NTHHA Announces Nine New Members

Hotels include a mid-century modern gem, a U.S. Virgin Islands landmark, home of legendary politicia

. October 14, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC, October 2, 2006. National Trust Historic Hotels of America announces the addition of nine new members. This selection brings the program's total membership to 209 hotels, representing 40 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"Travelers today seek authentic experiences and value," said Thierry Roch, executive director of National Trust Historic Hotels of America. "The nine new members showcase some of America's classic properties and destinations and offer travelers a variety of experiences from our first member in the U.S. Virgin Islands to a mid-century modern hotel in Arizona and a Chicago grande dame."

Each hotel has a story to tell about its history and architecture as well as personalities who have walked through the doors. For instance:

The Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco served as a temporary City Hall from 1912-1915, as the city rebuilt after the devastating fire and earthquake several years earlier. Until the mid-1990s, the words City Hall were still faintly etched above the hotel's main entrance and the original jail cells remained in the hotel's basement.

To view the complete release and a description of each property visit www.historichotels.org

New members:

Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hotel Whitcomb, San Francisco

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza, Washington, D.C.

Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

Hotel Pere Marquette, Peoria, Ill.

Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, Baton Rouge, La.

The Historic Tidewater Inn, Easton, Md.

Union Station, a Wyndham Historic Hotel, Nashville

The Buccaneer, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands

A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America is a marketing association. To qualify for membership, hotels must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized locally as having historic significance. Established in 1989 with 32 original hotel members, Historic Hotels of America recognizes and promotes these hotels for their historic integrity, architectural quality and outstanding preservation efforts made by owners and managers.

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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.