Boutique Design - May 2017 - 30
Founder, Shade hotelS
Lifestyle masterminds need clarity and focus-but who said that had to
mean mono-vision? Zislis, the founder of the southern California-based
Shade Hotels flag, is a fan of both KISS (he's part of the team behind Gene
Simmons and Paul Stanley's Rock & Brews franchise) and a K.I.S.S.
approach to hospitality design (check out the straightforward, timeless
styling of the two Shade Hotels).
Like the band, he's a total showman who's brazenly forged his meteoric
success on the strength of both hard work-the entrepreneur started out as a
brewer and logged a lot of his own hours creating those brews and manning
the taps-and just a little shock-rock attitude. His hoppin' career started with
a beer kit bought in high school that Zislis told his parents was a school
project. But even after dozens of restaurants under his own flags, such as
Rock n' Fish and Brewco, and that of Rock & Brews, Rock & Brews' first
casino and two Shade Hotels, he's still big on the basics. His preferred method
of consumer research is spending time in his hotels and restaurants to get
real-time client feedback. Here's what's top of mind for Zislis.
WHAT'S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
ZISLIS: The bottom line counts. Design is not successful unless it is finan-
cially successful. I look for designers who understand the environment and
nuances of our coastal locations, as well as recognize the key elements of
the brand. I invest in timeless design features that complement the needs
and ambiance of the community that I'm building in.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT COST-CONSCIOUS DESIGN DOESN'T
ZISLIS: A bulletproof design doesn't have to be bland, it just needs to endure
in high-volume spaces. So, you can't have plaster corners or easily damaged
bathroom walls; surfaces need to be tile or stone. You can still have some
crazy ideas, too-tubs on guest room patios or in the middle of a room.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A DESIGNER AND HOW DO YOU WANT
THEM TO SERVE UP THAT CONCEPT?
I'm open to new ideas and suggestions, but I want a designer who understands
the vision and can grasp the experience I want to provide our guests.
WHAT'S THE SECRET SAUCE TO MAKING GUESTS FEEL LIKE THEIR STAY
IS TRULY PERSONALIZED?
ZISLIS: Make the whole hotel work for each guest! The Shade Hotel brand
builds upon a modular system knowing that we can reconfigure our spaces
to meet our customers' needs. We include complete flexibility in our design
to easily accommodate what our guests want, such as converting meeting
rooms into private dining rooms or transforming the pool deck to a beautiful outdoor event space.
ZISLIS: More Shade Hotels in California and the continued expansion of the
Rock & Brews franchise. We have 10 more Rock & Brews opening this year.
boutiquedesign.com may 2017
5 Varied seating heights
allow for more flexibility
in the bar area, whether
guests are there for a
meal or a glass of wine.
6 Built-ins make for an
efficient layout and
time per room.
COURTESY OF SHADE HOTEL S
ZISLIS: We like to see mood boards and 3D models when looking for a designer.