Are You Using Your Hotel Artwork Creatively?

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | February 18, 2009

  • inlaid designs of wood or marble on walls and floors
  • waterfalls, either trickling gently down a wall or rushing loudly into a pond
  • mirrors, either alone or in a unusual arrangement of sizes and shapes
  • shadowboxes that display items in 3-D
  • wall or ceiling murals
  • wall niches or small shelves that enhance the display of flowers or sculpture
  • glass block that serves as a wall or room divider, perhaps with special back-lighting to enhance the effect of design and color
  • carpets that can be made in custom colors and patterns, especially in large public spaces (although special-order carpet can also be used in guest rooms, while special mosaic floors can be installed in bathrooms) Exactly how you combine these various "artwork" elements will depend on four factors - brand standards, interior design, owner preferences, and budget.

For example, some brands set stringent standards they expect franchisees to follow to the letter, while other brands have more general guidelines that allow for personal preference and creativity. Cendant sets standards brand by brand, while Marriott is very clearly defined, with standards that dictate the number of pieces in each public space, including maximum and minimum size.

Other factors determining your choice of an artwork package will be the property's location and its "look," or design. Specifically, the color, subject, and style of artwork should directly reflect whether the hotel is urban or suburban, formal or informal, a coastal resort or a business conference center.

Artwork can be custom-made or can come in "ready to hang" packages. For example, in high profile areas such as the lobby, you may wish to consider original artwork for added flare and interest.

Custom artwork can range from commissioned pieces by well-known artists, which can be expensive, to original art produced by studios which maintain a stable of in-house artists and can therefore charge lower prices, often comparable to mass-produced art.

Consider creating an area in your property where work by local artists can be displayed "on loan" or "on rotation." This will give both your guests and your community a special place to enjoy art - and it will give you a "distinctive difference" that can be merchandized in your marketing materials.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.