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.

This week's Top Pick...

Zoe Connolly

What does biophilic design look like? What does it feel like? Where is biophilic design most prevalent, how is it deployed, and what are the potential benefits of a well-executed biophilic design scheme? Jasmine St. Clair, Vice President of Design and Construction for Prism Hotels and Resorts discusses the growing popularity and prevalence of biophilic design principles rooted deeply in our past, how we have lost the organic connection to design with a modernized approach and what the growing future of biophilic design looks like. She outlines how successful hotels are utilizing the age-old design style to incorporate beautiful multisensory, immersive and soothing spaces guests can enjoy. Read on...

Library Archives

 
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

Nicole Adair

Artificial intelligence and its role in the practice of hotel revenue management is front and center in the minds of most industry professionals today. Is my hotel using it? Should my hotel be using it? How would my hotel use it and what would this mean for my role? In this article, we will discuss how hotel technology is evolving, how any revenue manager looking for continued growth in the field should approach these changes, and why the best revenue management strategy will combine artificial intelligence with human intelligence. READ MORE

Cassie Bond

What do these new and still-evolving revenue management strategies look like? How is this profit-focused mindset influencing both the day-to-day details and the big-picture thinking of revenue management professionals? Cassie Bond, Regional Vice President of Revenue Management for Chesapeake Hospitality discusses the emerging practice of revenue management and the emphasis on profit over revenue that is leading to sophisticated revenue management strategies, intriguing perspectives, and exciting possibilities in the hospitality industry. She outlines how successful hotels are utilizing the information and enhanced techniques of margin prophets, not just today, but in the months and years ahead. READ MORE

Robert Post

From where we sit in the hospitality space, we are seeing the industry suffer from an over-reliance on inbound as the primary source of group business. This dependence is leading us to a commoditization within group, where rates are becoming the only differentiator between properties. But what if we could change that? What if there was another source of business that would allow hotels to reclaim their control of group sales, allow them to build stronger repeat business and ultimately a more profitable property? In this article we will explore why hotels are struggling today to meet group targets and propose alternative ways to sell group that are more profitable. READ MORE

Greg Pesik

The management of groups, especially small groups and meetings, is at an inflection point in the industry. The industry has long relied on antiquated methods, such as room lists, as a core component of that management process. However, room lists are just symptomatic of a non-guest, non-planner centric approach to the process. The industry is not only poised for change, but must change to meet the demands of the digital age. READ MORE

Nicholas Tsabourakis

While it is undeniable that there is a tremendous amount of data generated throughout the guest journey, for the vast majority of Hoteliers data analytics still remains an unexplored and overlooked domain. Most of the time they will find themselves trying to find the right balance between improving guest satisfaction and increasing profits. With both competition and customer requirements growing, they would generally rather focus on guest satisfaction than crunching numbers and data. The aim of this article is not to provide a review of current data analytics and technologies associated with them, but it rather focuses on what data & data analytics is all about, what makes incorporating them so important. READ MORE

John Tess

From their inception, historic hotels have played a defining role in uplifting a community. Beyond economic generators, they also serve as landmarks and as an expression of a community's larger sense of being. Despite the real estate market waning in some sectors, the hotel real estate market continues to thrive and grow. This continued growth has typically relied on historic preservation incentives and association with national hotel brands. This article talks about the evolution of the historic role of hotels in community revitalization and the ingredients of success. READ MORE

Christian Gonzalez

It wasn't that long ago that sustainability and luxury in hospitality seemed to be wildly at odds. While an eco-friendly consciousness was rapidly rising in our industry, it began with back-of-house changes that were aimed at efficiency and carefully made so as not to diminish the guest experience. But, a veritable green revolution has grown since those early days, and today being a leader in sustainable luxury isn't an oxymoron it's a commitment that we at Rosewood Mayakoba take to heart in everything we do. READ MORE

Doll Rice

In the hotel business, there are few topics hotter than revenue management. Here is a helpful guide to position your people and your properties for success in an increasingly bottom-line-driven industry that actually demands looking beyond the bottom line. With powerful and sophisticated new tools comes new techniques, new possibilities, and new ways of looking at old challenges. Doll Rice, Vice President of Revenue Optimization at Prism Hotels & Resorts references shifting ownership perspective, technology and dependence, culture clashing and today's trends to go beyond the bottom line. READ MORE

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Amenities continue to be a major focus as millennials and post-millennials become an increasingly economically influential demographic. To engender brand loyalty and social media buzz, developers and owners should make investments in design that create authentic experiences and socially activated spaces. Layouts and features that encourage social interaction among guests foster a sense of engagement and community, while the inclusion of biophilic design elements enhance the feeling of a restorative, relaxing and healthy stay. Design can also produce places and features that guests will immediately capture and share on social media – "Instagramable" moments that generate social media "word of mouth." READ MORE

Brian Murch

A culture of curiosity and thoughtful hospitality design has driven us as designers and creatives to constantly explore the guest journey and the creation of meaningful experiences. Today's tech-driven fast-paced world amplifies the need to take a step back and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Re-imagining spaces that utilize natural and organic design elements offers a moment of pause and contrast to the rich urbanistic surroundings of which we are accustomed. Nature-inspired design infusion creates balance and fulfills our inherent need to reconnect with nature and the outdoors; in the design world, this increasingly utilized approach is known as "biophilic design" and is adding another dimension to how we curate the hospitality guest experience. 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

Tom Engel

Since their emergence in the early 2000's revenue management roles have become a critical component of the hospitality industry. Training and development resources for revenue managers have grown considerably in response to this change. Given the likelihood of turbulent times in 2020 – the result of an abundance of new supply, trade wars, the continued proliferation of brands, and other social and economic factors – as a general manager or asset manager the need for a skilled revenue manager is becoming more and more essential. This article provides an overview of the ideal revenue manager, including their most needed attributes as well as how best to measure performance. READ MORE

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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.