HD Talks

10 Keys to Luxury Today

Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Events, Trends | 0 comments

One of the things that plagues this industry the most (no, not Airbnb) is how luxury is defined. The concept has evolved from gilded ballrooms and butler service to a more experiential way to view the upper echelon of travel.

This was the topic addressed at the Differentiated and Experiential Luxury panel at the 38th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, held in New York earlier this month. Panelists included:  Alan Fuerstman, founder and CEO, Montage Hotels & Resorts; Michael Glennie, president and COO, FRHI Hotels & Resorts; Ben Leahy, managing director, Goldman Sachs; and Homi Vazifdar, managing director, Canyon Equity.


A rendering of the recently announced Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, set to open early next year.

Luxury is a holistic experience that comprises design, experience, and brand recognition that focuses on programming more than everything else. Here are 10 additional insights from the panel about luxury today.

1. Design has to be timeless. Continue reading →

Unexpected Partnerships

Posted by on June 15, 2016 in Projects, Trends | 0 comments

It’s always interesting (and a job perk) to get to see the inner workings of our industry. So, last week, I attended IIDA’s New York Chapter Unexpected Collaborations forum. From food to fitness to technology projects, the message was that the unexpected is what drives guest experience.

Panelists included Jeffrey Beers, founder and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International with Ron Morissette, vice president development and networks for Realisations; Glen Coben, president, Glen & Company with Adam Glickman, head of EVEN Hotels and director of brand experience, lifestyle brands at IHG; and Dino Sanchez, creative director of Brand Bureau (formerly with Frog Design) with Matthew Goodrich, chief creative officer at AvroKO.

Great design is a collaborative process after all, and the discussion offered plentiful takeaways and lessons learned. Here’s more on those successful partnerships.

Collaborators: Realisations, a technology and innovation company, and Jeffrey Beers International
Project: Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel
Process: Design had to engage the Millennial guest by being both intimate and unexpected. Continue reading →

And the Winners Are …

Posted by on June 9, 2016 in Events | 0 comments

Last night, we hosted our 12th annual HD Awards at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York. Every year I say this, and it still remains true: This is hospitality’s Oscars! We changed things up this year and announced the winners at the event. And trust me, it was hard to keep that secret for the past few months.

The moment may seem fleeting to some, over in just a few hours, but we’ve been working on these awards since last December, and our winners and finalists much longer than that. It’s truly a night when we get to see what our industry is capable of and celebrate what makes it so unique, innovative, and interesting. It’s inspiring to see the caliber of design and level of thoughtfulness in both our products and projects finalists and winners.

But before we get to our winners, a bold, all-caps, italicized CONGRATULATIONS to our Best in Show honorees. Continue reading →

Hotel Flashback: The Roosevelt Hotel Celebrates New Orleans

Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Projects | 0 comments

By Mary Beth Klatt

There are few destinations as iconic and legendary as the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. It’s home to the Sazerac cocktail; it’s where presidents, movie stars, and singers stayed; and it survived Hurricane Katrina.


The exterior of the Roosevelt New Orleans

The hotel, originally known as the Grunewald Hotel, opened in December 1893 just in time for the 1984 Mardi Gras season. It became so successful, a 400-room, 14-story annex was opened in 1907. When the hotel was sold in 1923, the new owners wanted to demolish the original hotel, build a new tower the same size as the annex, and redesign the interiors.


The restored lobby with the original chandelier that was hand cleaned.

The new structure, which spanned a city block (and still does), was renamed the Roosevelt Hotel. The property changed hands throughout the following decades, and, in 1965, the 504-room hotel was sold once again and renamed the Fairmont New Orleans. Continue reading →

10 Ways to Engage on Social Media

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in social media, Trends | 0 comments

During HD Expo in Las Vegas earlier this month, Andrew Alford, chief creative officer at Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners (and the designer behind its Graduate Hotels), and Bashar Wali, principal and president of Provenance Hotels in Portland, Oregon discussed the importance of social media in the hospitality world.

Of course, we all can’t be DJ Khaled when it comes to the ubiquitous medium, but owners and designers can find common ground to create social media feeds that are coveted and constantly scanned by their followers. Here are 10 takeaways for taking your social media to the next level.


Bashar Wali and Andrew Alford discuss social media best practices at the Graduate Hotels-inspired Social Hub during HD Expo in May.

1. Traditional advertising has gone the way of the dinosaur. “We’ve become obsessive about designing to social media,” Alford says. “That’s where the real advantage is.”

2. Recognize the people who are posting about your property by retweeting or regramming their feeds. Continue reading →