word resort, what comes to mind? Upscale amenities such as white sandy beaches, luxury pools, first class dining and entertainment and the ultimate spa experience to name a few. The word "resort" probably does not conjure up images of urban cityscapes, or streets filled with busy pedestrians in business suits. There is a new class of resorts coming to the fore in the hospitality industry right now called urban resorts. This article will explore this new type of transformational city design and how to achieve it. Read on...

Brian Obie

When people arrive at a hotel they have usually traveled a long distance. They are typically tired and stressed to some degree or another depending on how easy or difficult the journey. When they finally come into our driveway and understand this is where they should be – with the valet right there ready to greet them – they get the sense that they can finally relax. There's a huge sense of relief. They now can begin their business trip or holiday with the family knowing they will be rested and renewed. Read on...

Alan Roberts

More than ever before, guests want and expect the design of a hotel to accurately reflect its location, regardless of whether they visit a property in an urban center, a historic neighborhood or a resort destination. They also seek this sense of place without wanting to sacrifice the level and consistency of service they've come to expect from a beloved hotel brand. A unique guest experience is now something expected not just desirable from any hotel wishing to compete in the world today. A hotel's distinctive design and execution goes a long way to attracting todays discerning customer. Read on...

Patrick Burke

For over 35 years, American architect Patrick Burke, AIA has led Michael Graves Architecture & Design to create unique hospitality experiences for hotel operators and travelers around the globe, in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. As the hospitality industry has shifted from making travelers feel at home while away to providing more dynamic experiences, boutique hotels have evolved to create hyper local, immersive environments. Having witnessed and contributed to the movement, Burke discusses the value of authentic character that draws on physical and social context to create experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Read on...

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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.