Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hart

Christina Hart

Senior Principal / Director of Hospitality Interiors, HOK New York

Christina Hart has honed a niche in designing signature restaurants, premier spas and upscale luxury suites and hotels. She has overseen the renovation of the historic Hotel du Parc in Switzerland for Kempinski; The Fairmont Oman Resort in the Persian Gulf; select spaces of the world renowned Waldorf Astoria in New York as well as design renovations and new builds four- and five-star hospitality projects in the U.S. and around the world. Ms. Hart's diverse roster of projects also includes completing corporate interiors for: Nestle Waters North America, Merrill Lynch, Met Life and Morgan Stanley during her tenure at both Haverson Architecture & Design and WBTL. Recent work includes: a refresh of the Asiate Restaurant, renovating the One Bedroom Suites and concept and design of the penthouse space, Suite 5000, all at the Mandarin Oriental New York; select spaces at the Statler Hotel of Cornell University; and the InterContinental Hotel at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Ms. Hart's re-design of the Al Faisaliah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will open in 2017. The premier resort, which was built a decade ago by Lord Norman Foster, is located in a towering skyscraper and celebrated as one of Riyadh's most impressive properties, catering to discerning business and international visitors. Her launch of the first Melia Hotel in North America earned a Gold Key Award in 2012. A frequent lecturer and panelist, she has spoken at Cornell's Center for Hospitality Design Research Roundtable at the Cornell Hotel School. Ms. Hart holds a B.S. in Design & Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Prior to BBG-BBGM's merging with HOK, she was an Interiors Partner.

Please visit http://www.hok.com for more information.

Ms. Hart can be contacted at 646-385-7653 or christina.hart@hok.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.