Architecture & Design
David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • How Technology Will Change the Guest Experience
  • 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...

Deborah  Forrest
  • Architecture & Design
  • Energizing Hotel Lobbies
  • 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...

Scott Acton
  • Architecture & Design
  • The Influence of Theme Park Design on Hospitality
  • With an influx of recent theme park revamps like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy at Disney’s California Adventure, Justice League’s Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags and many more on the horizon such as Star Wars Land (Disneyland), and Nintendo World or Fast & The Furious (Universal), it’s no surprise that theme park designers know what it takes to thrill the general public and play to their fascination with, well…being fascinated. Read on...

David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • Art First, Hotel Second
  • The shift in calling a public area an art gallery first and a function space (pre-function) second was interesting to note. That’s because, particularly during the last 10 years, art has become a necessary part of the story for all upper-end, boutique hotels. This is especially true in the United States, where there is scant opportunity for the display of notable, public art. Thankfully, hotels have been filling that niche, bringing excellent art to the general public and making it accessible. Now, quality art is not a nicety; it’s an expectation. Read on...

David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • The Craving for Local Color and Culture
  • There was a time in America, before the proliferation of national chains, when every town had an independent, family-run hotel. With the rise of soft-branded properties and increasing demand for guest stays in properties reflective of local culture, David Ashen, partner and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, takes a look at the rising popularity of independently, locally branded properties and their how they—and the hospitality industry—are meeting the desire for venues with local color. Read on...

David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • High Design Delivers a Pleasing, Inspired Ambiance to Limited Service Brands
  • When I walked into the new Hyatt Place in Legacy Village near Cleveland a few weeks ago, it was apparent a shift had taken place. This was no limited service brand designed for low-cost and convenience. Gone were the ho-hum finishes; the garish array of too-bright blues, reds, oranges and yellows; the swath of industrial materials selected for their superior stain-resistance rather than their stylish appeal. Instead, I was greeted by a sophisticated palette that complimented the interior’s modern furnishings, including a light fixture that I recognized as that of an admired British designer. Clearly, the hotel offered much more than a rudimentary room to rest my head. Here, to my surprise, I found a hotel whose elevated design delivered a pleasing, inspired ambiance that invited me to step in and stay. Read on...

James Coleman
  • Architecture & Design
  • 8 Tips You Should Know Before Upgrading Your Hotel Bathrooms
  • You have probably read the reasons why you should update your hotel’s bathrooms. And you’re now certain that your bathrooms should be upgraded to save space, please your customers, and give more aesthetic appeal to your hotel. However, choosing to upgrade your bathroom isn’t as simple as calling your interior designer and telling them to overhaul everything in your bathroom and hoping for the best. After all, a complete upgrade for the sake of aesthetic might only waste your money when done improperly. You might also end up changing something and displeasing your customers, especially if you don’t know what they want Read on...

Amanda Tower
  • Architecture & Design
  • Hotel Design Inspiration - Genius Loci, or "The Spirit of Place"
  • Capturing the essence and soul of a location that surrounds a structure, and exhibiting that essence through the design extends the cultural experience into the hotel and further establishes a sense of place within the lodging experience. In architecture and interior design, genius loci is a profound inspiration for creating a sense of “place” and a truly unique experience for guests. How does genius loci inspire hotel design, both structurally and in the interior design, and how can hotels use it to create a more enhanced guest experience? Read on...

Jennifer  Skaife
  • Architecture & Design
  • Authentic Experiences, Locally Produced Using Original Elements
  • Exploring authentic ways of infusing the hotel location based upon the Operator/Brand & Owner vision. Applying elements of brand-specific identity and responding with successful design solutions within the constraints of existing properties- i.e. interior architecture, existing zoning etc. “It’s Tuesday so I must be in Sheffield...” When I started working in hospitality design, this was one of many sayings we frequently heard and always joked about. These were the days when the road warriors back in the UK drove their Ford Taurus’ from town to town, city to city, staying overnight in the local hotel flag of their or their company’s choice. Read on...

Manuela Bravo-Smith
  • Architecture & Design
  • Achieving an Authentic Venue, Through Integrated Design
  • Sameness was once considered a virtue in the hospitality industry. Travelers were believed to crave predictability, which seemed to dovetail with the desire of larger hospitality groups to establish a recognizable brand. This was correct to some degree: a certain segment of the market prefer to take no chances with a hotel stay, and therefore place a premium on familiarity and having expectations met. But the industry has begun to swing away from this paradigm, recognizing that travelers also love a find: a unique experience or destination that offers newness and variety. Read on...

Samuel J. Cicero Sr.
  • Architecture & Design
  • What's Trending in Hotel Lobby and Public Space Designs?
  • We have all been there. After a long day of travel, exhaustion kicks in and you can hardly wait to reach the hotel. When the front desk attendant hands over the key, you can finally take a deep breath and get set for the fun-filled days ahead. For the business traveler, whose stay is less casual and more formal, a room key means it's time to relax and prepare for the next important meeting or to celebrate a success. First things first: Every traveler deserves lobbies and public spaces that warmly welcomes them and awakens their senses, something more than a passageway to the front desk for expediting check-in and check-out. Read on...

Pat Miller
  • Architecture & Design
  • Coloring Outside the Lines
  • Hospitality guests today want a more authentic experience connected to nature and local culture. Designers are responding with new schemes for public spaces that perforate the border between indoor and outdoor, opening up lobbies, lobby bars and restaurants to bring guests into the environment around the hotel. Whether creating unobstructed views of the mountain landscapes or physically opening the space to the neighboring waterfront, indoor/outdoor spaces create a whole new experience for guests and pays dividends for owners. Read on...

Ken Martin
  • Architecture & Design
  • Adaptive Re-Use of Existing Facilities: Instant, Authentic Architectural Character
  • Hotels have long been a piece of the urban fabric, but more often than not they keep to themselves, so to speak, through both design and programming. Aware of the locals, but inward-looking and more focused on the happiness of their guests; in the city, but not really of it. And that’s been a function of the industry’s decades-long branding and business model: Provide guests comfort through universal similarity no matter the location, from architecture to furniture to amenities. Yet travelers are in search of unique and authentic experiences, moments rooted in the essence of wherever it is they’re visiting. Read on...

Alan Roberts
  • Architecture & Design
  • Renovate, Refresh and Generate ROI: Effective Strategies for Revitalizing Properties
  • Renovations at hotel properties promise significant rewards. From higher guest loyalty scores to additional revenue streams and new business from trusted partners, revitalizing a property constitutes a win for both brands and owners – but only when done right. As the Global Head of Embassy Suites by Hilton, I’ve witnessed many major renovation projects firsthand. The successful ones have three important factors in common: owners who think bigger than just their financials; careful planning with guests’ needs kept top-of-mind; and a strong collaboration between the brand and ownership to prioritize renovation areas and create cost-effective strategies that align with individual budgets. Read on...

Gino Caliendo
  • Architecture & Design
  • A Hotel Renovation Inspired by a City and Its People
  • Embarking on a major hotel renovation can be an exciting endeavor. When we began formulating our renewed vision for the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in 2014, we were mindful of a dual responsibility: projecting the image of the regency brand while also infusing into the plan the personality and flavor of a unique surrounding region and its people. Now that the project is complete, others in the industry may benefit from learning about how we achieved those objectives. In all, the year-long renovation included a floor-to-ceiling overhaul of all 951 guest rooms, corridors, the roof-top fitness center, select meeting spaces and more. Read on...

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OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.