During The Sleep Event I pottered a short distance to the Business Design Centre to attended a talk called Suppertime. Sadly supper wasn’t included, but we did get a little treat at the end in the form of “edible beauty”…which I haven’t yet opened and am saving for a special occasion, probably not the best idea with perishable goods.
Moderated by the Editor of Supper, a new title for global hotel F&B from the publishers of Sleeper, the session explored how products, produce and personalities interact with design to deliver a coherent guest experience.
The board included Amy Jakubowski – partner & managing director of Puccini Group, Harry McKinley – Editor of Supper, Ido Garini – owner of Studio Appétit, Robbie Bargh – director of Gorgeous Group and Tina Norden – project director at Conran and Partners.
The first point of discussion focused around engaging the local neighbourhood, not just the standard client that you might expect arriving on a business trip, or the couple spending a romantic weekend away.
The local community can support the hotel business immensely if the company provides areas that are of use, such as places to pop in for an afternoon tea, a light dinner or just a coffee whilst catching up on a bit of work.
One example of an excellent hotel who provide that connection (that I ADORE with all my heart!) is Art‘otel, specifically the one in Amsterdam. The different areas such as the cocktail bar, various lounge areas and their restaurant are all open to the public. Their branding is focussed clearly from the bold reception desks to the art above the beds. The curation process has been an art form in itself, and you can clearly see the continuity throughout the building.
Hotel interiors are moving away from the dusty old traditional, (yes, the image above is of giant sperm) and are focussing on capturing audiences so that they stay longer. These spaces need to tell a story that is relevant to the audience, and therefore making them feel part of the local scene.
The branding of a hotel needs to relate throughout, from the soap to the food (not the best juxtaposition, bleurgh sorry) , all at the same high standard; taking care of all those little details.
This got me thinking about the comparison between hotels and our homes; the continuity that you might find in a home with loved items and an overall sense of style, now needs to be reflected in hospitality.
It’s what makes people feel at home and therefore, spend longer in that environment.
Robbie Bargh stated that it was all about “making every day special and combining physical matter with what matters”. Nice.
Amy Jakubowski went on to state that it was “important to be true to the whole creation process” including using real wood for example, as if you don’t pay attention to these details “the cracks will show, quite literally. “You can’t fake authentic.”
Designers of the hotels need to experience these luxury environments too, in order to understand the concepts. I am very lucky indeed to be able to experience these places on a regular basis, through my love of reviewing luxury hotels, restaurants and bars as a writer at CDC Lifestyle. Shameless plug, I know.
So what’s it all about then?
Well, It’s about mixing the comfort of home with the luxurious elements a hotel provides. There needs to be a perfect balance of these two elements to really entice people in, and a design story that guides people through the space without interruption.
All images can be found on my Pinterest board – Hotel Design