NEWH - November 2003 - (Page 42)

approaching the design of a boutique hotel… by: Nancy Bohnett International Woodwork Corporation Accommodations in lodging have always been directed with the guest and basic needs in mind. As the lodging industry grew, so did competition and the desire of each Hotel to single themselves out from the others. The brand name, reputation, location or special guests that it serviced usually identified the Hotel. With the increased ease of travel, Hotels now offer additional guest room amenities, yet not much has changed with design. The typical room marketed today still remains roughly the same size - 350 to 400 square feet - which is driven by necessity. It was rare to visit a lodging facility that has gone outside the boundaries of a “typical” lodging design, yet, boutiques were just waiting to happen. These properties offered unique elements that were almost considered strange...or too expensive for the typical guest. Photo courtesy of Wimberly Allison Tong + Goo Over time, brand hotels started to provide a more intimate guest experience, yet, they did not vary much from property to property. Each brand offered its own color and theme-related experience, yet uniquely, the service was the independent factor that personalized each property. The brands were locked into the “why mess with success,” thus little change occurred within the design and direction of the interiors. Over time, the guests’ level of sophistication had increased, and so did the demands on the designer and the associated spaces. This ultimately 42 created the desire and market for unique environments. Hotel owners realized the need to offer the guest an unexpected treat and experience which meant their loyalty in return. As one looks at the growing Boutique Hotel market, we recognize that many brand Hotels do not believe that change is necessary. In sharing designer’s views on the cross over from brands to Boutiques, I welcomed the input from three design firms and their involvement with recent boutique projects. Each client and approach is different, although there is a common thread of wanting to create an emotional connection with the guest. Jim Gueguierre at Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG) shares a unique property within the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore, with 40 guestrooms and lobbies within the 850 room business hotel. The services fueled the Boutique atmosphere and accommodated the guest with twenty-four hour chauffeur and concierge service, an outdoor pool with underwater sound system, business center, conference facilities, spa and fitness center - all on one floor of the Hotel and shared by two dedicated lobbies incorporating original Pacific Rim artwork. These accommodations are considered to be the best in the Southeast Asia, and highly sought after by International guests who appreciate their elegance and impact. WATG’s focus was not in appealing to the broadest possible number of guests, but to the individual comfort of a relatively small number of discriminating and technologically savvy travelers; they should feel as if their needs and likes are being personally addressed. The need that they did not want to overlook was to accommodate ample workspace within the guestroom, using comfortable task chairs. In accommodating the practical expectations of the sophisticated business executives, they equally acknowledged the self-indulgences like a six-head shower and other various creature comforts. Tonya Burke, Wilson and Associates, shared with us the excitement of being involved with the Little Dix Bay Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands, a Rosewood Hotels property. The emphasis to create a sense of place, and a sense of home was accomplished with

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - November 2003

NEWH - November 2003
Letter From the Editor
Hospitality News
On the Road Again... IHM&RS Show
Tips on Specs... Guestroom Lighting
Spotlight on the UK
Spotlight on Greater New York
Random Thoughts... Designing Today’s Boutique
Boutique Chain – Is It an Oxymoron?
Developing Boutique Hotels in Historic Structures
Unique Boutiques... The Story of Watertown
Approaching the Design of a Boutique Hotel
What Sets a Boutique Apart from the Rest?
Simplifying CEU’s
Small Business Advice
Industry Partner Education
Sources & Credits

NEWH - November 2003