Library Archives

 
Samuel J. Cicero Sr.

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...

Deborah  Forrest

Transforming historic buildings for hotel use, particularly luxury hotels and boutiques, presents certain challenges and rewards. Buildings that meet the requirements for historic tax credits can be attractive to developers. In addition, retaining an existing building and repurposing it for renewed use is more sustainable than demolishing and rebuilding and the case for adaptive use becomes even more compelling. Creating the identity for a new hotel in an older building repurposed as a hotel brings challenges, especially when the desire is to establish a sense of authenticity. One approach is to develop a curated art collection tied to the location. Read on...

Amanda Tower

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...

Manuela Bravo-Smith

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...

David Ashen

When designing today's hospitality venues, whether they're fully outfitted resorts, boutique hotels, or beach side bungalows, hoteliers are finding ways to streamline design and simplify the guest experience. Muted colors and minimal furnishings in combination with earthy textures, expansive views of the outdoors, fresh scents and liberal doses of natural light not only foster a sense of peace but also help today's travelers set aside everyday distractions for the serenity that simplified living provides. In this article, David Ashen, partner and founder of dash design, explores how today's hoteliers are making the most of the trend to simplify. Read on...

Jennifer  Skaife

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...

Alan Roberts

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...

Ken Martin

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...

Lawrence Adams

As the Architects and the Interior Designers, ForrestPerkins transformed an iconic downtown office building into a vibrant mixed-use property featuring a 326-key Westin hotel in Downtown Dallas. The adaptive reuse of One Main Place to hotel use required paying strict attention to the historic elements of the building in order to satisfy the requirements of the National Park Service and the Texas Historic Commission for achieving federal and state Historic Tax Credits for the owners. Repurposing this important downtown building has given it new life and has contributed to the burgeoning renaissance of Downtown Dallas. Read on...

Pat Miller

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...

Christina Hart

Lighting remains firmly entrenched as a dynamic, versatile and often untapped interior design element. Both functional and abstract, lighting can transform a hotel, spa, dining outlet, lounge or lobby and help articulate and even tell a brand's local story. By creating drama and intrigue, lighting can be used to solidify an emotion, forge a meaningful tie and formalize a sense of place. HOK's Hospitality practice has used lighting as a creative, abstract feature on major global projects for decades. We design lighting solutions that help express our hospitality clients' brands and aspirations while always respecting the property's regional nuances. Read on...

Carol Ackerman

The Royal Palms Resort and Spa represents an exceptional example of adaptive reuse from a private estate into a beloved regional treasure, preferred and proclaimed by the sophisticated neighborhood that reflects its nearly 90 year architectural influence, as the gem of the Scottsdale-Phoenix ‘resort row'. Situated approximate to such classic properties as the Phoenician, the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch and the venerated Arizona Biltmore, the Royal Palms enjoys a history and an intimacy with its Arcadia neighbors – and the greater hospitality-savvy residents in the Valley of the Sun – unequaled in affection and selection. Read on...

Gary Inman

Every great hotel has a great story. There is nothing more enduring, nor more sacred, than the art of storytelling. It is ancient in its origins, found in every culture. It is a seminal part of every childhood and is arguably the greatest economic driver on the planet. Consider the combined value of the film, music, publishing, and advertising industries, and the billions that go into brand building for nations, companies, products, beliefs, and any part of our culture – large and small - that requires a producer and consumer equation. We're surrounded by stories, some trite and superficial but others transformative, enhancing life in ways never believed possible. Read on...

Tammy S. Miller

Every town, village, community, and city has its own character, its own vibe, and its own history. Each location has a story to tell about what makes it unique. Isn't it important to tell that story through the practice of interior design? Shouldn't designers be called to task to bring the story to life in a unique way for each and every project, especially hotel projects where people stay? Doesn't the guest travelling on vacation or on business want to understand the locale, and what makes it unique? Won't this lead to better experiences for guests? Read on...

John Tess

The success of a hotel is predicated on providing a product that is embraced by the market. Some customers value brand loyalty and a standard product while others look for unique experiences with a custom product. In determining the viability of a hotel, product and location are essential to success. Over the past decade, there has been resurgence in the viability and attractiveness of America's urban areas, as witnessed by the proliferation of centrally located hotels. Where buildable lots are at a premium, the reuse of historic buildings as hotels has grown significantly. While old hotels are often upgraded to meet market demands, the reuse of non-hotel historic buildings has been significant and dramatic. 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.