i + D - July/August 2020 - 28

Gensler took cues from the local
heritage and landscape for the interiors
of Hotel San Luis Obispo.
(Image: Tanveer Badal)

Open with Caution
Hotel San Luis Obispo had only been open for a few months
before the pandemic began, but it got a good response from
travelers right off the bat. "People were blown away and loved
the space," says Circe Sher, co-founder of Piazza Hospitality,
which owns and operates Hotel SLO. "Until that point, lodging
options had been fairly traditional in San Luis Obispo, California,
and this property was a completely different style and
experience." The 78-room hotel incorporates original art into the
architecture and references to the past-particularly the area's
Chinese heritage-into the otherwise modern aesthetic.
Hotel SLO had to close its doors in March but in late May
was given the go-ahead from the local government to reopen
with stringent health and safety protocols. Employees were
trained and alterations were made throughout the facility
to ensure that guests were safe and employees protected.
Fortunately, the hotel's design is spacious and open, which
made it easy to reorganize furniture into appropriately socially
distant arrangements. "We had a lot of fun creating a detailed
signage program for stuff like elevator capacity, six-feet distance
stickers, and reminding guests to wear masks," says Sher. "We
also put up plexiglass partitions, designed handmade masks
for our staff, and created single-use menus as well as QR codes
that people could access with their phones to read menus."

28
378_022_i+D-July_August_v1.indd 28

And indeed, the guests started to arrive. "A lot of people are taking
California drive trips along Highway 101, and they're making
San Luis Obispo a stop along the way," says Sher. "We've been on
the radar of the design-conscious younger demographic, but I think
even the older clientele we've had feel really safe in this hotel because
of its design and how spacious it is."
The one thing that still remained closed as of press time was Hotel SLO's
Sol Spa, which has quickly become known for its beautiful salt sauna in
the locker rooms and mud scrubs that the guests can design with different
herbs. The management hopes to reopen in August with elements like
sanitizing aromatherapy, custom-designed face shields to go over the
massage tables, and limited bookings and services. Fortunately, one of
the factors in the original design of the spa was the use of materials that
are easily cleanable-for instance, instead of drapery, dropped panels and
window films offer privacy but can simply be wiped clean-which will make
it easier for Sol Spa to practice sanitation procedures.
The first consideration for any resort, luxury hotel, or spa as government
shutdown orders relax is, "how do I get my doors back open, and how
do I get my teams and the guests back in safely?" says Jennifer Findlay.
Among the changes that Core Essence's clients are starting to make is
using contactless systems for booking, completing forms, and processing
payments. They're also implementing medical-grade standards of care
and hygiene and taking a hard look at new protocols for laundry or disposal
of personal protective equipment (PPE).

i+D - July/August 2020

20-07-30 18:56



i + D - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i + D - July/August 2020

Contents
i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover1
i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover2
i + D - July/August 2020 - 3
i + D - July/August 2020 - 4
i + D - July/August 2020 - 5
i + D - July/August 2020 - Contents
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i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover3
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