November FOCUS: Hotel Design

November, 2020

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.

This month's feature articles...

Mary Alice Palmer

As states grapple with decisions and mandates around in-person gatherings, hotels across the nation have seen a major loss of revenue generated from conferences, trade shows, weddings, and other social events. Event planners have had to rethink their production strategies, while some have tried to pivot to virtual platforms. As restrictions ease the question remains on how to adapt to today's new world and move forward thoughtfully and carefully. READ MORE

Brent Zeigler

Many older hotels in large cities are forced to invest in upgrades when new venues go up nearby at competitive price points. Now that COVID has impacted the sector as a major disruptor, those plans will almost certainly have to change. This article offers guidance for working with designers and architects to manage safety concerns, stay competitive, and finding appealing ways to re-imagine the hotel experience in the COVID era. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

Research in the hotel industry takes many forms. Sustainable systems and materials, enhanced security, life safety and marketing are all subjects where research is called for to advance each discipline. Marriott undertook an extensive research project in the process of inventing the Courtyard brand. In this article we review three research projects and the methodologies they employed to arrive at actionable results. READ MORE

Lesley Hughes-Wyman

Hotel brands are collaborating with architects and interior designers to rethink both existing and new-build projects to help shift human behavior, and the way hotel guests experience hospitality. The hotel lobby experience is undergoing a shift; once defined by socializing, lounging, and shared amenities, brands are strategizing how to safely maintain the guest connection to hospitable services, without compromising on community. READ MORE

Jamie Gregg

Since Cleopatra's reign, copper's antimicrobial talents have been protecting populations killing 99.9% of all bacteria it touches. What other piece of furniture or material can scientifically support such a claim? By incorporating copper products into the design of your spaces and sharing its story in your marketing, you will offer an extra level of confidence for today's safety conscious guests. READ MORE

Cristina Faedi

The pandemic has accelerated a broader conversation about the importance of designing hospitality spaces that support visitor health and wellness. To stimulate the travel economy, hotel properties must step up to the plate with effective design solutions that make people feel comfortable and excited to book their stay. Here are six areas of hotel interiors that will see the biggest changes. READ MORE

Monika Moser

Monika Moser, Regional Managing Director for Wilson Associates' New York, Paris, and London studios, offers her insight into the key role of architectural interior designers in a post COVID-19 world. She oversees three of the international firm's three offices and shares potential solutions for the evolving hospitality and food and beverage industry. READ MORE

David Ashen

When it comes to hotel design, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands need to embrace the new environment and to reimagine their futures. This article explores some of the biggest trends ahead, from conversions of meeting and banquet spaces to food and beverage options, also communal pantries and keyless entry, smaller studio spaces in lobbies and the transformation of hotel rooms into service apartments. READ MORE

Adrienne Scribner

COVID-19 has changed the way the travelers view hotel stays. With evolving requirements from jurisdictions, protocols from hoteliers, and enhanced expectations of guests and staff alike, Adrienne Scribner from Baskervill's award-winning hospitality studio offers three cost-effective strategies hotel owners can implement to help their guests feel comfortable and safe in our pandemic and post-pandemic world, while also saving on costs in the long run. READ MORE

Tim Schroeder

Tim Schroeder, President and CEO of Duravit North America, explores how technology and design help shape the hotel guest experience. Focusing on his area of expertise, the bathroom, Schroeder shares insights on leveraging innovations in product development and materiality to offer guests an experience that evokes emotion and affords enhanced levels of trust and safety in the current and post-pandemic world. READ MORE

Megan Wenzl

Remote work is only increasing. It's estimated that at least 16 percent of workers will be remote workers after the pandemic, according to Harvard Business School. When done right, a hotel can provide a lobby set up for the remote worker, including excellent customer service, delicious coffee, a place to spend the night, and an escape into leisure activities. READ MORE

David Kasprak

As we look at the evolution of the hotel throughout the last century, technology played an integral role in the growth of the industry. Not only does technology drive occupancy, but the role of technology as an amenity has revolutionized design. The new smart hotel leverages the latest innovations to cater to every guest, bringing a world of new possibilities to the future of hospitality. READ MORE

Matt Kavanagh

The days of hotel lobbies full of mask-less people, overflowing restaurants, and packed fitness rooms are probably a thing of the past. How hotel Brands, owners, and operators adapt and the strategies they utilize to address the new norms for key elements such as lobbies, F&B, and building systems will determine if they survive and how to plan for the future. READ MORE

Joshua Zinder

With hotels unlikely to see a return to pre-pandemic occupancy rates before 2023, savvy executives turn to consultants and designers for innovative approaches to reconfiguring and reimagining amenities and service offerings. Targeted approaches can reinforce brand loyalty and capture new revenue by appealing to the new traveler mindset, which revolves around the question of safety and the desire for a positive guest experience. READ MORE

Brian  Stern

The events of the past 8 months have forced the hotel industry to reevaluate the notion of cost containment and efficiency vs. preparedness and prevention. When considering the future of travel and the hotel industry, the implications for hotel design and remodeling creates new opportunities for resiliency and survival in the months and years to come. Welcome UV light technology… READ MORE

Scott  Lee

With an empathetic design approach, hotels become conduits of experience, not architectural statements. An accelerating trend in 2020, slow travel encourages travelers to put aside agendas, and at a leisurely pace, immerse in nature, local experiences, and the unadorned, quotidian beauty of a place. Can we make guests feel like living expressions of a place instead of temporary visitors? READ MORE

Steven Schumacher

Hotels across the country are at a crossroads, struggling to effectively communicate with consumers during the pandemic that's presented challenges like none before. Drawing from more than a decade of experience, Steven Schumacher, Discover Dunwoody's executive director and director of sales, shares insight on the benefits of destination marketing and how a shift in strategy can make the difference in attracting travelers. READ MORE

Martha  Weidmann

Art is extremely important to the success of hospitality industry projects. An art experience, anchored in a clearly articulated vision and tied deeply to your brand, can set your hotel apart from the competition. Here, we highlight three actionable ways to not only begin the art curation process, but elevate your hotel experience through immersive art. READ MORE

Kirby Payne, CHA

The hospitality industry loses too much talented staff to other industries due to low pay, demanding hours, and inadequate support. The assumption is that the low pay, demanding hours, and inadequate support aren't enough of a detriment to drive them from an industry that they love. While that scenario is true for many, it means that we also lose too many people with incredible potential. READ MORE

Euan McGlashan

Now, more than ever, the hospitality industry will need to capture global travelers and rewards members not previously accessible via internal sales & marketing efforts. Owners are looking to international brands to help bring them back to life; especially in emerging markets where local brands and independents all fight for market share. Valor Hospitality Founder & CEO Euan McGlashan, shares lessons for companies entering the global space. READ MORE

Hicham Jaddoud

In an era characterized by the constant change in consumer behavior and decision making, as a result of several demographic and psychographic variables, revenue management is becoming critical to the success of a restaurateur. F&B professionals need to think beyond just Average Check and Labor Cost to Revenue Ratio, and explore additional indicators such as RevPASH and Unconstrained Demand Assessment. READ MORE

Andrea Stokes

It's all about the guests. That's the thinking every hotel owner and hotel operator should have in mind all day, every day. COVID and the ensuing economic strife have made that more difficult. Hotels have pressed the pause button in a variety of ways, including capital improvements. At the same time, they are experiencing reduced occupancy rates. Their challenges are immense, but so are the opportunities. READ MORE

Mark  Namdar

In the past few months alone, the pandemic has unleashed its new norm for us, forcing properties such as AC Hotel Washington DC Convention Center to adjust to these new beginnings as we open its doors. With concerts, events and conference meetings postponed and cancelled nationwide, it has caused a dramatic decrease in urban travel. It is up to us, as operators, to instill that confidence or we will continue to see weak demand. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

A common misconception among many hoteliers is that investing in labor management when business is slow won't lead to solid ROIs. But in reality, sophisticated labor management systems leverage advanced technology and artificial intelligence to produce results far greater than any manual process can. Amidst record low occupancy levels and ongoing volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for hospitality organizations to re-examine this option. READ MORE

Laurence Bernstein

Building back a better Humpty Dumpty requires design and branding in the broadest sense of the words. Design as we think of it these days is more than the development of the interior design of the project. Today, design includes a selection of a vast array of amenities and systems requiring a deep understanding of how the guest will relate to the facility in order to experience the brand as intended. READ MORE

Ilana Alberico

The "next normal" for the spa industry implies a dynamic and dramatic restructuring. Spa business models must evolve to remain profitable. Despite the challenges of operating in a pandemic, with scarcity comes creativity and the opportunity to innovate. This article shares spa best practices and innovative ideas to help you operate your spas safely and profitably while delighting your guests. READ MORE

David Phillips

STRs were inspired by the now limping WeWork model, using the master lease model to procure multiple properties at a time. However, the catch is that those companies are now bound to pay rent to a landlord regardless of bookings. In the current situation our world is in, STRs must rethink their approach to keeping a consistent flow of tenants. READ MORE

Randy Shelly

With hotel room lifecycles expected to shorten, it will be more important than ever for properties to stay operational and maintain a high-quality guest experience while renovating. There are several ways that hotels can continue to generate revenue while enhancing their value - especially when taking advantage of current lower level occupancies - from pre-planning to mitigate potential disturbances to establishing effective construction approaches. READ MORE

Ryan McAndrew

In the midst of the current recession, transaction activity for hotel properties has effectively frozen as buyers and sellers remain stalemated over market values for distressed properties. The bid-ask gap is wide, and neither party is willing to budge, leaving owners and investors asking a question: Until a vaccine is developed and readied for distribution, what happens to the perception of hotel valuation and how does more meaningful deal flow occur? This article explores that question and more. READ MORE

James Lefcakis

What hoteliers call a "secure network" is only a click away from being exposed by someone within the hotel just trying do their daily duties. Understanding the benefits of training every employee on best data-security practices is the first step to protecting your guest's data and your systems from the multitude of new phishing schemes that impact our industry daily. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

When it comes to innovative guest experiences, independent hotels are leading the charge. Without the red tape of big box properties, these hotels are not only finding creative ways to meet guests where they are, but also anticipating needs as they evolve. Some of the brightest and the best are taking what they're already known for, and amplifying those experiences. READ MORE

Coming up in October 2023...

Hotel Revenue Management: The Age of Big Data

The future of hotel revenue management lies in the adoption of ever more sophisticated software and technology, especially as it pertains to forecasting and pricing. For revenue professionals, the Age of Big Data has arrived. Managers are utilizing systems that employ leading-edge algorithms and machine learning, along with business analytics and data visualization tools. These tools communicate complex information more effectively, allowing managers to understand the key components driving demand and revenue. They have the ability to analyze real-time external and internal data, produce reports, and integrate information - all on a single platform - in order to improve performance. Managers are also utilizing  geographic information systems (GIS) which incorporate geographic data into forecasting. GIS also help decision-makers identify information in a visual way that cannot be detected through traditional data analysis. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on how some hotels are integrating Big Data into their revenue management strategies.