Library Archives

 
John Tess

Brands increasingly seek ways to distinguish themselves in the marketplace by creating a "local" experience. The rehabilitation of vintage buildings offers real opportunities. The historic spaces give a window to the local past. The stories associated with the buildings create a unique guest experience and real sense of the community they are visiting. This article focuses on five case studies from around the country: The Langham in Chicago, the Crawford at Denver's Union Station, the Monaco in Washington, D.C, the Argonaut in San Francisco, and the Adelphi in Saratoga Springs. Read on...

Jackson Thilenius

In our changing hospitality and retail climate, we're seeing Pop-Ups appear on virtually every corner. But why have they become so popular and why is it important as hospitality professionals to understand their impact on our business? Let's take a look at what's driving this phenomenon and how we can embrace this new type of service demand from guests seeking an authentic destination experience as a service model. Read on...

Trish Donnally

The new Fairmont Austin, which celebrates its grand opening this weekend, already holds a commanding presence in Austin as the second tallest building in the city at 590 feet. With nothing around it even close to that tall, it owns its place in the sky too. Gensler designed the architecture of the 37-story tower, which features a curtain wall that projects a mesmerizing, ephemeral quality, reflecting drifting cumulus clouds and everchanging light from sunrise to sunset. At times, it seems to become part of the wide-open Texas sky. The hotel is a new beacon that welcomes visitors to the city. Read on...

Ray Chung

Lighting has always been an integral part of hospitality design and has never been more important—or more challenging—than it is today. Advances in technology allow for much more flexibility, just as hotels try to accommodate the changing demands of their guests. But with careful planning, these challenges can instead become opportunities to create unique and memorable guest experiences. While all parts of your hotel should feel cohesive, not all areas should have the same exact lighting. The lobby, restaurant, meeting and banquet rooms, corridors, hotel rooms and exterior spaces all have different purposes and different lighting needs. Read on...

David Ashen

There's a fine line between nodding to culture and addressing universal needs. When it comes to smart hotel design, David Ashen, founder and partner of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, believes that owners and operators, and the designers and architects who partner with them, need to be mindful of the small details that can make or break a guests' travel experience. By looking at world trends, local architecture and cultural norms, properties can be developed as more relevant on both macro and micro levels; that is for global brands and the hotel's guests. Read on...

Jackson Thilenius

The advent of companies like Airbnb and the growth of the "sharing economy," have undoubtedly changed the hospitality industry. The question we should be asking, however, shouldn't be about if this change is simply a fad and when it will end, but rather how more traditional hotels can fit into the evolving landscape. Jackson Thilenius, principal at Retail Design Collaborative, explores how smart hospitality brands are keeping up. From boutique hotels born from giants like Hilton and Mariott to "poshtels" and out-of-the-box loyalty programs, this article offers insight into what will differentiate a successful hotel from one that will soon be forgotten. Read on...

Scott Acton

In the age of consumer experience-seeking, industries are increasingly crossing over, borrowing elements from other disciplines to create a more engaging guest experience. Scott Acton, CEO and founder of Forte Specialty Contractors, discusses how the hospitality and retail industries are capitalizing on this trend. From its beginnings with all-inclusive resorts that offer accommodation and excursions to the modern-day retailer offering build outs to engage with their products and designer brands opening hotels, hospitality and retail is only becoming more and more interconnected. Learn a few key ways to utilize the hospitality-retail concept to create the strongest ROI when designing and building for hospitality. Read on...

David Ashen

Designers and hoteliers know that while exceptional design is one component of a well-appointed property, luxury relates more closely to what guests see, touch, taste and hear. David Ashen, principal and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, shares how an elegant yet simple approach to design, moderate sensibility, exceptional service and the intangible qualities of well-considered, sensorial experiences are hallmarks of luxurious accommodations. Read on...

David Ashen

In the sea of ready options, limited service properties that define who they are get noticed. No one wants to choose a hotel by price alone and there's no need to. Because a place has reasonable prices, no longer negates the presence of good design. In fact, some guests even leave inspired to replicate the look of a hotel's public spaces or furnishings in their own homes, the hallmark of engaging, aspirational design. Like the new Hyatt Place near Cleveland, complete with spacious rooms with mini-refrigerators and free Wi-Fi; complimentary hot breakfast and Starbucks coffee; beer, wine and mixed drinks; a fitness gym; and eco-friendly heated indoor pool, today's limited service brands are pushing the envelope while staying affordable and providing guests with a memorable experience. Read on...

Scott Acton

According to IBISWorld, the theme park industry has grown strongly over the past five years to more than $18 billion at a 5.4% annual growth rate, largely driven by the operators securing intellectual property rights to major film franchises and entertainment, bringing films and characters into exciting new features and experiential rides that have been driving revenue and increasing profit margins. These theme parks have long known what intrigues customers and keeps them coming back, and smart hoteliers are now catching on to this trend. Let's take a look at how theme park attractions are impacting the hospitality industry's growth by infusing the elements of the big screen into the guest experience. Read on...

Raul Jose Gutierrez

There is no doubt that the bar is constantly being raised; the global explosion of new businesses, innovative new ideas and the strive for domination from heavy players such as Marriott have created a cycle of competition that pushes all businesses to get extra creative if they wish to have any kind of relevance in the market. Regardless of the industry, a strategic alliance will give a company competitive advantage and the opportunity to enter a broader range of expertise and resources. Partnerships should come about not only for the obvious benefits of expansion but to offer distinctive product lines and skill sets that differentiate them from the competition. Read on...

Deborah Forrest

Hotel lobbies are undergoing an exciting evolution. Architects, designers, hotel owners, and operators are re-thinking hotel lobbies and transforming them into active social hubs that are becoming the heart of hotels. With flexible designs, professionals are creating spaces that support work and play, dining venues and bars that morph throughout the day, communal tables with computers, library settings for quiet reflections, and game rooms for pure play. Read on...

David Ashen

The shift in calling a public area an art gallery first and a function space (pre-function) second was interesting to note. That's because, particularly during the last 10 years, art has become a necessary part of the story for all upper-end, boutique hotels. This is especially true in the United States, where there is scant opportunity for the display of notable, public art. Thankfully, hotels have been filling that niche, bringing excellent art to the general public and making it accessible. Now, quality art is not a nicety; it's an expectation. Read on...

David Ashen

There was a time in America, before the proliferation of national chains, when every town had an independent, family-run hotel. With the rise of soft-branded properties and increasing demand for guest stays in properties reflective of local culture, David Ashen, partner and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, takes a look at the rising popularity of independently, locally branded properties and their how they—and the hospitality industry—are meeting the desire for venues with local color. Read on...

James Coleman

You have probably read the reasons why you should update your hotel's bathrooms. And you're now certain that your bathrooms should be upgraded to save space, please your customers, and give more aesthetic appeal to your hotel. However, choosing to upgrade your bathroom isn't as simple as calling your interior designer and telling them to overhaul everything in your bathroom and hoping for the best. After all, a complete upgrade for the sake of aesthetic might only waste your money when done improperly. You might also end up changing something and displeasing your customers, especially if you don't know what they want Read on...

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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.