Achieving a Boutique Feel in Bigger Properties - Sustainably
By Joshua Zinder, AIA Managing Partner, JZA+D | May 11, 2014
Co-authored by Marlyn Zucosky, IIDA, Partner & Director of Interior Design, JZA+D
Travelers are increasingly on the hunt for new experiences and one-of-a-kind destinations. The ascendancy of the boutique trend continues, especially in the U.S. and Asia. Patrons love boutique properties, because they feel like a "find," becoming part of the story the will tell themselves and others after travelling. Hoteliers have begun to address this demand in a number of ways, and the biggest challenge is for the biggest properties.
It is not only possible to create venues with a "boutique feel" in major properties, it is practically required to maintain a competitive advantage. Too many large hotels disappoint their patrons with a home-away-from-home approach that winds up replicating the experience of a shopping mall, dampening the likelihood of repeat stays. For a relatively small investment, a large property can create a restaurant, lounge or retail venue with a one-of-a-kind feel.
Professional, polished and visually exciting, these amenities eschew the atmosphere of big chains, instead offering guests the excitement of trying something new. Further, these kinds of results can be achieved in ways that incorporate sustainable design best practices and maximize return on the investment.
Begin with Integrated Design
Experience with this process reveals a number of potential pitfalls and uncovers under-explored avenues to achieving the desired results. Most important perhaps is employing some method of integrated design, i.e. a process that integrates the client as fully as possible and as early as possible, giving them an active role in the development of plans. The process also involves contractors in early phases, to identify ways to accelerate delivery and reduce cost.