Here’s a look at what independent hoteliers and designers are currently focused on, from creating brand depth through in-house operations to full-service glamping in outdoorsy locations.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Independent hotels are holding on through the current pandemic environment, and exceptional service and experiences remain key.
Through a series of Instagram Live events hosted by the Independent Lodging Congress, hoteliers and designers in the independent space talked about what’s going on at their hotels and in the world of independents.
Thinking differently about creativity
The minds behind DAS Architects are rethinking what creativity is today amid the current crisis, sources said.
Susan Davidson, co-founder and principal of DAS Architects, said she looks at designing from the beginning “as if we don’t know the outcome.”
“If you put that out of your mind, then you have the ability to let your mind wander … you don’t always have to be connecting the dots,” she said. “If you open one door, you get two more doors … so you keep exploring and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but don’t shut off your mind to what’s (coming). I think that’s really important now because we all need to help each other right now and none of us have the answers.”
It’s important to let the creative process flow during this time when the industry doesn’t know what’s next, “and if we let that flow, then we will all get there together,” she said.
Davidson said her clients have been open to a new way of thinking behind the creative process.
“I think they are scared and trying to survive like the rest of us, but at the same time (are) optimistic about the future,” she said. “Bad things have always happened in the world forever and we’ve come through it. Things have become better after that.”
Pali Society likes to do many things in-house, which helps the company create depth to its brand, said Avi Brosh, founder and CEO.
Design is one brand aspect that’s handled in-house at Pali Society, and by and large, everything is done in-house aside from things like website design where outside help might be needed, Brosh said.
The company specializes in running properties with a smaller room count, and Brosh said Pali Society takes pride “in being the best in class for hotels of our size.”
Brosh describes Pali Society properties as neighborhood-style inns that are run with a lot of horsepower.
Collective Retreats specializes in providing full-service luxury experiences in tent and tiny home accommodations, according to founder and CEO Peter Mack.
Collective Retreats accommodations can range from 15 to 45 rooms, but Mack said the company won’t go much bigger than that because the intimacy of the experience is important. The mission of the company is to connect people to the outdoors and to other people, he said.
This is done through unique experiences and a full dining program that features farm-to-table sit-down dinners or barbeque in a box, a DIY option for guests who want to grill on their own that’s less pricey than the farm-to-table experience, he said.
Since Collective Retreats offers a variety of experiences, it employs a large full-time staff at each of its properties, Mack said.
Each location offers many amenities that would be found at a luxury full-service hotel, including valet parking.