The Benefits of Site Integration in Hotel Design

By Cristine Henderson Associate, Hoefer Wysocki | October 21, 2018

One of the first considerations for architects when designing a hotel is effective site integration to ensure its success, not only as a business, but within the community in which it exists. The most important considerations when applying site integration in a hotel's design are the building's overall visibility and accessibility, while also incorporating local inspiration and environmental influences in the design. A designer's skills, creativity and mindfulness produce opportunities to build hotel interiors and exteriors that reflect and make use of local surroundings, while deeply enhancing the overall guest experience.

Considering Visibility

Truly understanding how a hotel is situated on its site is a key factor to ensure any and all guests can easily locate and access the facility. Out-of-town guests will most likely be unfamiliar with the area, usually arriving at the hotel after a long day of travel. Therefore, a key consideration in determining a hotel's location is its visibility from the highway. This is not only helpful for passersby looking for a last-minute place to stay, but also for locals looking to book the hotel for special events or business conferences.

Hotel developers often strategically seek out popular locations nearest to local hubs of activity that are certain to attract visitors to the area. Related factors include availability of, and proximity to, dining options, recreational areas and entertainment amenities, as well as strong ties to surrounding neighborhoods. Fostering a connection between the hotel and its surrounding community creates positive experiences and will directly and favorably impact the overall guest experience. When the hotel is situated near amenities and enjoyable activities for its guests, brand loyalty is elevated and the likelihood of guests returning to the hotel in the future ultimately increases.

For instance, locating a hotel in an amenity-rich, affluent area creates not only brand alignment and loyalty as previously mentioned, but in some cases, has the ability to raise the status of the hotel. This could be the difference between a four-star and five-star rating, which for the builder, architect, and business owner, translates into a real value and return on investment. The same holds true for businesses that co-locate – those buildings that share a site but possess and retain their own identities. Easy access to amenities contributes to overall satisfaction with guests' hotel stay. A satisfied guest is more likely to return and to recommend the hotel to their friends, family and colleagues.

Accessibility for All Audiences

Element Hotel in Leawood, Kansas, designed by Hoefer Wysocki, integrates local Kansas limestone in its exterior.
Holiday Inn Express in Overland Park, Kansas, designed by Hoefer Wysocki, integrates the Bluhawk logo in its façade.
Holiday Inn Express in Overland Park, Kansas, designed by Hoefer Wysocki, is clearly visible from the nearby highway.
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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.