Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hoover

Erin Hoover

Vice President of Design, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

As Vice President of Design for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Erin Hoover leads the creative team to develop global design concepts for guestrooms, public spaces, brand partnerships, marketing events and other design elements for the Westin and Sheraton brands. Ms. Hoover came to Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) by way of the fashion world, having previously worked for Armani for nine years; and brings a calm, smart, livable sensibility to the award-winning hotel brands. Prior to Armani, Hoover consulted for Calvin Klein, Edwin Schlossberg, and Polo Ralph Lauren. In addition to designing the next generation of Westin's and Sheraton's guestrooms, Hoover also spearheaded Westin's groundbreaking partnership with United Airlines, designing travel-size Heavenly blankets and pillows, and Westin-inspired Renewal Lounges at airports in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Each Renewal Lounge featured a signature LED candle wall and artwork typical of Westin's soothing aesthetic, along with two pieces of custom furniture: an upholstered ottoman table with a built-in table (for displaying custom botanicals or books) and a day bed for resting, all designed by Ms. Hoover. What's most interesting about Ms. Hoover's work is the diverse variety of properties that fall under the Westin and Sheraton umbrella. While a majority of the properties are new builds, the Westin and Sheraton portfolio also include resort hotels and landmarked buildings including the recently opened Westin Book Cadillac, inside one of Detroit's most storied buildings. To address these differences, Westin, under the creative guidance of Hoover, created three related but distinct design themes: Modern, which is streamlined and uses light woods; Classic, which is modern at its core but with an Art Deco influence; and Historic, for pre-existing buildings where it's most appropriate to respect original architectural details. Ms. Hoover's large scope of design experience ranges from designing textiles and exhibitions to visual merchandising and display, store design, nightclubs and hotels. Her eclectic and varied experience shapes her design perspective and continues to inspire her as a design professional at Westin and Sheraton. Ms. Hoover has an MFA in Industrial Design from Pratt.

Ms. Hoover can be contacted at 203-351-2542 or erin.hoover@starwoodhotels.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.