Boutique Design - July/August 2009 - (Page 16)

IN THEIR WORDS Global Strategy Hospitality’s most Well-traveled Internationalists on Global Growth and the Evolution of the Hotel Experience INTERVIEWED BY REBECCA GOLDBERG GARY SIMS Executive Vice President, Desires Hotels International 1. Briefly tell us about yourself and your company? Desires Hotels International is a newly created division of Tecton Hospitality/Desires Hotels, one of the leading hotel management companies in the U.S for the past 25 years. I have recently joined the organization to lead our expansion in the international markets. My experience includes 30 years in the hospitality industry in operations, marketing, brand development and international development for several companies: AIRCOA, Doubletree Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts. Debbie Franke Photography, Inc Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis 2. When did you first become involved in global hotel development? During the past four years I have developed over 20 hotel projects with Nikki Beach Hotels and Asmayda Holding Group in locations such as Caribbean, Panama, Honduras, Portugal, Cape Verde, Thailand, Dubai and Qatar. 3. How has the international hotel industry changed in the last five years? For the most part we have experienced the fact that the international hospitality industry is moving away from family owned and operated hotels and now they are in need of a global management company to assist them in the marketing and operations of their projects. 4. Which locations are still developing despite the economy? We are still seeing some forward development in several areas around the world such as Colombia, Nigeria, India and China. These are markets that have always been short of hotel room supply and development continues despite the current economic situation. 5. For the projects that are going through, have new design trends developed? What we are finding is that the design concepts are constantly being improved upon. Over the past several years we have seen the trend swing heavy into the ultra chic minimalistic “W”-esque style and now we are experiencing a movement back towards a comfortable and functional design mode that speaks to the location heritage and culture while still bringing a stylistic flavor to the design. 6. Is sustainability important, or gaining ground? Absolutely! Being green and sustainable is no longer an option; it is a requirement in every part of the world. 7. What types of hotels are strong internationally — boutiques, resorts, urban? What we are experiencing is properties that are targeted to the specific market demands…in Nigeria it is focused on full service business projects while in Colombia and India it is the boutique projects which are moving forward. There is very little development in the resort sector at this time. 8. Thoughts on the future? I believe that everyone knows that we will exit this current economic downturn at some point in the near future and the “smart” developers and hotels owners are using this time to position themselves for great success during the upturn. In addition, I believe that owners and developers now realize that they must have a qualified professional management company to operate their hotels which creates a lot of opportunities for Desires Hotels International. 16 • boutique DESIGN july/august 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - July/August 2009

Boutique Design - July/August 2009
Boutique Buzz
Photos from YLH Las Vegas
Snaps from the Boutique 18 Bash
Hotel Designers, Owners and Operators Speak to International Design and Development Trends
Banyan Tree Mayakoba Fuses Cultures without Missing a Beat
Celeste Cooper Creates a New ‘Comfort’ Inn, The Inn @ St. Botolph
Business Sense
GKV Architects Design the Ultimate Bathing Experience, an In-room Spa in Istanbul
ICRAVE Takes its Experiental Design Style Global
Point of View
Wanda Jankowski Interviews WATG’s Meagan Jacobi
The Best of ICFF
The Goods
Calendar/Advertisers Index

Boutique Design - July/August 2009