Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 78

5

3
4
are more aspirational—they want to travel.”
Bickson says the proof is in the numbers.
India has grown from 5.5 million outbound
travelers to 15 million in just 10 years, with hopes
to reach 55 million by 2022. “So it’s good to be
a brand that they are familiar with,” he says.
And he’s making sure the brand resonates with
the other emerging travelers. “In the seventies,
everyone was after the Middle Eastern market;
the eighties, it was all about the Japanese market;
the nineties, the Russian market. Today, it’s the
outgoing Chinese traveler.”
To become a truly global brand, 50 Taj and
Vivanta properties are planned for the next five
years, in as far-reaching places as Morocco (the
brand’s second), China, Phuket, Johannesburg,
Maldives (Taj’s third), Dubai, and Cuba. Plus, Taj
just re-entered the U.S. market—with a splash—
taking over the Pierre in New York to the tune of
a $125 million renovation, and the Ritz-Carlton
in Boston.
Talking luxury, Bickson believes there has
been a decidedly dramatic shift in what guests
are looking for. “Luxury has become more
commoditized in many ways,” he says. “While
the Baby Boomers were growing, and a lot of
times before that even, people stayed in a luxury
hotel because it was an experience they couldn’t
get in their home. But as people became more
sophisticated, they have better things than one
would find in a 3- or 4-Star hotel, and maybe even
the majority of 5-Star hotels. Rather than going
into a hotel to find out what’s new, I think that
the challenge is trying to see what people have in
residential homes today, and how are you going
to find something that’s going to create a new
dimension in the hotel experience.”
For Bickson, first and foremost, that
translates to “location, location, location.” Take
the stunning Taj Lake Palace sprawling across
an entire island in Lake Pichola in Udaipur,

078

March/April 2013 hospitalitydesign.com

or the Vivanta by Taj in Coorg set amid coffee
plantations. And sustainability is key. “It’s not just
good for the environment, it’s good business sense
to look at your carbon footprint and alternative
sources of energy,” he says, noting that with a
112-year-old brand with many legacy properties
that have to be reengineered, it is sometimes
easier said than done. “Right now we are looking
at geothermal, solar, and wind energies, and
rainwater harvesting with a combination of how
we can go into the existing properties. There are
parts of the Indian Ocean that have over two
hundred and twenty-five days of sunshine. So
that would be a solution where we would use part
solar and part wind generation. Geothermal is
something that could be used in both resorts and
metro city destinations, where you would help
offset your costs for chillers and HVAC. And our
safaris are a sustainable tourism model because
we try to help educate the local population about
the endangered species to raise awareness of
protecting these animals.”
Memorable amenities are just as important,
many of which Bickson is mainstreaming
throughout the Taj portfolio. For instance,
when he first joined the company, Taj had six
or so different spa brands at the various hotels.
Realizing that the best spas in the world use
many treatments that originated in India, he
created Jiva (which means “life”), “an Indian
brand that would leverage meditation, yoga,
aromatherapy, and ayurveda around the
authenticity of the spa,” he says, adding that it’s
now the largest spa company in India. “A spa
is today’s bathrobe. If you don’t have a spa, you
aren’t even competing.”
There are also the intangibles: “There’s a
certain expectation that you’re able to customize
the travel experience to each customer according
to what’s important to them. And being able
to translate that through design will make

6
4. The Rehendi
presidential suite at the
Taj Exotica Resort &
Spa, Maldives, is entirely
surrounded by water.

5. The Rambagh Palace in
Jaipur, once home to the
Indian capital’s royalty.

5. The Vivanta by Taj
Bekal, set on 26 acres in
the coastal Indian state
of Kerala.

your brand resonate with that customer, and
hopefully build that relationship that makes a
brand successful, like Louis Vuitton as opposed
to Coach. It’s a different level and one has to
understand the subtlety: that one is a high luxury
product, and one is essentially a commoditized
luxury product.”
He points to the simple example of when a
guest from Frankfurt checks into his room, the
television welcome is in German and the radio
is set to his hometown station. “Customization is
trying to make that customer feel they’re special
and that the hotel has been able to go above and
beyond a regular experience that recognizes
them. It makes that guest experience special
and unique,” he says. ”It’s one thing to talk about
doing it, but to do it, and do it process-wise so
that it’s done across the board systematically
consistently, that’s where design plays a big role.
Look at the Asian brands where guests’ laundry,
newspapers, shoes, and messages don’t even have
to enter their room. There is a door, a closet that
they deliver everything through.”
Though for him, it has been a rewarding—
and learning—experience to dabble in the nonluxury market. “The interesting part is to create
brands that resonate with the guests in regards to
the product that they touch, the services that they
feel, and the price value that they’re willing to
pay. I think it’s about developing global mindsets
in these markets, which have been closed for
many years.” hd


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - March/April 2013

Hospitality Design - March/April 2013
Contents
Online TOC
Projects
From the Editor
People CitySCENE: Atlanta
People CitySCENE: LA
People Design Spain
Perspectives
Sketchbook
Trends: Inns
Interview: Raymond Bickson
5 Questions for Dick Penner
Products
Profile: Lindsey Adelman
Trends: Emerald
Luxury
Bathroom
HD Expo Preview
From the Show Director
Trisha Wilson
Owners’ Roundtable
Jordan Mozer and Michael Cordúa
Radical Innovation
Products
Projects
Macalister Mansion
Alpina Gstaad
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas
Le Sergent Recruteur
Corinthian Club
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Intro
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Hospitality Design - March/April 2013
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 3
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 4
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 5
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 6
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 7
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 8
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 9
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 10
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 11
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 12
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 13
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 14
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 15
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 16
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Contents
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 18
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 19
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 20
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Online TOC
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 22
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 23
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 24
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 25
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 26
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Projects
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 29
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 30
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 31
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 32
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 33
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 34
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 35
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 36
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 37
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - People CitySCENE: Atlanta
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 39
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 40
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 41
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 42
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 43
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - People CitySCENE: LA
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 45
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 46
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 47
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 48
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 49
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - People Design Spain
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 51
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 52
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Perspectives
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 54
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 56
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 57
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 58
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 59
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 60
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 61
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 62
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 63
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 64
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 65
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 66
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 67
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 68
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Trends: Inns
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 70
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 71
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 72
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 73
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 74
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 75
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 76
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Interview: Raymond Bickson
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 78
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 79
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 80
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 81
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 82
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 83
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 5 Questions for Dick Penner
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 85
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 86
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 87
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 88
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Products
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 90
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Profile: Lindsey Adelman
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 92
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Trends: Emerald
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 94
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 95
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 96
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 97
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 98
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 99
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 100
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 101
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 102
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Luxury
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 104
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 105
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 106
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 107
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 108
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Bathroom
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 110
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 111
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 112
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - HD Expo Preview
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - From the Show Director
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 115
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Trisha Wilson
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Owners’ Roundtable
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Jordan Mozer and Michael Cordúa
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Radical Innovation
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Products
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 121
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 122
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 123
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 124
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 125
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 126
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Projects
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Macalister Mansion
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 129
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 130
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 131
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 132
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 133
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Alpina Gstaad
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 135
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 136
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 137
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 139
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 140
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 141
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 143
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 144
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 145
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Le Sergent Recruteur
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 147
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 148
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 149
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Corinthian Club
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 151
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 152
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 153
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 154
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 155
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 156
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 157
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - 158
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - March/April 2013 - Cover4
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