Boutique Design - January/February 2017 - 50
boutiquedesign.com JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2017
6 Four Seasons' R&D lab
has plenty of space for
designers to test out
3D versions of modular
7 At the M Beta at Charlotte
Marriott City Center hotel, the
hotelier has installed a series of
"beta buttons" to gauge guest
response to new features.
COUR TE S Y OF FOUR SE A SONS HOTEL S AND RE SOR TS (R&D L AB);
C O U R T E S Y O F M A R R I O T I N T L . ( M B E TA )
Meantime, last fall, Marriott Hotels (the hotelier's flagship
brand) opened what it dubbed the M Beta at Charlotte Marriott
City Center, a working hotel that doubles as an innovation lab
showcasing the brand's latest concepts. Those offerings include the
LG Studio, the first iteration of a new partnership between the
hotel and appliance brand that features an LG-equipped kitchen in
the hotel's meeting space, and the Flex Fitness program, which
gives guests access to on-demand group and personal workouts
via screens in the hotel's fitness studio and guest rooms. After
trying out those features and others, users can grade them by
pressing a set of "beta buttons." The information gleaned from that
input is aggregated and presented in real time via digital screens,
as well as online.
"We are inviting guests to be part of the innovation and decision
making," says Mike Dearing, managing director, Marriott Hotels. (As
this issue went to press, Marriott announced it was opening a pop-up
lab featuring design innovations for the hotelier's Aloft and Element
brands. The lab was housed in a tent near the JW Marriott at L.A.
Live during the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).)
These incubators are just one of many ways that hoteliers are
seeking to assess how advances in digital technology will impact
hotel environments in the years to come. For the designers of such
spaces, that means "innovate or die" is more than a catchphrase-
it's an imperative.
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