Editorial Board   

Ms. Willis

Kalen Willis

Senior Interior Designer, Hatchett Hospitality

At Hatchett Hospitality, Kalen Willis specializes in interior design for the hotel industry, with responsibility for project design, pricing, and management. She works with franchisers and franchisees on a wide variety of hotel brands, styles, and themes - from economy to luxury, from resort to business conference, and from traditional to modern. Her approach to the design of a project is driven by the target audience and by the end-use of the space. She believes that beautiful surroundings enhance our state of mind and enrich our lives. Typically, Ms. Willis finds a signature piece that makes a statement and then builds around it - but she always remains flexible in her philosophy and her strategy because her only rule for design is that there are no rules. Away from the office, Ms. Willis volunteers with a variety of groups including Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, animal shelters, and after school programs for children with special needs. Whether on the job or in the community, Kalen Willis lives her belief that it's a blessing to have the opportunity to make someone else's day a little bit better. A native of Carrollton, Texas, Ms. Willis earned a bachelor of interior design degree at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and is an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). She was a NEWH (The Network of the Hospitality Industry) scholarship award winner and is now a member this group.

Ms. Willis can be contacted at 866-783-5980 or kalen.willis@hatchetthospitality.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.