Beyond These Walls: The Evolution of Public Spaces

By David C. Marr Senior Vice President & Global Head, Hilton Full Service Brands | November 25, 2018

It goes without saying that today's travelers expect more out of their hotel stays than ever before. Beyond comfortable guest rooms, world-class amenities and intuitive service, travelers gravitate towards destinations and accommodations that allow them to both escape and selectively engage with the world around them.

Because of that, we at Hilton find ourselves looking at hospitality design and architecture in new, innovative ways to accommodate these sophisticated traveler's needs. Guests are also, in turn, looking to interact with every square inch of a property – including lobbies and outdoor spaces as well as meeting and event areas.

We leverage a number of design strategies to help us create dynamic spaces to meet guests' evolving needs. The seamless integration of indoor and outdoor space throughout our public areas provides travelers with invigorating environments that can be adapted to fit any of their travel needs - from business to relaxation or celebration.

Natural Elements and Collaborative Space

Too often, the interiors of hotels can feel detached from the local environments outside of its walls.

Because of this, we have begun looking at how to incorporate natural elements from the surrounding area into our interiors in a way that feels authentic to the destination and also meets the changing expectations of our guests. Through tactful design strategies that bring the outdoors in, we have seen a great value add to our public spaces on both an aesthetic and functional level.

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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.