The Redevelopment of Landmark Buildings as New Hotels

By Dirk Lohan Principal, Wight & Company | November 04, 2018

Anyone who travels frequently becomes more and more discerning and selective about their hotel choices. You get tired of the long corridors with identical rooms on both sides. The only identifying element of your room is the number on the door, everything else is the same and not very memorable. Once in a while you stay at a unique and special hotel and you remember it because it was different in architecture and design.

As I continue to travel regularly around the world, I have noticed a trend in newer hotel developments that reuses historical buildings which in their original life were not built as hotels. The design of hotels is especially suited to fit into older buildings which have lost their original purpose as the various functions of hotels are quite flexible and don't need to be the same all the time. What distinguishes them from other new developments is that they are notable landmarks in their city or country. They can be of any architectural age and style, but modern society does not want them to be torn down to make way for new buildings.

In the United States, the Landmark movement has grown in recent decades to the point where almost everybody recognizes the importance of preserving the iconic buildings of prior periods. Every city and state today have landmarks organizations who identify and protect the buildings that are worthy of preservation. And, would you believe it, quite often it is the hotel function which is adaptable and flexible enough to come into an older building whose original purpose is no longer needed in our times. So it is, that we have hotels in buildings that were created as banks, embassies, palaces for nobility, railroad stations and even office buildings of the modern period.

What distinguishes these hotels from others is that they are unique and not standard and often their interior design is created to accentuate and emphasize the architectural style of the original. Let me describe a few of these hotels and why they are special and appreciated by the discerning guest.

Hotel De Rome, Berlin, Germany

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Sherri Merbach
Matt Schwartz
Eugenio Pirri
Stephanie Hilger
Dennis Rizzo
Brandon Billings
Bruce Seigel
Dean Minett
Robert M. O'Halloran
Suzanne McIntosh
Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.