Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hart

Christina Hart

Senior Principal / Director of Hospitality Interiors, HOK New York

Christina Hart has honed a niche in designing signature restaurants, premier spas and upscale luxury suites and hotels. She has overseen the renovation of the historic Hotel du Parc in Switzerland for Kempinski; The Fairmont Oman Resort in the Persian Gulf; select spaces of the world renowned Waldorf Astoria in New York as well as design renovations and new builds four- and five-star hospitality projects in the U.S. and around the world. Ms. Hart‘s diverse roster of projects also includes completing corporate interiors for: Nestle Waters North America, Merrill Lynch, Met Life and Morgan Stanley during her tenure at both Haverson Architecture & Design and WBTL. Recent work includes: a refresh of the Asiate Restaurant, renovating the One Bedroom Suites and concept and design of the penthouse space, Suite 5000, all at the Mandarin Oriental New York; select spaces at the Statler Hotel of Cornell University; and the InterContinental Hotel at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Ms. Hart's re-design of the Al Faisaliah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will open in 2017. The premier resort, which was built a decade ago by Lord Norman Foster, is located in a towering skyscraper and celebrated as one of Riyadh's most impressive properties, catering to discerning business and international visitors. Her launch of the first Melia Hotel in North America earned a Gold Key Award in 2012. A frequent lecturer and panelist, she has spoken at Cornell's Center for Hospitality Design Research Roundtable at the Cornell Hotel School. Ms. Hart holds a B.S. in Design & Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Prior to BBG-BBGM's merging with HOK, she was an Interiors Partner. Please visit http://www.hok.com for more information.

Ms. Hart can be contacted at 646-385-7653 or christina.hart@hok.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.