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John Tess

Portland's Harlow Block is the second oldest commercial building north of downtown. Built as a hotel in 1882, it thrived well into the 1920s but then began a descent into disrepair and disinvestment that ended in the building becoming a flophouse before being closed. For the last forty years, people have tried to revitalize the building, only to leave it in worse condition than before. In 2007, Ganesh Sonpatki of Parum Hotels took on the challenge. Despite more than a decade of struggling through code and historic preservation issues, the building is today reborn as a historic boutique 26 room hotel/restaurant. Read on...

David Ashen

Remember when rooftop bars and cool restaurants were novel? What was once unique enough to rile up crowds and delight hotel guests has now become the norm. Fortunately, hoteliers are now looking for fresh ways to connect with – and inspire – the communities that surround them. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, examines what's behind this shift and some top ways today's brands are answering the call for connection, from art installations that excite to socially-conscious initiatives and more, hotels are more than a mere place for heads in beds. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Traditional goals for business conferences include Education and Learning, Sales and Business Development, Networking; Team Building and Industry Innovation. But meeting planners have been focused on a new trend in recent years: Experience Creation. And in that endeavor we are seeing amazing new technology applied to creating unique and inspiring experiences for meeting goers. In this article we will explore some of the latest technological developments and methodologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Holography, as they apply to the enhancement of all of the aforementioned meeting goals. Read on...

Bob Neal

Rooted in history, our nation's capital is full of character and charm, and a focus on preservation is the norm rather than the exception. That's why the design for Columbia Place, a recently completed, mixed-use development combining a dual-branded hotel, residences and retail with historic buildings in Washington, D.C.'s Shaw District, didn't need to invent a new sense of place. Design and architectural firm COOPER CARRY in collaboration with tvsdesign instead built upon its origins. Striking an artful balance between "then" and "now", Columbia Place blends centuries-old structures with modern living to honor history while also welcoming the next generation. Read on...

Derrick Garrett

Digging deep into many of the complexities of creating successful music architecture solutions, we can move into the future of guest experiences. To me, that means bundling the music content service with the audio and video integration. AV technology today has the potential to be so much more than background music and a screen with static information. There are endless opportunities with the latest technology to drive the guest experience and engagement in innovative and unforgettable ways. Read on...

John Tess

Bill Kimpton formed Kimpton Hotels in the 1980s with the intent to create smaller guest-centric urban properties in older and historic buildings. Conceptually, the company took a three pronged approach with property development, hospitality management and on-property restaurant management. Over the next three decades, the brand expanded nationally and internationally while holding on to its roots. In 2015, IHG acquired the hotel and restaurant management operations, while the development arm became independent. The intent is that the strength of IHG would facilitate expansion of the Kimpton brand, while independence would foster greater returns for the property investors. Read on...

Felicia Hyde

From culinary to cultural to artistic activities, modern day travelers are in search of the "live-like-a-local" experience. Gone are the days where five-star accommodations and best-in-class-service are the must-haves; now, travelers are on the hunt for unique and personalized destinations and the opportunity for cultural immersion. Backed by research, consumers are relating positive travel experiences to destinations that promote self-discovery and activities that fuel the mind, body and soul. With these trends already shaking up multifamily communities nationwide, hoteliers should consider applying the following design strategies to turn their hotel properties into experience-driven destinations. Read on...

David Ashen

Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. For instance, senior living facilities are taking their design cues from the hospitality industry, which is not unlike what we have seen in the development of luxury high rise living in the last decade. David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, relays the ways senior living developers are applying lessons learned from the hotel industry to create unique experiences in the senior living space, using case studies to demonstrate how they are realizing innovative public spaces and programing. Read on...

Lawrence Adams

Hotels and resorts have increasingly become targets of terrorist attacks. Ease of access to facilities that are designed to promote welcoming hospitality to its guests and visitors make securing hotels against attacks a difficult challenge. Terrorist regard hotels and resorts as "target-rich" since guests in luxury lodging are typically affluent and potentially politically influential. Recent attacks emphatically demonstrate that today's hotel and resort security systems need to focus not only on petty criminals and intruders bent on theft, vandalism, arson or personal assaults, but must employ cutting edge technology in early threat detection of potential terrorist attacks. Read on...

Andrew Simmons

Hotels, much like any other consumer product, can differ drastically from one another. While hotels used to attempt to cater to the traveler simply seeking a place to sleep at night, they must now cater to a wide range of demographics with varying needs and wanted elements in a hotel. Leisure travel is becoming increasingly multigenerational, which can be attributed to the changing dynamic of the American household. The hospitality industry is being pushed towards a more inclusive and experiential design, allowing those of all ages and backgrounds to experience and enjoy all that the local environment has to offer. Read on...

David Ashen

In order to compete for market share in the luxury hotel world, owners and operators need to think beyond design and more about experience. What are some things hoteliers should consider in bringing a unique guest stay to life? David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores ways to utilize unusual and bespoke amenities – from VIP backstage experiences to tricked out gear garages -- to differentiate one hotel brand from another and more fully speak the luxury language of today's savvy traveler. Read on...

John Tess

There is a perception that lodging brand standards conflict with the development of historic buildings into hotels. This is more of a past problem than a current one. Well-located downtown land is becoming scarce, hotel brands are getting experienced in working with historic buildings, and market demands are fostering niche-driven brands that seek local connections. One great example is Baton Rouge's Watermark Hotel under Marriott's Autograph brand. This 1925 one-time bank headquarters 12-story skyscraper was transformed into a modern hotel balancing the unique and local qualities of the building with the need for a upscale hotel experience. Read on...

Jerry Merriman

The Statler opened in 1956 as a 1001-room hotel, convention center, and gathering place for the "Who's Who" to lodge when visiting Dallas. Notable guests include Conrad Hilton, Coco Chanel, Liberace, Tony Bennett, The Jackson 5, and Tina Turner. The hotel had its last occupancy in 2001 and was listed on the National Park Service "Top Ten Most Endangered Building" list. After many failed redevelopment attempts, Centurion American acquired The Statler and historically renovated and reimagined the building as a true mixed-use project. The building now features a 159-room Curio Collection hotel and 219 luxury rental apartments and was recently inducted into Historic Hotels of America. Read on...

Derrick Garrett

Just as the days of endless, tasteless buffets are gone from the all-inclusive resort experience, so are the endless, thoughtless playlists that come from the on-property sound systems. The à la carte restaurant approach that has become common place at all-inclusive hotels needs to be applied to music in the hotel industry. We'll take a look at how much music has evolved in the hospitality world and what needs to happen for it to come full circle as part of the branding and upfront story. Music is an important driver when it comes to the guest experience and the bottom line. Read on...

David Ashen

A rising renaissance in the roadside motel has prompted a growing trend in the transformation of the formerly dated designs to reinvented brands for the modern traveler. Building on nostalgia, the millennials' desire for authenticity and romance combined with wanderlust, David Ashen, principal and founder of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, explores some of the more interesting trends in this category, including, for instance, the conversion of a typical Super 8 motel into an independent and funky property offering local and unique experiences that pay homage to the brand's past while highlighting today's conveniences and tastes. Read on...

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Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

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