on June 25, 2014 in
on June 18, 2014 in
While the sessions at HD’s NextGen Forum two weeks ago in Chicago were inspiring, it was the Owners’ Roundtable, sponsored by RH Contract, that was truly enlightening. We at HD constantly cover trends and postulate about the future of the industry, but it’s another thing altogether to have leading hoteliers, owners, managers, and more, talking about these topics (and others) with candor.
I am naturally curious so I found a seat at the table in the W Chicago City Center ballroom and hoped to blend in—learning through observation. Yet, the journalist got the better of me, so of course I found time to ask some of questions, too. In fact, here are some key points I overheard at NextGen’s Owners’ Roundtable:
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- Sam Suleman, vice president of development and operations at Equinox Hospitality, asked a startling question when he first sat down at our table: Are online travel agencies (OTAs) signaling the end of the brand?
on June 12, 2014 in
While the hospitality industry is diverse in a lot of aspects, its lack of female leadership in C-level positions is conspicuous. If we listened to Beyonce, like we all should, we’d know who runs the world: Girls.
Indeed, the hospitality industry is rife with opportunities for women—from designers to food-service worker to managerial positions and more. And one of those women who continues to climb the hospitality ladder is Niki Leondakis—a feminist icon (at least to me), an innovator in hospitality, and a strong leader. Starting her career at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, she worked her way to president and COO, helping expand the Kimpton brand. Now, as CEO of Commune Hotels + Resorts, Leondakis is a critical asset in the hotel’s growth, helping launch the new Tommie brand as well as growing the Joie de Vivre and Thompson brands.
Commune Hotels + Resorts CEO Niki Leondakis sits down with Hospitality Design magazine’s Stacy Shoemaker Rauen during the HD NextGen forum. Continue reading →
on June 5, 2014 in
The New York Hilton Midtown is known as much for its storied past as it is for its guestrooms and meeting spaces. Lucille Ball lived there. The Beatles stayed at the hotel before their career-making performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. John Lennon wrote “Imagine” in a guestroom.
Indeed, travelers coming to New York expect awe-inspiring experiences. As a recent transplant from Cleveland, I found that the large skyscrapers and constantly alive city can both overwhelm and excite. But how does a hotel, enveloped by its history, stay relevant in a city that rejects the status quo? With the help of Dallas-based Looney & Associates, the Hilton Midtown completed its first phase of renovations, refurbishing 187 guestrooms and 41 suites on five floors.
It definitely is a sight to behold as managing editor Katie Kervin and I had the chance to tour the renovated rooms along with other journalists for a media event this week. Continue reading →
on May 28, 2014 in
I have never been to an awards ceremony before. Of course, I’ve done my share of watching them on TV and live-tweeting them, but I’ve never sat in an auditorium amongst the very talented and well-deserving people. Luckily, that all changed with last night’s 10th annual Hospitality Design Awards ceremony at the Grand Hyatt New York. The event, sponsored by Durkan and Interiors from Spain, celebrated our deserving finalists and winners, who are also featured in our June issue.
Although winners and finalists had been announced beforehand, there were some small surprises: emcee and Hospitality Design magazine’s Editorial Director Michael Adams’s music choices for each finalist and winner was one; raffling off an all-expense paid trip to Spain (courtesy of Interiors from Spain) was another; and most importantly, the much coveted Best of Show award was announced.
Editorial director Michael Adams and managing editor Katie Kervin warm up the crowd during the 10th annual Hospitality Design Awards. Continue reading →
When I moved to New York from Cleveland a few months ago, I vowed I would be a real adult and hang art on the walls, own matching furniture, and create a design aesthetic that would mimic an Anthropologie catalogue. Yet, upon my arrival to my boyfriend’s apartment, those dreams quickly faded. Instead, a hodgepodge of found objects, items left behind from his former roommate, and furniture from my parents litter our apartment. So much for whimsy; our apartment is more of an island for lost Ikea furniture.
So, when I was tasked with being the point person for Hospitality Design’s Social Hub at this year’s HD Expo, I wasn’t sure what to expect. For months I had been working with our exhibitors to see if they would be able to donate furniture that corresponded with the vision of Morgans Hotel Group, and luckily they pulled through. (A very special and appreciative thank you to our social hub sponsors: Arteriors, Bernhardt, Design Within Reach, D’style, Durkan, Kalisher, Palecek, Restoration Hardware, and Valley Forge Fabrics.)
And I thought that was the hard part. Continue reading →