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John Tess

Sage Hospitality, founded in 1984, is one of the more innovative hospitality companies when it comes to the historic boutique hotel market. Though Sage also does ground-up new construction, the historic properties that have been developed by the company are iconic. Examples include the Blackstone Hotel, situated overlooking Grant Park in Chicago and host to American presidents and gangsters alike, and Crawford Hotel at Union Station in Denver, which lights up downtown with its neon "Union Station – Travel by Train" sign, among others. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Millennials, categorized as those people born between 1981 and 1996, have been described as possessing a whole range of shared characteristics and behaviors. In this article we will look at how this generation is impacting the hospitality industry and how hotel design is evolving to attract this rapidly growing traveling customer segment. Hotel companies, developers, owners and operators are developing new brands and reimagining existing brands to cater to this explosive new market. To attract this expanding customer base, new hotels need to address Millennials' preferences for personalization, social media, cultural context, wellness, cutting-edge technology and communal public spaces. Read on...

Felicia Hyde

From travelers to renters, modern consumers are in search of accommodation that provides the convenience, connection and customization of a "live-work-play" environment. Research shows that this lifestyle and desire for an all-inclusive experience is longer a trend but an expectation. While shaking up many industries, this concept is already transforming multifamily communities nationwide and developers are responding with designs infused with mixed-use design strategies, elements and spaces. The result: innovative and flexible designs that not only attract and boost consumers' experience but deliver optimal return on investment for multifamily owners and hoteliers alike. Read on...

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...

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Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.