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A Bus to Remember

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Events

We are always looking for different ways to connect people in this industry, and last year I dreamt up the idea of putting 50 people on a bus to tour the newest and greatest in New York (I mean the double-deckers in the city are always packed) with insight from the creative minds behind them. I wasn’t sure if others would find it as much fun as I hoped it would be, but it turned out to be a hit. This year we were at it again, this time in Brooklyn (full disclosure: I live there and selfishly wanted to show off the cool places in my hood) and three amazing projects. Two are HD Awards finalists, and all were featured in the recent issue of HD.

Thank you to our sponsors: Bernhardt Hospitality, Brizo, Durkan, Jaclo, Kevin Barry Fine Art, Kravet Contract, P/Kaufmann Contract, Preciosa, RH Contract, Samuelson, and Walters, for making it a great day. Continue reading →

Notes from ALIS

Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Events

With roughly 3,100 attendees at this year’s ALIS conference (that stands for the Americas Lodging Investment Summit)—a record attendance for the annual event in Los Angeles since the heyday of 2008—it was clear the industry is faring well. How well though was the question at hand. Here are three takeaways from my three days there.

The buzzing lobby at the JW Marriott Los Angeles Live, the host of ALIS

1.  It seemed most people were optimistically cautious about the year ahead—in part thanks to the uncertain political climate and the industry making what many are calling a “soft landing.” During the Standing by the Numbers panel, Jan Freitag, senior vice president of STR, shared that we are in our 82nd month of RevPAR growth; RevPAR grew 3.2 percent in the U.S. in 2016, and he predicted 2017 would see a 2.5 percent uptick for “slow but steady” growth. 2016 occupancy was slightly up (0.2 percent) to 66.7 percent, and last year the industry experienced record-setting occupancy numbers. Continue reading →

The Presidential Effect

Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Events
The exterior of Trump Hotel International Washington, D.C., a $200 million renovation of the Old Post Office, with architecture by Beyer Blinder Belle and interiors by HBA

The exterior of Trump Hotel International Washington, D.C., a $200 million renovation of the Old Post Office, with architecture by Beyer Blinder Belle and interiors by HBA

After what is being called the most controversial campaign in U.S. history, Donald Trump’s surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton for the presidency was a great shock to more than half the voters (insert nationwide protests and Hillary’s winning of the popular vote), but also a positive outcome for some 59 million others in what is being called a “whitelash” in response to the status quo. There are many unknowns in terms of his policies (especially on immigration and social issues), but as reality sets in, the travel industry is starting to predict/respond to what the first hotelier as POTUS means for the next four years for tourism and growth—some are positive, others less so. As we at HD take our time to do a deeper dive (look for more soon at hospitalitydesign.com), we have gathered some key points and thoughts from other media outlets. Continue reading →

When in Spain

Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Events, Products

As I mention in my August edit letter (look out for our annual Products issue next week), I recently returned from a trip with Interiors from Spain to visit the showrooms and factories of a few of the Spanish manufacturing companies. There, I (along with a group of designers) got an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how their products—furniture, lighting, stone—were made, and the hours and attention to detail that went into handcrafting these beautiful pieces. It was an eye-opening experience, and one that made me (and the entire group for that matter) truly appreciate the products that make hospitality spaces truly special.

I asked a few of the designers to weigh in on their experience. Below are their comments, and photos (both theirs and mine) that capture the various visits throughout the week-long journey through Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.

“Aside from the wonderful opportunities we were given to experience Spanish cuisine and culture, my favorite part of the trip was connecting with these companies and seeing the manufacturing process. Continue reading →

A Bus Ride to Remember

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Events, Projects

At HD, we are always trying to come up with new, innovative ways to connect people. Our latest and greatest, SiteSeeing, was no different. One bus, one city (New York), three hotel site tours (current or past HD Awards honorees), seven hours, and 55 people? No problem.

We all met at the newly opened Time Hotel, owned and operated by the Dream Hotel Group, and designed by Rockwell Group. First order of business: lunch at Serafina, where we dined on bruschetta, calamari, pasta, and salmon. Obviously we needed fuel for the rest of the day. Afterwards, we went up to the penthouse level, where Brendan McNamara from Dream gave us an overview of the property. From there, Garrett Antin of Rockwell Group talked us through the design—all based around the idea of time—as we toured the spectacular three-level penthouse, a guestroom and suite on the 8th floor, and the second floor lobby. Continue reading →