Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.

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Zoe Connolly

In this article we explore the traits that make group sales hunters special from others in the sales arena. Hunter tend to be self-driven and arguably possess certain innate traits that can't be taught even if the skills they exhibit can be acquired. The key is to recognize these traits when seeking hunters and then translate them into skills. Once you have identified hunters in the recruiting process you need to hold on to them and create an environment to allow them to flourish. By the same token it's usually a good idea to let the farmers farm and service your existing base of customers. Read on...

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Hunter Clayton

When it comes to hospitality design experiences, we know that the best hotels support the business traveler, the leisure traveler, and the growing blur between them. The business traveler, specifically, is the most active and engaged guest when it comes to hotel amenities and usage. This is largely due to the fact that they are often spending the bulk of their time in hotel meeting spaces, business centers and conference rooms. So what can be done to make these typically enclosed spaces a source of task, social, entertainment, discovery and aspiration? The answer is likely beyond the walls. READ MORE

Mary Alice Palmer

As global discussions around climate change become more prevalent, so do conversations around human connection to nature. Incorporating nature and its elements by way of biophilic design is occurring everywhere – throughout our cities, workplaces, hospitals, academic institution and more. Exploring where the hospitality industry fits into these discussions is not only timely, but extremely relevant for hotel operators. Through their decades of industry knowledge and research, HKS Principals Mary Alice Palmer and Sergio Saenz, will discuss how biophilia can influence the psychographics of the guest, transform their hotel experience and guide them to making better decisions for the natural environment. READ MORE

Amanda Hertzler

Hotel owners and operators, exploring newer and better ways to improve guest experiences and profitability, are turning to an exciting new design approach, Biophilic Design. Based on the idea that humans crave connections with nature, biophilic hospitality design seeks to create hotel ecosystems that mimic the positive effects that nature has on humans. In nature-rich locations, biophilia harnesses the natural elements. In urban locations, however, where tech-centric lifestyles are common, architects and designers must harness both the natural elements and technology to create integrated and functional biophilic habitats that support the human desire to connect with the earth. In this article, MKDA Executive Managing Director Amanda Hertzler examines how to strike the perfect balance with technology in biophilic hotel design. READ MORE

Adrianne Korczynski

The wellness industry is projected to be worth nearly $919 billion by 2022, according to a 2018 report from the Global Wellness Institute. The travel and hospitality sectors are beginning to catch on to these trends consumers are craving. To keep up with competitors, it's critical for hoteliers to evolve their environments to accommodate well-being needs and wants. Being in tune with wellness trends and reflecting that in the environments where people sleep, eat, work, and lounge will keep guests coming back and create a special feeling of ultimate relaxation, reflection, and peacefulness. READ MORE

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Patrick Burke

As the experience-based economy continues to drive hospitality business, there is a parallel and growing trend toward biophilia, people's innate connection with nature. For over 35 years, American architect Patrick Burke, AIA has led Michael Graves Architecture & Design to create unique hospitality experiences for hotel operators and travelers around the globe, in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. Citing expert knowledge in the field of biophilia, he discusses the many ways that hospitality design can respond to the natural world, incorporate natural features at every scale, and enhance the guest experience. READ MORE

Tammy S. Miller

How do hoteliers, real estate management companies, asset managers and the like attract the traveler and make their property unique, desirable and sought after? Hotels have been curating a guest experience for years and have discovered that a more personalized, interactive and authentic experience delights their guests. An important part of hotel design is creating a strong narrative for each hotel. What is the hotel's story? Designers should create a design story for each hotel touching on the history of the hotel, the surrounding neighborhood, the mission of the property, the dedication to its guests. This story leads to better understanding of the goals of each project and builds trust, comprehension, receptivity and more. READ MORE

Monika Moser

The term Biophilic design comes from the word biophilia, meaning "the love of life." First used by an American biologist named Edward O. Wilson decades ago, the phrase has just recently emerged as a popular subject of discussion in the hospitality design world. In our modern society, especially amongst those living in urban environments, we have witnessed an increasing demand to reconnect with nature to maintain health and well-being. While companies quickly embraced the idea of employee wellness in response, hotels have fallen behind in adopting biophilic design to improve guest satisfaction and operational revenue. READ MORE

Anna Kreyling

There's no doubt biophilic design is on the rise, and with good reason. With health and wellness top of mind for customers, and a proven link between biophilic design strategies and increased well-being, the implementation of such features can not only enhance guest experience but add tangible value to a hotel's bottom line. Yet popular design elements like green walls have a high initial cost and require continued maintenance, which can be a limitation. So how can hoteliers split the difference and get smarter about biophilic design? We'll share key considerations to successfully implement biophilia without busting the budget. READ MORE

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.