There’s a reason this magazine is called Hospitality Design. The crux of the brand and what we write about and showcase is how design should be accessible and welcoming; good design should facilitate interaction, community, and evoke some level of comfort—a home away from home (or, for that matter, one better than your own). That welcoming essence of hospitality is what we continually try to capture.
Talk to anyone in the industry, from GMs and front-desk staff to hotel company CEOs and designers, and they’ll tell you the reason they love working in hospitality is because of the guests that check-in and out everyday, as well as the interesting, creative, and diverse set of people they get to work with. Many have worked in the industry all their lives.
A good example of this comes from our February issue. We interviewed two hoteliers: Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of Pendry Hotels, who said his best job remains his first, as the pool boy at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; and Steve Wilson, founder of 21c Museum Hotels, who points out the most rewarding aspect of hotel life is being a part of the guests’ lives. He doesn’t know “how people in hospitality don’t understand how to be hospitable,” he says.
That’s why this weekend, when President Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominately Muslim countries for 90 days and suspending refugee admission for 120 days (refugees from Syria were barred indefinitely), it felt particularly unsettling. Trump, who also happens to be a hotelier, did not practice the very tenets of hospitality that make this industry—and this world—great.
But others in our industry took note and took to Twitter, the medium that has certainly defined this era and this presidency, to oppose the ban. Some even went a step further. They put into practice what we know this industry does best: CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky offered free housing to refugees and a place to stay free of change to anyone not allowed in the U.S., and Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schulz announced he’d hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years.
It was a humbling and disheartening weekend. But a good thing to remember is hospitality is ingrained in all of us—it is the core of who we are. And it’s something those who work in this industry have always known: be kind, open your doors, and welcome everyone.