Architecture & Design
Tammy S. Miller
  • Architecture & Design
  • Telling a Unique Story Through Interior Design
  • Every town, village, community, and city has its own character, its own vibe, and its own history. Each location has a story to tell about what makes it unique. Isn’t it important to tell that story through the practice of interior design? Shouldn’t designers be called to task to bring the story to life in a unique way for each and every project, especially hotel projects where people stay? Doesn’t the guest travelling on vacation or on business want to understand the locale, and what makes it unique? Won’t this lead to better experiences for guests? Read on...

Gary Inman
  • Architecture & Design
  • Great Design Begins With a Great Story
  • Every great hotel has a great story. There is nothing more enduring, nor more sacred, than the art of storytelling. It is ancient in its origins, found in every culture. It is a seminal part of every childhood and is arguably the greatest economic driver on the planet. Consider the combined value of the film, music, publishing, and advertising industries, and the billions that go into brand building for nations, companies, products, beliefs, and any part of our culture – large and small - that requires a producer and consumer equation. We’re surrounded by stories, some trite and superficial but others transformative, enhancing life in ways never believed possible. Read on...

Carol Ackerman
  • Architecture & Design
  • The Royal Palms Resort and Spa - The Embodiment of the Spirit of Alvadora
  • The Royal Palms Resort and Spa represents an exceptional example of adaptive reuse from a private estate into a beloved regional treasure, preferred and proclaimed by the sophisticated neighborhood that reflects its nearly 90 year architectural influence, as the gem of the Scottsdale-Phoenix ‘resort row’. Situated approximate to such classic properties as the Phoenician, the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch and the venerated Arizona Biltmore, the Royal Palms enjoys a history and an intimacy with its Arcadia neighbors – and the greater hospitality-savvy residents in the Valley of the Sun – unequaled in affection and selection. Read on...

Christina Hart
  • Architecture & Design
  • Telling Stories with Lighting Design
  • Lighting remains firmly entrenched as a dynamic, versatile and often untapped interior design element. Both functional and abstract, lighting can transform a hotel, spa, dining outlet, lounge or lobby and help articulate and even tell a brand’s local story. By creating drama and intrigue, lighting can be used to solidify an emotion, forge a meaningful tie and formalize a sense of place. HOK’s Hospitality practice has used lighting as a creative, abstract feature on major global projects for decades. We design lighting solutions that help express our hospitality clients’ brands and aspirations while always respecting the property’s regional nuances. Read on...

David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • The Co-working Fix: Providing New Social Gathering Zones
  • In the U.S. more than one-third of the workforce has worked remotely. No surprise there. If you haven’t or don’t sometimes telecommute, chances are that someone you know has or does, at least occasionally. Gallup, which shared the 2015 statistic that 37 percent of workers in the nation have worked off-site—that up markedly from the 9 percent that did so in 1995—also found that the average worker telecommutes twice a month, with 46 percent of remote workers doing so during regular work hours. It’s no wonder. Mobile technology has opened the way for on-the-go business owners, executives and others to work remotely while keeping connected with colleagues and clients. Yet, working solo has its limits. Read on...

Michael Suomi
  • Architecture & Design
  • Soft Brands: Cultivating Authenticity Through Architecture & Design
  • The hospitality market has seen an explosion in the number of Soft Brands in recent years, and yet the concept is not at all new. How then do we account for the sudden resurgence and success of this decades-old model? A new generation of soft brands emerging today coincides with a major shift in the demands and desires of travelers: one that places an unprecedented premium on authenticity and originality. No longer motivated by standardized offers wherever they go around the world, travelers want to be immersed in their destinations, and favor excitement of discovery over the tried-and-true comfort of familiarity. Read on...

Dave Murphy
  • Architecture & Design
  • Care for Hotel Hardwoods and Maintaining Aesthetics
  • With improvements in the economy bringing more and more disposable income into the household, many people are spending money on experiences and travel, causing a boom for the restaurant and hospitality industries. The elevated occupancy and bookings for hotels and inns is leading to a surplus of revenue that many owners and managers are using to re-invest in their properties. Many hotels have not seen renovations or remodels since before the housing market up-ended in 2008. As a result too often the interior spaces are dated. Improving décor throughout the property is one vital element to ensuring customer satisfaction and retention. Read on...

Hans Van Wees
  • Architecture & Design
  • Partnerships Bring Local Flare to Hotel Design
  • While home-sharing companies capture attention for truly immersive local experiences, and brands respond to the movement with sub-brands touting authenticity, independent hoteliers have long appreciated the localized approach to business. In Burlington, Vermont, such local partnerships build and bond communities, and through their contribution to the hotel design, product and programming, ultimately enhance the overall guest experience. The current state of the travel industry suggests the sharing economy is here to stay. These home-sharing companies are rapidly increasing in popularity as travelers crave – and ultimately, trust – their hosts to serve as sources of information for where locals really go to eat, explore, shop, etc. Read on...

John Tess
  • Architecture & Design
  • Use of Historic Tax Credits to Assist in Adaptive Reuse of Buildings as Hotels
  • The success of a hotel is predicated on providing a product that is embraced by the market. Some customers value brand loyalty and a standard product while others look for unique experiences with a custom product. In determining the viability of a hotel, product and location are essential to success. Over the past decade, there has been resurgence in the viability and attractiveness of America’s urban areas, as witnessed by the proliferation of centrally located hotels. Where buildable lots are at a premium, the reuse of historic buildings as hotels has grown significantly. While old hotels are often upgraded to meet market demands, the reuse of non-hotel historic buildings has been significant and dramatic. Read on...

Jesse MacDougall
  • Architecture & Design
  • A Beacon for the Creative Class
  • In the last two decades, the boutique hotel revolution has stolen the show and has birthed an abundance of small batch hospitality concepts that have scaled out and fundamentally changed the way hotels look and behave. The Kimptons and W’s have blazed the trail for FB&E hotels like the Ace and the Standard. European darlings like Citizen M have dared to dream small by making micro-rooms sexy with unapologetic modernism and vibrant, public spaces. Outliers, like the 21c Museum Hotels, exemplify the sort of programmatic innovation that begs the question – are hotels just hotels anymore? Read on...

Bob Verrier
  • Architecture & Design
  • Boston's Back Bay Hotel: A Case Study in the Value of Adaptive Reuse
  • Back in 2001, Saunders Hotel Group, LLC (SHG) and Irish hotel group Jurys Doyle commissioned The Architectural Team, Inc. (TAT) to design a luxury hotel project in Boston – but it wasn’t to be a tall, glassy tower. Rather, our task was to renovate, restore, and update a classic structure that had been a part of the city’s fabric for nearly a century: the former Boston Police Department headquarters. Located in the historic and trendy Back Bay neighborhood, this beautiful seven-story Italian Renaissance Revival building rendered in limestone dates back to 1925. Read on...

Pat McBride
  • Architecture & Design
  • Think Local, Go National
  • The mission of hotels has evolved over the years, from simply providing guests with a comfortable, safe place to sleep to offering a destination that provides much more than shelter. At today’s hotels and resorts, visitors have a place to conduct business, enjoy good food and drink, socialize and escape from life’s everyday pressures. But travelers often seek something more now, and a new trend has distinctly emerged. Many visitors no longer want to escape. They want to explore and dive into the local atmosphere. Today’s travelers desire to experience the culture, attractions, food and neighborhoods of a destination more than ever before. Read on...

Erin Hoover
  • Architecture & Design
  • How Marriott's Most Global Brand Thinks Local
  • Until mid-20th century, a hotel’s aesthetic was unique and customized to each location – either by design, as in the case of luxury properties built at the beginning of the 20th century, like the Waldorf Astoria or St. Regis, or by default, in the case of humbler regional hotels, motels and inns. The trend toward design standardization started in the 1950s in North America. Middle class prosperity mixed with modern interstate highways and cars designed for longer trips fueled an increase in leisure and business travel. But to offset the boundaries being pushed in personal exploration, travelers desired predictability in lodging. Read on...

Deborah  Forrest
  • Architecture & Design
  • Fashioning a Sense of Place with Curated Art in Adaptive Reuse Hotels
  • Transforming historic buildings for hotel use, particularly luxury hotels and boutiques, presents certain challenges and rewards. Buildings that meet the requirements for historic tax credits can be attractive to developers. In addition, retaining an existing building and repurposing it for renewed use is more sustainable than demolishing and rebuilding and the case for adaptive use becomes even more compelling. Creating the identity for a new hotel in an older building repurposed as a hotel brings challenges, especially when the desire is to establish a sense of authenticity. One approach is to develop a curated art collection tied to the location. Read on...

David Ashen
  • Architecture & Design
  • Less is More: Streamlining Design
  • When designing today’s hospitality venues, whether they’re fully outfitted resorts, boutique hotels, or beach side bungalows, hoteliers are finding ways to streamline design and simplify the guest experience. Muted colors and minimal furnishings in combination with earthy textures, expansive views of the outdoors, fresh scents and liberal doses of natural light not only foster a sense of peace but also help today’s travelers set aside everyday distractions for the serenity that simplified living provides. In this article, David Ashen, partner and founder of dash design, explores how today’s hoteliers are making the most of the trend to simplify. Read on...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.