Coloring Outside the Lines
By Pat Miller Managing Principal & Hospitality Practice Leader, LEO A DALY | November 20, 2016
Hospitality guests today want a more authentic experience connected to nature and local culture. Designers are responding with new schemes for public spaces that perforate the border between indoor and outdoor, opening up lobbies, lobby bars and restaurants to bring guests into the environment around the hotel. Whether creating unobstructed views of the mountain landscapes or physically opening the space to the neighboring waterfront, indoor/outdoor spaces create a whole new experience for guests and pays dividends for owners.
Targeting the Guest
Hotel brands today are about much more than branding. Rather than predictability, today's consumer wants a differentiator – something unique and unforgettable. Creating a connection to locale is key to the modern hospitality experience, requiring designers to take time in identifying what makes a place unique, and then create spaces that amplify that character and connect guests to it.
The methods designers use to create this connection depends on the business goals of the owner, the standards of the brand, the type of guest being targeted, and the unique assets of a particular place.
Different types of guests have different expectations. Business travelers want to relax and unwind after a long day of travel and meetings. This has driven a trend toward expanded bar spaces that include outdoor seating for a change of scenery. Convention-goers want places to meet up for casual sit-downs, leading to collision spaces becoming a main feature of lobby design. Families want places to play and socialize, which means providing outdoor multi-function spaces that serve as an extension of their living spaces. Vacationers want unique local experiences full of relaxation, play, and fun, leading to the popularity of rooftop spas, pool bars, and other amenities that allow guests to soak in the local atmosphere and climate. Local residents want a vibrant cultural center for a night out in-town, which has led to more hotels connecting to existing mixed-use amenities or creating new ones!
Discovering Authentic Opportunities