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Jasmine St. Clair

What does biophilic design look like? What does it feel like? Where is biophilic design most prevalent, how is it deployed, and what are the potential benefits of a well-executed biophilic design scheme? Jasmine St. Clair, Vice President of Design and Construction for Prism Hotels and Resorts discusses the growing popularity and prevalence of biophilic design principles rooted deeply in our past, how we have lost the organic connection to design with a modernized approach and what the growing future of biophilic design looks like. She outlines how successful hotels are utilizing the age-old design style to incorporate beautiful multisensory, immersive and soothing spaces guests can enjoy. Read on...

John Tess

In the competitive hotel industry, it is sometimes hard to successfully market a property's history and heritage in a cost-effective manner. In 1989, the National Trust for Historic Preservation created Historic Hotels of America, a marketing organization specifically charged with capturing the heritage tourism market. Thirty years forward, the organization has grown to represent 300 properties nationwide, including nearly every major brand. The success of HHA can also be found in the average daily room rate and per room revenues. This article explores both the growth of heritage hotels and the programs of HHA. Read on...

David Ashen

Of all areas affected by changes in the way people live, work and play, public spaces are chief among them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores what's behind the shift, including generational preferences, an increase in remote and co-working environments and a need to surprise and delight guest like never before. Ashen explores how hotel brands can stay relevant to leisure and business guests by reimagining meeting spaces and ballrooms to make way for fresh possibilities and a world of flexibility. Read on...

Derrick Garrett

New technology is providing a path forward in the pursuit to contextualize the actions of your customers. Eventually, the result will lead to a more accurate representation of their emotions. Quantifying these emotions in a predictable and repeatable fashion paves the way not only to consistent business, but to continuous upselling as well. Fortunately, technology has ceased to be maligned as an unnecessary expense. Not only is advanced technology required now, but it's transforming from an uncomfortable cost to a shrewd investment with quantifiable returns. Read on...

John Tess

Portland's Harlow Block is the second oldest commercial building north of downtown. Built as a hotel in 1882, it thrived well into the 1920s but then began a descent into disrepair and disinvestment that ended in the building becoming a flophouse before being closed. For the last forty years, people have tried to revitalize the building, only to leave it in worse condition than before. In 2007, Ganesh Sonpatki of Parum Hotels took on the challenge. Despite more than a decade of struggling through code and historic preservation issues, the building is today reborn as a historic boutique 26 room hotel/restaurant. Read on...

David Ashen

Remember when rooftop bars and cool restaurants were novel? What was once unique enough to rile up crowds and delight hotel guests has now become the norm. Fortunately, hoteliers are now looking for fresh ways to connect with – and inspire – the communities that surround them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, examines what's behind this shift and some top ways today's brands are answering the call for connection, from art installations that excite to socially-conscious initiatives and more, hotels are more than a mere place for heads in beds. Read on...

Bob Neal

Rooted in history, our nation's capital is full of character and charm, and a focus on preservation is the norm rather than the exception. That's why the design for Columbia Place, a recently completed, mixed-use development combining a dual-branded hotel, residences and retail with historic buildings in Washington, D.C.'s Shaw District, didn't need to invent a new sense of place. Design and architectural firm COOPER CARRY in collaboration with tvsdesign instead built upon its origins. Striking an artful balance between "then" and "now", Columbia Place blends centuries-old structures with modern living to honor history while also welcoming the next generation. Read on...

Derrick Garrett

Digging deep into many of the complexities of creating successful music architecture solutions, we can move into the future of guest experiences. To me, that means bundling the music content service with the audio and video integration. AV technology today has the potential to be so much more than background music and a screen with static information. There are endless opportunities with the latest technology to drive the guest experience and engagement in innovative and unforgettable ways. Read on...

John Tess

Bill Kimpton formed Kimpton Hotels in the 1980s with the intent to create smaller guest-centric urban properties in older and historic buildings. Conceptually, the company took a three pronged approach with property development, hospitality management and on-property restaurant management. Over the next three decades, the brand expanded nationally and internationally while holding on to its roots. In 2015, IHG acquired the hotel and restaurant management operations, while the development arm became independent. The intent is that the strength of IHG would facilitate expansion of the Kimpton brand, while independence would foster greater returns for the property investors. Read on...

Felicia Hyde

From culinary to cultural to artistic activities, modern day travelers are in search of the "live-like-a-local" experience. Gone are the days where five-star accommodations and best-in-class-service are the must-haves; now, travelers are on the hunt for unique and personalized destinations and the opportunity for cultural immersion. Backed by research, consumers are relating positive travel experiences to destinations that promote self-discovery and activities that fuel the mind, body and soul. With these trends already shaking up multifamily communities nationwide, hoteliers should consider applying the following design strategies to turn their hotel properties into experience-driven destinations. Read on...

David Ashen

Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. For instance, senior living facilities are taking their design cues from the hospitality industry, which is not unlike what we have seen in the development of luxury high rise living in the last decade. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, relays the ways senior living developers are applying lessons learned from the hotel industry to create unique experiences in the senior living space, using case studies to demonstrate how they are realizing innovative public spaces and programing. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Hotels and resorts have increasingly become targets of terrorist attacks. Ease of access to facilities that are designed to promote welcoming hospitality to its guests and visitors make securing hotels against attacks a difficult challenge. Terrorist regard hotels and resorts as "target-rich" since guests in luxury lodging are typically affluent and potentially politically influential. Recent attacks emphatically demonstrate that today's hotel and resort security systems need to focus not only on petty criminals and intruders bent on theft, vandalism, arson or personal assaults, but must employ cutting edge technology in early threat detection of potential terrorist attacks. Read on...

Andrew Simmons

Hotels, much like any other consumer product, can differ drastically from one another. While hotels used to attempt to cater to the traveler simply seeking a place to sleep at night, they must now cater to a wide range of demographics with varying needs and wanted elements in a hotel. Leisure travel is becoming increasingly multigenerational, which can be attributed to the changing dynamic of the American household. The hospitality industry is being pushed towards a more inclusive and experiential design, allowing those of all ages and backgrounds to experience and enjoy all that the local environment has to offer. Read on...

David Ashen

In order to compete for market share in the luxury hotel world, owners and operators need to think beyond design and more about experience. What are some things hoteliers should consider in bringing a unique guest stay to life? David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores ways to utilize unusual and bespoke amenities – from VIP backstage experiences to tricked out gear garages -- to differentiate one hotel brand from another and more fully speak the luxury language of today's savvy traveler. Read on...

John Tess

There is a perception that lodging brand standards conflict with the development of historic buildings into hotels. This is more of a past problem than a current one. Well-located downtown land is becoming scarce, hotel brands are getting experienced in working with historic buildings, and market demands are fostering niche-driven brands that seek local connections. One great example is Baton Rouge's Watermark Hotel under Marriott's Autograph brand. This 1925 one-time bank headquarters 12-story skyscraper was transformed into a modern hotel balancing the unique and local qualities of the building with the need for a upscale hotel experience. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.