Library Archives

Bruce McEvoy

A chance to escape to an artfully conceived hotel with flawless service seems like a distant memory today. The entire world is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and our hospitality industry has been ground to a halt. We're entering the transition that follows every crisis and we must address ways to become resilient and anticipate the impact of unforeseeable disruptions. As designers, we need to be empathetic to these times and build strategies into our vision of the future of business travel and societal changes. READ MORE

Manny Dominguez

While the coronavirus pandemic paused travel worldwide, the crisis has not paused wanderlust or human needs for connection. As guests begin to resume travel plans – whether for business or leisure – they will bring new expectations for health and wellbeing with them, from the use of hands-free technology to a connection to the outdoors to a holistic approach to programming. Manny Dominguez, principal at global design firm Cooper Carry, outlines how design-oriented solutions and strategic modifications will usher in the next era of hospitality, where a strong commitment to wellness serves as a new gold standard for the industry. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the hospitality industry. Designers and Architects will be challenged to find ways to make guests feel comfortable, safe and free from exposure to pathogens, while at the same time creating an invigorating and meaningful hospitality experience. The new normal in hotel design will need to use touchless technology to overcome the inherent danger of virus spreading from potentially infected surfaces to guests and hotel staff. Advancements in smart phone applications, facial recognition, voice commands, motion detection, heat sensors and virtual reality will be employed to create an enduring sense of safety in the hospitality environment. READ MORE

Tom Bergerson

The hospitality industry exists to serve the intrinsic human desire to gather, celebrate and rejuvenate. This fact has driven hotel architects for the past several decades to place continual emphasis on the design and creation of evocative communal spaces. Today, the hospitality industry finds itself faced with an enormous challenge: in the wake of COVID-19, people no longer feel safe in public areas. Tom Bergerson, Principal at architectural services firm AO, offers solutions and insights on how the industry can continue to provide comfort, convenience, and social interaction while providing guests with a sense of safety and well-being. READ MORE

David Ashen

Creating a hotel brand that resonates means far more than designing an eye-catching logo and putting together a style guide. A brand should evoke a feeling, according to David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design. In this article, he explores how hotels can imagine a dynamic environment and a service culture that, alongside sharp design, creates magic that few brands have yet to fully tap. Most of all, Ashen implores hoteliers to define if they are a head, heart or gut brand and to bravely lead from that revelation. READ MORE

Scott Lee

The rise of coronavirus has reset our rhythm as humans, and in slowing down and sheltering in place, we have had time to notice natural features in our surroundings and get back to basics. Social distancing may seem at odds with hospitality, but hotels can learn from the mindful and wellness-oriented activities people are using to ground and reset, from gardening and taking walks, to home cooking and baking, artistic pursuits and wholesome family activities. How might designers shape the 21st guest experience with spaces that nurture guests' inner worlds and push them past comfort zones, reaching deeper into nature? READ MORE

John Tess

Traditionally, downtowns have served as the commercial and entertainment centers of the city. Between the shops and restaurants, the local hotels provided a space for people to socialize and recline. In the present, the historic hotels of the traditional downtown have continued the legacy of providing a social space for locals and tourists alike. The modern parallel includes offering event spaces for parties and weddings. The Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, one of the last surviving examples of the typical Saratoga Springs hotel from the resort town's zenith in the late-19th century, is an example. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

Hostels have significantly evolved since their inception in 1914. While many of their basic hospitality features remain the same, namely providing inexpensive lodging to mostly young travelers in locations and settings conducive to social interaction and cultural enrichment, they have now taken on features that are comparable to stylish boutique hotels. Many of the new hostels are beautifully designed with amenities that attract locals to enjoy music, food, cocktails, art and invigorating social interaction with its guests. Similarly Micro Hotels provide inexpensive lodging compared to their counterparts and feature miniaturized but well-appointed guestrooms, focusing investment dollars on high design and dynamic public spaces that attract guests and locals alike to engage in robust social interaction. READ MORE

David Kasprak

The hotel lobby has served the same basic purposes for hundreds of years: sustenance, socializing, and doing business. What has changed over time is the way we do all three. With recent technology strides, today's hotel lobby is transforming, and perhaps not in the way you might think. Travelers are forgoing the grand formality of the former heart of the hotel in exchange for something that feels like home. As we look back through time, we can see how innovation has shaped the evolution of the hotel lobby. Better yet, we can start to think about how it will continue to morph into the future. READ MORE

David Ashen

Airports are being updated, particularly in the United States, but where does that leave airport hotels? David Ashen, President & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores the transformation of airport hotels from a pedestrian place to simply sleep into a luxury, five-star destination that travelers yearn to visit. In this piece, he looks at the trends that led to next-level airport hotels, the influence of chic airport lounges and more. Mr. Ashen shares some of his favorite examples of trendsetting airport hotels and ponders where we'll land in the years to come. READ MORE

Felicia Hyde

Research shows that the most successful companies worldwide have one thing in a common – a uniquely recognizable and memorable brand. So, as more and more travelers today seek unconventional travel experiences, hoteliers should consider how to uncover and successfully weave through a brand narrative that visitors and travelers alike can relate to and support. This includes an immersive experience that takes visitors through a hotel's brand narrative and nods to the region's history, locale and culture from space to space. Here's a look at key research and design practices hoteliers can apply to generate memorable and on-brand destinations. READ MORE

Derrick Garrett

As a company focused on Music Architecture as a key guest engagement tool, I stand committed to the hotel community by sharing new and intriguing insights. I want all hotels (large and small) to reap the benefits of engaging your guests based on what you distinctly deem necessary for your specific property, considering what your guests' expectations are. Tools that drive guest engagement through content management (like music and digital signage) are becoming more flexible, such that you can better invest in exactly what you need. They're also becoming more cost effective, compact, and user-friendly. Content management that is flexible and customizable better facilitates the creation of guest memories…on your terms. Here's some insight on what's next… READ MORE

John Tess

Some think historic boutique hotels can offer central locations and authentic guest experiences but can suffer in quality and operational efficiency. Fort Worth's Sinclair Hotel shows how wrong that perception can be. The recently renovated hotel maximized the use of modern technology while preserving the detail of its 90-year old iconic design. Energy consumption was reduced by 35%, while the developer was able to capture 45% of the renovation costs in federal and state historic tax credits. Sinclair Hotel represents an exquisite blending of old and new, capturing the best of both and serving as a wonderful prototype. READ MORE

David Ashen

Is bigger better – or can independent hotels thrive in today's hospitality environment? David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, takes a look back at hotel trends over the past several decades to examine guest preferences over the years and how they tie to changes in culture and consumption. Ashen explores the push away from big brands, including what's driving the shift, risks and rewards, and how hotel owners and operators can successfully make the transition. In this piece, he shares examples of hotels that experienced success and cautionary tales of the challenges ahead. READ MORE

Scott Lee

The past tenderly reveals itself in the present, whether through a curved archway, heritage tree on site, or local relic long buried. To create hospitality environments that embody the local history, charm and character of place, we try not to reference history too heavy handedly or focus so much on the story we want to tell that we lose sight of the site and its heritage. There aren't objective facts about a site or landscape; it's the sensations that drive us. This article explores how to channel historical character in hotel design guided by the site itself and its surroundings. READ MORE

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Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.