Professional Design & Purchasing Is a Wise Investment

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | May 06, 2010

In the hotel industry, good design is good business - a more stylish property generates more return visits, so it's worth more now and at the time of re-sale. However, too many owners still resist hiring a professional designer and purchasing firm because they want to save money by handling the design themselves.

Yes, working with experienced FF&E specialists costs - but more importantly, it pays. Here's how.

The Designer

An interior designer can be one of an owner's most valuable weapons in the "hotel wars" because today's travelers want more than a hotel stay - they expect a hotel "experience" from check-in through check-out.

For example, amenities that were considered luxuries just a few years ago are now "must have's" even in mid-priced hotels - things such as flat panel TV's, granite countertops, designer furniture, high speed internet service, high-quality bedding, high tech gadgets, and bathrooms many extras.

However, it takes an interior designer to put these special amenities into a proper context and an attractive look which achieves a balance between ambience and functionality, as well as between design innovation and brand consistency.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.