Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 76

perspectives

interview

5 questions for…
Niki Leondakis
President and COO, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
What has Kimpton been up to?
We’ve had a number of new hotels to celebrate in the last couple of years. We opened new hotels in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The rst half of 2011 is looking good as well, with the addition of Hotel La Jolla in San Diego and the Surfcomber South Beach. In the pipeline, there’s the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia and Palomar Phoenix. We’ve also updated many of our guestrooms, given facelifts to some meeting spaces, and even structurally expanded one of our hotels.

What do guests want today?
Today’s traveler wants a cheat sheet to the city. Guests want to know about tucked-away speakeasies and underground art communities; they want to know what the local experience is—the unwritten truth. It’s an exciting shift for our employees, as well, as they are proud to be the cultural ambassadors of their city. We help travelers live like a local, offering tailored recommendations from staff picks to one-of-a-kind experiences. We also have retail therapists—employees who offer our savvy shopper guests customized itineraries for nding the hideaway boutiques.

So it’s all about giving them a sense of place. Is that true on the restaurant front as well?
We’re seeing that today’s traveler has an expectation of a high-quality, locally revered restaurant experience that is equal to or better than the best freestanding restaurants in that locale. That is a part of the one-to-one boutique experience and we continue to create one-of-a-kind, chef-led restaurants that are speci cally designed around the neighborhood and community they are located in.

Kimpton has always been a leader in sustainability. Have any new initiatives been implemented?
All of our eco-friendly initiatives fall under the Kimpton EarthCare umbrella, which encompasses everything from the 100-plus eco-friendly practices and products instituted in our properties to our environmental partnerships to our commitment with third-party certi cations. Our partnership with Energy Star helps us measure our energy conservation performance, set goals, and track savings. On average, we save annually $25,000 per hotel due to recycling efforts; $30,000 per hotel due to energy ef ciency; and $20,000 per hotel due to low- ow water systems.

You are married to Bob Puccini of the Puccini Group, who has designed many restaurants for Kimpton. What’s the secret to working together for all these years?
Bob and I both motivate and challenge each other. We also both share a passion for travel and bene t from seeing hotels and restaurants across the globe through each other’s eyes. Sharing these experiences adds another dimension to each of our perspectives on our industry.


http://www.roomthreesixty.com http://www.roomthreesixty.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - July 2011

Hospitality Design - July 2011
Contents
Online Contents
From the Editor
From the Show Director
People
People
People
Sketchbook
Interview
Interview
Interview
Profile
IIDA/HD Awards
Tabletops
It’s All Relative
Back Space
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Hospitality Design - July 2011
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 1
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 2
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 3
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 4
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 5
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 6
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 7
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 8
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Contents
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 10
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Online Contents
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 12
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 13
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 14
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 15
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 17
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - From the Show Director
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 19
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 20
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - People
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Sketchbook
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 58
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Interview
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 82
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Profile
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 84
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - IIDA/HD Awards
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 96
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Tabletops
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 98
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 99
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 100
Hospitality Design - July 2011 - It’s All Relative
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Hospitality Design - July 2011 - Back Space
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