NATIONAL REPORT—There are a plethora of new-build projects underway in the United States. Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that together the upper-midscale and upscale pipelines comprise 72% of all construction projects in the total pipeline.
With the industry seeing healthy growth, there’s a rise of construction projects and with that a need for hotels to stand out from the rest. How can hoteliers maintain a competitive advantage? To start, consult the experts.
In a conversation with Hotel Business, developer Rodrigo Azpurua, president and CEO of Riviera Point Development Group in Miramar, FL, and Ignacio Edenburg, president of Edenburg Hospitality, an interior design and furniture manufacturing company in Fort Lauderdale, FL, share tips and insights on key differentiators new-build properties can employ to attract guests.
Weave a Story
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a hotel’s interior design is worth a novel. The design must tell a story. Whether it is about bringing in the history of the locale through accessories or furnishings, Edenburg believes the interiors should tell the guests what they’re about to experience.
“TRYP Wyndham Fort Lauderdale Maritime Hotel has a marine theme based on Jacques Cousteau, the underwater photographer and researcher of sea life. All of the sofas in the lobby have a water theme, with waves around the lobby to make you feel like you’re on the sea,” said Edenburg.
Showcase a Special Feature
According to Azpurua, the key to a distinctive property is having a unique feature or on-property attraction. “At the Radisson Red Miami Airport, we did a rooftop bar that leads to the airport with a phenomenal view,” he said. “It makes a difference because the bar refers to a higher concept, driving the notion of this lifestyle experience. We chose that brand because it has a very pronounced differentiator—lifestyle, art, music and fashion. What can be more alive to Miami that these things? It’s the right brand for this city and the rooftop bar is part of that.”
Build a Sense of Community
To foster a social, lively environment on-property, Edenburg recommends creating ways for people to interact in the public spaces. “Adding communal tables has numerous benefits. You want people to interact and in these spaces you’re able to increase the amount of money spent because now the guest is meeting someone there, they will want to eat and spend more time in the hotel. The developers and architects can help by creating environments that are more user-friendly to guests.”
Hotels are making efforts to reduce consumption of natural resources and are incorporating sustainable practices. Azpurua sees it as a trend that will continue.
“We need to use this planet in a way that allows future generations to use the next resources as well. From having a green certification for building, a sustainable type of flooring to recycling the trash, there are many ways to have sustainable operations. Those practices need to be incorporated because it’s the right thing to do,” said Azpurua.