Creating Memorable Spaces, Experiences to Attract More Travelers

By Felicia Hyde Design Director, Lifestyle Studio, H. Hendy Associates | September 16, 2018

Tourism and travel now accounts for more than one-tenth of the global GDP according to Deloitte's 2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook, with hotel industry growth projected at five to six percent this year. As a result, new trends are emerging, and consumer expectations are evolving, thereby driving hoteliers to adjust their design strategies to keep up with demand.

A trend that's shaking up the hospitality industry today is modern travelers' desire for memorable experiences through unique design elements, adaptable spaces and customized experiences – a concept that is already transforming residential and multifamily communities nationwide. Now, hoteliers must apply similar design strategies to separate themselves from their competition in an effort to attract more travelers.

First Impressions Count

When it comes to leasing apartments, making a great first impression is everything. Research indicates that when residents and guests enter a property, amenities are not likely the first thing they notice. Rather, it's the design. The guest experience starts even before they enter the door – and carries through from the parking lot to the leasing office to even the restroom.

Essentially, it's all about the details and the experience that the look and feel of the property evokes. The first impression is crucial for potential residents: it's what gives them a glimpse of the living experience a community could provide. The concept of providing guests with a memorable first impression not only applies to multifamily but is directly translatable to the hospitality industry, and it's a concept hoteliers should consider to attract more travelers. Here are some first impression design strategies used in multifamily properties that hoteliers can leverage:

1. Set the Stage

In the multifamily world, the initial experience for prospective residents begins the moment they approach the property. This means that anything guests see, and experience, should be designed to create instant attraction or drama. This includes the architecture, landscaping, set up of the parking lot and even the signage directing visitors to the leasing office. For example, we worked on a multifamily project where the marketing team designed and implemented catchy phrases in the visitor parking stalls and throughout the property leading guests to the leasing office – ultimately creating an inviting first impression for prospective residents. For hoteliers, consider adding an unexpected twist to set your property apart.

2. Create Surprises

The lobby and adjoining leasing office at Vantis, an apartment complex in Aliso Viejo, features a variety of seating options and a glass-enclosed business center outfitted with the technology to serves residents' co-working needs.
The lobby at Broadstone Cavora offers residents a surprising, yet contrasting experience from the traditional Spanish architecture outside to the majestic, bold and modern design elements inside.
To appeal to the eclectic and artistic community in North Hollywood, the walls of the common spaces at The Hesby are decorated with famous quotes and song lyrics.
To evoke emotion and create of unique sense of space, H. Hendy Associates implemented a custom, six-foot painting of the world-renowned Frida Kahlo in the lobby at Broadstone Cavora.
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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.