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 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.