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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

With Brexit Looming, The UK Hospitality Industry Must Invest To Retain Talent, Study Suggests

hoteldesigns.net ·13 November 2018
With two-thirds of hospitality works planning on quitting their jobs in the near-future, but what can be done ahead of Brexit to retain employees? Invest in your staff in order to retain them is the clear message to employers in the hospitality industry in light of new research from Caterer.com. A survey of 21,000 global hospitality workers released today reveals that two thirds (65 per cent) of hospitality workers plan on quitting their jobs in the near future. Worryingly, over half of those workers (59 per cent) plan on moving in the next six months.The research explored the key attributes which tempt hospitality workers to explore new pastures. Findings demonstrate that career progression is the most important factor (16 per cent) showing employees want long term prospects within a company. Surprisingly, salary (14 per cent) came in second, followed closely by training & development (13 per cent) - showing staff want to feel invested in by their employers."The industry is facing increased staffing and recruitment pressures due in part to uncertainty ahead of Brexit."

Risking GDPR Penalties By Not Wiping The Memory From Old It Equipment

hoteldesigns.net ·19 October 2018
Despite GDPR legislation having come into effect over four months ago, the majority of UK hospitality businesses are now risking penalties by failing to adhere to some of the rules.According to a survey of 1,002 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by Probrand.co.uk, a large proportion (45%) of businesses in the hospitality industry failed to wipe the data from IT equipment they disposed of in the two months following GDPR.This news is perhaps less surprising given the research also found that 97% of hospitality businesses surveyed did not have an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment. What's more, 97% of hospitality workers admit they wouldn't even know who to approach within their company in order to correctly dispose of old or unusable equipment.Worryingly, according to the data, hospitality businesses are one of the industries most likely not to wipe existing data off old IT equipment.

Radisson SAS Hotels in Scotland lead the way in Sustainable Tourism | hoteldesigns.co.uk

hoteldesigns.net ·25 November 2008
The Radisson SAS Hotel, Edinburgh has been awarded the Scottish Thistle Award for Sustainable Tourism, Scotland's top honour for tourism businesses. Created by Visit Scotland in 1991, these awards showcase business excellence and quality and it was the hotel's notable approach to sustainable business that that won them this accolade. Just 24 hours earlier, the Radisson SAS Hotel, Glasgow was awarded the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Award for Sustainable Development.

The Sleep 08 Event: a Personal Review | By Lorraine Cunliffe

hoteldesigns.net ·25 November 2008
On the 4th and 5th November, Sleep 08 made its debut in the Business Design Centre (BDC), London moving from its previous Old Billingsgate haunt. The move was due to an increase in demand from suppliers to exhibit which was apparent from the increase in exhibitors (202 for 2008 from the 2007 exhibitor list of just 120 companies). Many of HotelDesigns' Directory companies were there to dazzle potential clients with their new ranges, many of which have been reported in various news articles in the months and weeks leading up to the event in Industry News. It was Wednesday 5th November that Jenny and I attended the show (leaving Patrick to enjoy a day to himself on the Tuesday) and relished the opportunity to finally put faces to all those names in our Directory...
Article by Patrick Goff

Hotel Design: Cape Town prepares for the World Cup

hoteldesigns.net ·22 April 2007
Rather like the UK with the Olympics, the preparations for the World Cup in Cape Town are being marked by bickering, protest and court cases. The building of a new stadium is the major cause of debate, but also causing problems are the demands of FIFA for the booking of rooms by organised parties of fans, and by the need for suitable accommodation for the millionaires that make up football teams these days. The World Cup is seen by the UN World Tourist Organisation as an opportunity to showcase South Africa under the slogan 'Win in Africa with Africa'. UNWTO's Francesco Frangialli said: "the world cup constitutes an opportunity that the countries of the region can seize in order to obtain the maximum socio-economic, promotional and cultural benefits. It should also contribute to the strengthening of the image of Africa".
Article by Patrick Goff

Using Design To Leverage Profitability

hoteldesigns.net · 9 May 2006
Schrager or Hempel may lay claim to have introduced the first boutique hotels, but this is not a claim that stands up to any serious examination. What both Hempel and Schrager did was produce idiosyncratically styled hotels, fashion icons that captured a moment in the historical evolution of hotel concepts. If boutique means less than 100 rooms, individual contemporary design, modern (in its time) then maybe Bob Lush got there first with the much copied North Lakes Gateway in Lancashire in the mid 1970's, or perhaps Schrager and Hempel were just the first to crank up the pr machine to sell design rather than just the service the hotel offered? Maybe good idiosyncratic design goes back even further, to the Swan in 1600, in the Seattle of its day, Lavenham in Suffolk. Or maybe it was a new seaside hotel in 1860 as the steam age took the first package holiday makers to the English Riviera as the industrial revolution brought the first form of mass travel and ushered in the railway age and the resort hotel. Maybe there were articles on hotel design in the papers then, but design was not a mass obsession in the way it is now, as society was less urban than now, rooted in different concerns and rhythms.With our preoccupation with media in these days of newspapers, magazines and television the exposure that can be gained for a new hotel makes it difficult to read an objective comparison historically. This leads to history being forgotten, and of course history forgotten is doomed to be repeated. Innovation is a pursuit of design, and as such happens regularly, cyclically, frequently reinventing the wheel and these days in the full glare of the spotlights.Until the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century most hotels would have been the product of artisans and craftsmen, often developing their fittings from traditional domestic pieces. Design as a discipline grew out of the establishment of art schools (Bauhaus, Royal College) and the debate about the relationship between craft and machine production. The development of hotels, too, paralleled these innovations with the creation of Browns hotel in 1837 being hailed as the 'first luxury hotel in London'. This distinguished it from previous commercial hotels which grew out of English Inns or boarding houses, Gasthaus in Germany or Pensions in France. In a subversive way the continued existence of these 'vernacular' hotels in Europe has created a range of individually and idiosyncratically designed hotels, a parallel universe of 'boutique' hotels of which the Christian Lacroix Hotel du Petit Moulin in Paris (featured in HotelDesigns Industry News columns recently) is an example.Andrea Dawson Sheehan of Dawson Design has observed that "as designers we want to push the envelope". Boutique hotels are hotels in which the designer has been allowed to "push the envelope" by a "smart sophisticated client". Why doesn't this happen everywhere? Often because of the influence of 'bean counters' who want to minimise risk, and in all envelope pushing there is risk. Playing safe is inimical to good design, which like all creative processes is about the balance of risks. Design is also about challenging the status quo, defying 'rules' to create new styles, whilst for branded hotels of course the branding is in fact a set of rules to be obeyed by designer and operator. The boutique hotel has become a playground for owners and designers alike, as owners seek to use design to leverage profitability. Chains too are recognising that design sells and are trying to introduce higher design values to their properties (witness the 'W' brand) whilst the rising standards of design within brands is also forcing the 'boutique' into more extreme definitions of that niche (underwater hotels for example).Yet, and yet even within rules an original or creative mind can find new ways of playing the game. The challenge for designers is to make all hotels boutique, with high design values whilst playing to brand standards.The Swan, Lavenham, Suffolk Hotel du Petit Moulin Paris by fashion designer Christian LaCroix
Article by Patrick Goff

Design & Branding: Setting the Standards

hoteldesigns.net ·12 January 2006
Designers generally go through college learning the fundamentals of design such as the use of human proportion in Georgian architecture, or the use of the Golden Section. Such 'rules' underpin much of good design but good design is often driven by reaction against the taught and the perceived wisdom of a previous generation.Designers work to a brief and the brief also acts as a constraint to be kicked against. It can also become a yardstick to judge the quality of the design solution. Any argument about how effective or striking a piece of design is pales into insignificance if it fails to make money. Any analysis conducted should look at the roots of such failure, which can be down to a poor brief as often as to poor design.Brand operators tend to be more experienced in this area than the independent owner. With an independent hotel owner the breadth of experience of the design practice may lead to the brief being defined cooperatively. Brands, however, have defined standards for their offering, trying to be a known quality to the guest. It is the strength of the brand hotels that they supposedly offer the same quality of experience across their global room stock.The trick for any brand is to define the standard but not to stifle innovation. The brands need to ensure the expectation of the guest is satisfied but also that the 'wow' factor and sense of theatre the best hotels have is also there. This needs clear criteria for how a room is presented to the guest and what it must contain to meet the brand standards. Such definitions are often a part of the franchise documentation, which may start with architectural standards (square footage devoted to the bedroom for example) and proceed to set performance criteria for the furnishing items in the room.The list for a Hilton brand document runs through dozens of pages. Whilst in Europe the group uses some 20 design practices, the constant in all the design work is the control exercised by design leader Neil Worrell through the brief and the standards documents. The design solutions are also filtered through the presentation to Neil and his Technical Director. The list does not prevent innovative design solutions, but it does ensure that the design solutions presented meet the technical requirements of the group.So what should such a list contain? The criteria for inclusion should be under constant revision from feedback from the guest experience. Awareness of the competition, understanding of technical innovation elsewhere, and the guest experience in their home environment should also feature. Examples of technical innovations that fill many homes and which hotels are struggling to keep up with are the flat screen television and broadband internet. Developments in bathrooms too are changing the nature of the hotel room experience. So what would my list contain, for example, at the five star levels? Listed below are elements of the bathroom I would include taken from a number of five star hotels in the last year:Cleanliness in fact and appearanceUnder floor heating in marble floored bathroomsHeated towel rails (often missing in the US but a warm towel is such a luxury)Waterproof TV's in the shower or at the end of the bathtubSeparate shower from the tub, with body jets and a rain headA bidetA proper bathtub, perhaps a roll top in cast ironHis'n'her wash hand basinsGenerous areas for layout of cosmetics, shaving tackle and wash bagsFog free mirrorsGood white lighting, variable for a different bathing experienceIn suites maybe a steam room/shower or a two seater whirlpool bath with holders for the champagne glasses A wash line (pullout variety)Grab rails in the shower & bathElectric razor socket (amazing this gets missed, but it does)Well thought out toiletriesI could go on, but this will do as an example. It shows clearly enough, I think, the kind of criteria that can make up into a substantial set of design guidelines when repeated through out the hotel spaces but without dictating the finishes used, colour or style.Designers will complain such lists inhibit their creativity. I contend that the challenge such lists presents brings out the best of their creativity and can lead to genuine innovation and continually rising standards for the one who matters most in this whole branding equation, which is the guest.Hotelier and designer may indulge in discussion and debate as to what branding means and how best to implement brand standards. The irritant of a tight brief may force the designer to produce a gem of a solution. But such pearls are rare because fearful of change, clients often want a totally predictable look, whilst designers fear losing a client and play safe. Both would do well to remember the Guest, who pays for theatre and excitement. Neither should forget the Golden Rule he who has the Gold, Rules.
Article by Patrick Goff

Minimalism or Maximalism?

hoteldesigns.net ·16 December 2005
The desire (by hotelier and designer) to make a design 'statement' can overwhelm any sense of functionality. Thus in one hotel a designer shortened all the chairs in the restaurant, lowering the seats and tables to make eating a more 'laid back' experience. You had to lay back with your legs stretched out in front of you because to do different was to sit with your knees approaching your chin, doing dreadful things to the digestive tract. Laid back maybe, but ergonomically unsound and within weeks of the hotel opening a source of many complaints. Functionality doesn't compromise design; it is an essential part of the designers challenge. Hoteliers too need to address this challenge. My image of an hotel guest is based on a tired rep arriving in an hotel on a wet November evening, tired after a day of trying to sell. What do they want at the end of the day? To be challenged by a designer interior? Are they going to say wow! look how well designed this is? No, they want to be welcomed, have their bags taken to their room, their slippers placed on their feet, sat in a comfy chair in front of a welcoming fire and have a stiff drink thrust into their hand.English Heritage owned Eltham Palace is a gem of 1930's design which still looks utterly contemporary - one of the authors favorite rooms. Bottom, contemporary spaces too can rely on colour and pattern less obviously than a turkey carpet (bar at the Meridien Vienna) Hotels should in my view deliver service with style as well as with comfort and ease. Luxury and service even at a three star level can be delivered effectively with the help of good design. Service has to be delivered in an environment that is conducive to it. It may be different in an inner city serving a hedonistic 'young and single' local market, and the hotelier needs to be cognisant of this in setting the brief, as the design, which may cost 15% of the build cost can leverage 70% of the income by the way it sets the stage for the operator. That different design approaches are needed in different locations for different markets may be obvious but is not often acted on.So how should design deliver comfort? Is comfort just physical or also gastronomic, emotional and visual? We have had minimalist interiors inflicted on us in all sort of locations for many years. Hard surfaces and plenty of marble are a desirable interior when the weather is hot but maybe not when it is continually raining, when they may actually become a slippery noisy hazard. Designing for location is part of functionality. Are white walls and echoing interiors stylish, visually or emotionally comfortable, or are they just bleak and empty?Light makes pattern giving interest - visually warm, welcoming but relying on contemporary paint techniques (Haagshe Suites, The Hague). Below shows how going back to pattern in maximilism can create visual problems too, whilst (bottom) individual design sensibility can provide strong answers I believe that we will have a return to comfort in the form of fabrics and carpets, in the use of colour and pattern, in maybe smaller more fragmented public areas allowing for more private 'nooks and crannies' to accommodate small groups of five or six with a semblance of aural privacy, where family groups may bond or businessmen bicker without feeling that they are but actors on some designers stage set. Carpets and Wallcoverings absorb sound, fabrics provide visual comfort, fireplaces focus and all provide emotional warmth. It doesn't mean a return to the Victorian interior but neither do we need to continue this often cost driven rebellion into the blind alley of nihilism. We need to move back to the future.
Article by Patrick Goff

Back to the Future?

hoteldesigns.net ·16 November 2005
Yet one leading car manufacturer brochures its design capabilities with the comment "If the product is not functional, it can't be beautiful" and so it is with hotel interiors. Designers work with manufacturers to produce many bespoke products to match their individual vision of the future. It is important that manufacturers too look at where future trends are leading when investing in the production of standard ranges, whether Wallcoverings, furniture, carpets, lighting or fabrics. Clumsy wash hand basin shape and powerful colour doesn't fit with strong pattern, the overall effect being crude. Contrast with the confident subtle design (bottom) in the Hotel Amigo in Brussells, part of the continuing development of Olga Polizzi's design voice Individual hotels have in recent years followed a fashion agenda, whilst others have recognised that fashion is short lived and that keeping up with fashion needs constant investment. In turn this drives the need for higher rates of return from the initial investment. In fashionable city centre environments this is possible, but for the bulk of commercial hotels their location and clientele make this difficult to achieve with acceptable room rates. Commercial design is not design without style, but it does perhaps pay more attention to function both in terms of the interior working for guest satisfaction and with the interior enhancing the return for the operator, possibly more than design purists like. As the car manufacturer realises form must follow function so in an hotel interior that function is clear, isn't it? There is the nub of the issue, for no, the function is not clear to many. Uncomfortable seats in a goldfish bowl that allows smoke and noise to penetrate to upper floors result where 'design' has been allowed to rule functionality - a change of style will not fix all ills. Contrast with the stylish lounge at Eltham Palace from the 1930's, yet very contemporary (below, thanks to English Heritage) or the traditional comfort of the fireplace (Haagshe Suites, the Hague) circa 2004 The desire (by hotelier and designer) to make a design 'statement' can overwhelm any sense of functionality. Thus in one hotel a designer shortened all the chairs in the restaurant, lowering the seats and tables to make eating a more 'laid back' experience. You had to lay back with your legs stretched out in front of you because to do different was to sit with your knees approaching your chin, doing dreadful things to the digestive tract. Laid back maybe, but ergonomically unsound and within weeks of the hotel opening a source of many complaints. Functionality doesn't compromise design; it is an essential part of the designers challenge. Hoteliers too need to address this challenge. My image of an hotel guest is based on a tired rep arriving in an hotel on a wet November evening, tired after a day of trying to sell. What do they want at the end of the day? To be challenged by a designer interior? Are they going to say wow! look how well designed this is? No, they want to be welcomed, have their bags taken to their room, their slippers placed on their feet, sat in a comfy chair in front of a welcoming fire and have a stiff drink thrust into their hand. Hotels should in my view deliver service with style as well as with comfort and ease. Luxury and service even at a three star level can be delivered effectively with the help of good design. Service has to be delivered in an environment that is conducive to it. It may be different in an inner city serving a hedonistic 'young and single' local market, and the hotelier needs to be cognisant of this in setting the brief, as the design, which may cost 15% of the build cost can leverage 70% of the income by the way it sets the stage for the operator. That different design approaches are needed in different locations for different markets may be obvious but is not often acted on. So how should design deliver comfort? Is comfort just physical or also gastronomic, emotional and visual? We have had minimalist interiors inflicted on us in all sort of locations for many years. Hard surfaces and plenty of marble are a desirable interior when the weather is hot but maybe not when it is continually raining, when they may actually become a slippery noisy hazard. Designing for location is part of functionality. Are white walls and echoing interiors stylish, visually or emotionally comfortable, or are they just bleak and empty? I believe that we will have a return to comfort in the form of fabrics and carpets, in the use of colour and pattern, in maybe smaller more fragmented public areas allowing for more private 'nooks and crannies' to accommodate small groups of five or six with a semblance of aural privacy, where family groups may bond or businessmen bicker without feeling that they are but actors on some designers stage set. Carpets and Wallcoverings absorb sound, fabrics provide visual comfort, fireplaces focus and all provide emotional warmth. It doesn't mean a return to the Victorian interior but neither do we need to continue this often cost driven rebellion into the blind alley of nihilism. We need to move back to the future.

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