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<strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Innovation</strong>, <strong>Design</strong> & <strong>Technology</strong><br />


TEAM<br />

CEO<br />

Robert Bruce<br />


Katherine Lozell<br />


Marcs Bacera<br />


Stanley Lucas<br />


Brian Anson<br />


David Hyde<br />


Azim Aftab<br />


Aisha Ahmed<br />

Jacqui Irvine<br />

Joseph Wilton<br />

Tasmai Dave<br />


Antoine Jackson<br />

Hafiz Arslan<br />


Adam Cole<br />

Alice Smith<br />

Joyce Lee<br />

Peter Clement<br />

Zach Ford<br />


Jerald Jaime<br />

Mukul<br />

Contents <br />

Criteria 4<br />

<strong>Technology</strong> Trends 6<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> with out travelling? 10<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> & Blockchain: Is there use case? 14<br />

Value of Guest Engagement Platforms 18<br />

WeBee 22<br />

Innovative Marketing 24<br />

3Sixty Digital 28<br />

Top 5 Hotel Architecture 30<br />

Interior <strong>Design</strong> Bold Minimalist Vs Magnificent Maximalist 34<br />

2 3







Excellence in Service is an important<br />

category, as customer service can<br />

often responsible for repeat diners.<br />

We look for restaurants where<br />

staff go out of their way to please<br />

their guests, those that provide a<br />

It is no question that style and<br />

design is key factor in selecting<br />

our award winners. A guest will<br />

form an opinion about a restaurant<br />

as soon as they arrive, so it is<br />

important to us that all our winners<br />

personal level of service and take make those first impressions<br />

the time to get to know each visitor<br />

so that they might anticipate their<br />

every need. This can be something<br />

as simple as a friendly conversation,<br />

a manager who offers a personal<br />

greeting or a chef who is happy to<br />

adjust based on dietary needs –<br />

but whatever it is, we are always<br />

pleased when we encounter staff<br />

that have been trained in the art of<br />

customer satisfaction.<br />

count. We’re certainly not partial<br />

to a specific period of architecture<br />

– but whether we’re judging a<br />

gothic castle or an environmentally<br />

friendly lodge, the criteria remains<br />

the same. We consider factors<br />

such as architectural features, use<br />

of materials, creation of spaces,<br />

décor and the overall feel. We love<br />

it when we find a restaurant that<br />

tells a story though its interior and<br />

exterior features or offers a design<br />

that is sympathetic to the natural<br />

Criteria<br />

surroundings of its location.<br />

<br />

While the ambience and services<br />

of a restaurant are important, what<br />

really defines it is its menu and the<br />

dishes in it. We pay special attention<br />

to the courses that are available in<br />

the menu and even look into how<br />

it’s set up. Balance of the menu is<br />

especially important. A restaurant<br />

that serves multiple dishes that<br />

balance each other out to give<br />

the customers a perfect meal<br />

experience is seen as an authority.<br />

The cuisine options are taken into<br />

consideration too; be it a local<br />

cuisine or an international one. The<br />

sourcing of the ingredients is an<br />

important factor as well.<br />

In today’s modern age, a restaurant<br />

cannot rely on word of mouth to get<br />

their message out into the world.<br />

As social media has be<strong>com</strong>e a vital<br />

part of everyday life, we like to see<br />

<strong>com</strong>panies that go the extra mile<br />

to engage with their customers,<br />

both past and future. Attractive and<br />

informative websites and engaging<br />

and honest content are what we<br />

look for when judging a <strong>com</strong>pany’s<br />

use of marketing; how well they<br />

display their services, how up-todate<br />

their content is, how well they<br />

get their brand message across,<br />

and, most importantly, how well<br />

their marketing can tempt us to go<br />

and see what they have to offer for<br />

ourselves.<br />

Diversity is one important aspect<br />

that needs to be taken into<br />

consideration when in the travel and<br />

hospitality industry. It is essential to<br />

have staff that has varying diversity<br />

to ensure that the organization can<br />

properly connect with their guests.<br />

Diversity is taken into account in<br />

terms of gender, nationality as well<br />

as languages spoken among other<br />

factors. Not only do we take the<br />

diversity of the staff into account<br />

but even that of the facilities and<br />

services offered; a hotel or tour<br />

operator providing a better range of<br />

services is preferred over those that<br />

do not.<br />

Location is one of the most<br />

important factors, but also one of<br />

the most subjective, as the ‘ideal’ is<br />

very much determined by the type<br />

of visitor and the type of restaurant<br />

itself. However, there are a few<br />

factors we take into consideration<br />

when determining the winners of<br />

location-based awards. The first<br />

is convenience; that is, restaurants<br />

that are easy to travel to. Many of<br />

our winners in this category are<br />

in convenient locations, such as<br />

adjacent to popular attractions,<br />

close to beaches or found in the<br />

heart of easy-to-navigate cities.<br />

We’re always excited to <strong>com</strong>e<br />

across a restaurant that is, to use<br />

a familiar phrase, off-the-beatentrack.<br />

A restaurant that can offer<br />

something a little different, in<br />

terms of natural surroundings,<br />

can make the difference between<br />

a good dining experience and an<br />

incredible one.<br />

What better way is there to know<br />

about an organization than<br />

by getting first hand reviews?<br />

Customers are the best judges of<br />

any service as they are the ones<br />

who experience them and can<br />

assess whether they were up to the<br />

mark or not. Considering reviews<br />

from hundreds of customers over a<br />

set period gives us a fair idea about<br />

the general pros and cons of any<br />

organization while also giving us<br />

valuable inputs for the other criteria<br />

as well.<br />

The approach taken by the<br />

restaurant whether it be Innovative,<br />

traditional or anything else are<br />

considered when deciding winners.<br />

Values and approach illustrate<br />

the dedication of the restaurant to<br />

deliver a specific type of experience<br />

for their diners. This is evident in the<br />

food, source menu, presentation,<br />

the staff and<br />

4 5

<strong>Technology</strong> Trends<br />

The remarkable rise of the internet<br />

over the last two decades has had<br />

a profound effect on the development<br />

of new and exciting technology that<br />

has positively enhanced the industries<br />

of hospitality and tourism. In the last<br />

decade especially, the use of Information<br />

<strong>Technology</strong> in the travel industry has<br />

been pivotal in the reduction of overall<br />

costs and improvement of customer<br />

satisfaction. With the travel sector being<br />

one of the most profitable in the world<br />

and one that is continuously expanding,<br />

it is critical that businesses keep upto-date<br />

with the latest technological<br />

advancements. We have outlined below<br />

three of the most popular tech trends<br />

currently gaining a lot of traction.<br />

Artificial Intelligence (AI)<br />

Although the term might bring to mind<br />

futuristic dystopian landscapes ruled<br />

by robots that have enslaved humanity,<br />

AI is in fact regularly embedded within<br />

the travel and hospitality industry.<br />

Simply put, it refers to <strong>com</strong>puterised<br />

programs that can learn to carry out<br />

tasks that would normally require<br />

human intelligence to perform. This<br />

has the enormous potential to save<br />

businesses money and effort by<br />

making it possible for tasks to be<br />

performed around the clock in very<br />

little time.<br />

AI-enabled platforms without the<br />

use of dedicated human staff have<br />

be<strong>com</strong>e the norm and are currently<br />

part of most online booking systems<br />

in the form of chatbots or virtual<br />

assistants. And given that AI systems<br />

naturally improve their knowledge<br />

base by learning from customers’<br />

behaviour, they can be used to provide<br />

a more personalised travel experience.<br />

And the application of AI in the<br />

travel sector is not confined to the<br />

field of customer services. More<br />

and more <strong>com</strong>panies are using<br />

intelligent systems to automate<br />

most of their onerous data analysis<br />

and management projects and<br />

draw conclusions about business<br />

performance.<br />

6 7

Recognition <strong>Technology</strong><br />

Recognition technology is currently<br />

taking the travel industry by storm.<br />

Facial and fingerprint recognition is<br />

widely available worldwide and helps<br />

streamline passengers’ journeys and<br />

reduce unnecessary waiting times.<br />

Biometric identifiers are now also used<br />

in some hotels to allow a smoother,<br />

more personalised check-in process as<br />

well as provide access to rooms without<br />

the need for key cards by simply using<br />

fingerprints.<br />

Facial recognition can also help<br />

improve overall security protocols by<br />

identifying guests’ identity and allowing<br />

or forbidding access to certain places.<br />

But surely one of the most exciting<br />

functions of recognition technology<br />

is the ability to <strong>com</strong>plete payments<br />

without the need for cash or even credit<br />

card.<br />

Immersive Visual Experiences<br />

Virtual Reality (VR) and<br />

Augmented Reality (AR) are<br />

two trends that have exploded<br />

in the tech industry and are<br />

now also being applied in the<br />

travel sector. They are currently<br />

being used for virtual simulation<br />

of travel destinations and<br />

ac<strong>com</strong>modations- a type of<br />

very realistic ‘try before you<br />

buy’ experience. Recent studies<br />

have shown that enhancing the<br />

pre-booking experience with<br />

VR or AR has shown a 40%<br />

return on investment, making<br />

this a very promising option for<br />

the future of travel. Even more<br />

interestingly, VR can help users<br />

immerse themselves in a digital<br />

environment when, for whatever<br />

reason, they are unable or<br />

unwilling to travel.<br />

8 9

<strong>Travel</strong> with out<br />

travelling?<br />

Immersive visual experiences such as<br />

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual<br />

Reality (VR) are the latest creative<br />

additions to the ever-expanding industry<br />

of travel and hospitality. These trends<br />

have <strong>com</strong>e a long way in a relatively<br />

short time in the tech industry and are<br />

usually associated with video games<br />

where users can immerse themselves<br />

in a virtual world and even manipulate<br />

objects and engage in certain actions.<br />

VR hardware has seen a dramatic drop<br />

in price in the last 5 years and this has<br />

started to increase accessibility and<br />

use.<br />

But how exactly are immersive visual<br />

experiences apply to travel and tourism?<br />

Does it work and is it a trend that is likely<br />

to be profitable?<br />

In a recently published Adventure Trends Report,<br />

VR was amongst the most popular trends in the<br />

travel industry, although its development is still<br />

at its infancy. With the need of consumers to buy<br />

‘experiences’ rather than products on the rise,<br />

VR offers a potentially attractive way of allowing<br />

customers a ‘test-drive’ before they pay. Imagine<br />

being able to climb the top of a snowy mountain<br />

or scuba dive alongside manta rays deep in the<br />

Red Sea- without ever having to leave your living<br />

room.<br />

10 11

The industry often refers to the<br />

functions known as the ‘3 Es’:<br />

Enabling, Escaping and Enriching. At its<br />

current state of developing, Enabling<br />

is by far the most obvious function<br />

of VR and it usually applies to the<br />

very early stages of the customer’s<br />

journey. <strong>Travel</strong>lers spend a lot of time<br />

researching, googling images and<br />

videos of particular places but VR does<br />

away with that. Planning ahead using<br />

VR might help reduce disappointment.<br />

Many <strong>com</strong>panies already offer AR<br />

versions of their products, be them<br />

hotel rooms or travel experiences,<br />

that can simply be accessed by the<br />

customer’s smartphone. Escaping<br />

can help customers literally escape<br />

from mundane long journeys and<br />

unpleasant experiences by immersing<br />

themselves in whatever VR has to offer.<br />

And Enriching refers to enhancing the<br />

traveller’s experience once they are<br />

already at their destination.<br />

One of the most exciting possible uses for VR is<br />

to cater for those who are unable to travel. Some<br />

<strong>com</strong>panies are currently experimenting with<br />

attending to the sense of wanderlust of those<br />

who cannot visit destinations far away maybe<br />

due to health or mobility reasons. From a more<br />

ethical perspective, it can even help with overtourism<br />

as customers can visit places without<br />

actually being physically there.<br />

But there are potential downsides as well. VR programs and platforms<br />

can be very costly to develop and implementation and investment<br />

can be a considerable risk given that there is no real hard data about<br />

their overall usefulness or customer popularity yet. And there may a<br />

paradoxical side effect too: if virtual reality can someday provide an<br />

inimitable travel experience without the need to actually travel, how<br />

much of a threat is this to the travel industry? Might it stop customers<br />

from spending thousands of dollars on booking planes, hotels and<br />

experiences?<br />

It’s early days yet for VR in the travel industry but it’s certainly a trend<br />

to keep an eye on.<br />

12 13

<strong>Travel</strong> & Blockchain:<br />

Is there use case?<br />

Blockchain technology has<br />

revolutionised the way transactions<br />

are being carried out across the world. To<br />

simplify this rather convoluted concept we<br />

could say that ‘block’ refers to blocks of<br />

digital information and ‘chain’ is the public<br />

database where this information is stored.<br />

The digital information stored consists of a<br />

variety of data including transaction details<br />

(such as date, time, amount paid etc),<br />

and encrypted identity details with unique<br />

identifying codes for each block.<br />

One block can hold thousands of transactions.<br />

Once <strong>com</strong>plete, a block is stored on a<br />

database that is publicly available. Because<br />

of the way it is designed, a blockchain is<br />

very hard to crack and therefore less prone<br />

to hacking. It is decentralised, which means<br />

that no single person has more control over<br />

this information than anyone else. So in<br />

order for a transaction to be accepted, it has<br />

to be verified by every single member that<br />

has access to that particular chain. This is<br />

currently changing the way we think about<br />

information storage and offers a promising<br />

solution to serious security breaches.<br />

Applications to the travel industry<br />

Planning and paying for a trip require the uploading of very sensitive, personal<br />

information on different online platforms such as booking agents, airline<br />

<strong>com</strong>panies or ac<strong>com</strong>modation providers. Information such as bank and<br />

passport details are regularly sent to different online <strong>com</strong>panies and whether<br />

they like it or not, customers place a lot of trust in this process. Only last year,<br />

5 million passport numbers were stolen from a top international hotel chain,<br />

further calling into question our current security paradigm. Blockchain could<br />

potentially make this process a lot safer and more transparent given that this<br />

information is stored in a way that makes it almost impossible to alter or hack<br />

into, so both financial transactions and the storage of information be<strong>com</strong>e<br />

simplified and more secure.<br />

Security aside, the aspect of having<br />

a decentralised service means that<br />

there is no need for intermediaries.<br />

Although online booking agents<br />

offer customers to browse through<br />

thousands of hotels or flights,<br />

<strong>com</strong>panies often pay at least<br />

15% <strong>com</strong>mission to be able to be<br />

advertised on such platforms. By<br />

taking out the middle man, service<br />

providers can minimise associated<br />

fees and connect directly with<br />

customers.<br />

14 15

Identification and Tracking<br />

Ever had the displeasure of arriving at<br />

your destination only to find out that<br />

your luggage didn’t? Cue endless hours<br />

of frustration, waiting to discover where<br />

your suitcase ended up in. Luggage<br />

often changes many hands especially<br />

during longer trips and Blockchain can<br />

make it easy and transparent to trace it<br />

at all times<br />

Blockchain could also enhance<br />

customers’ identification process during<br />

travel, which is often a time-consuming<br />

and onerous process. This technology<br />

has the potential to drastically reduce<br />

waiting and standing times at airport<br />

queues.<br />

It is yet to be seen whether Blockchain<br />

will take over and disrupt the travel<br />

industry as we currently know it.<br />

Judging by how other tech trends have<br />

already started making an impact, it<br />

may not be that long before we see it<br />

change the way we think about travel<br />

altogether.<br />

16 17

Value of Guest<br />

Engagement Platforms<br />

Customer satisfaction is the<br />

number one predictor of<br />

successful sales revenue. With the<br />

staggering rise of social media over the<br />

last 2 decades, more and more salesrelated<br />

interactions take place on online<br />

social platforms. Traditional telephone<br />

and even email <strong>com</strong>munications are<br />

being slowly phased out and replaced<br />

with more technologically savvy, often<br />

automated intelligent interaction<br />

systems. In this fast-changing online<br />

universe, customers’ <strong>com</strong>plex multidimensional<br />

needs remain the highest<br />

priority.<br />

Customer Engagement Platforms<br />

are the newest tech trend arrival set<br />

to revolutionise the way different<br />

types of businesses interact with their<br />

customers.<br />

What is a Customer<br />

Engagement Platform?<br />

Also known as Guest Engagement Platforms,<br />

these are <strong>com</strong>prehensive systems that help<br />

centralise the entire journey of a customer’s<br />

experience, even past the sales point. The aim<br />

of such a platform is two-fold. First, it serves as<br />

a way of optimising customers experience and<br />

offering them a superior service, tailormade<br />

to their specific requirements. Second, it<br />

enhances businesses’ operational efficiency<br />

and reduces associated costs, therefore<br />

maximising revenue.<br />

You can expect a Guest Engagement Platform<br />

to contain a range of tools including email,<br />

chat, social media, calendars and notes. It<br />

is a way of efficiently organising customer<br />

data and can be designed to offer real-time<br />

response to customers’ needs. They have<br />

integrated intelligent tools including behaviour<br />

analysis and virtual assistants that are able to<br />

contextualise behaviour and offer appropriate<br />

solutions.<br />

Optimising Customer Experience<br />

A business is nothing without satisfied, loyal customers. Engagement<br />

platforms strengthen the bond between business and customer in a<br />

variety of ways.<br />

– they can learn the customers’ pain points and address them effectively<br />

in very little time.<br />

– they can minimise effort on behalf of the customer and make whatever<br />

process smooth and<br />

– they offer a portal of instant response where customers can give<br />

feedback via the platform in real-time.<br />

18 19

Helping businesses perform<br />

better by:<br />

– providing automated data management<br />

saving time and cost<br />

– offering high-quality service across all<br />

domains of a customer’s experience.<br />

Practical Applications<br />

Webee Guest Engagement platform offers<br />

an all-inclusive tool that makes it possible<br />

to interact with guests in real-time during<br />

all stages of their journey. At the click of<br />

a button, guests can do anything from<br />

checking in to their toom without the need<br />

for key cards to arranging for laundry to be<br />

picked up on demand. The App is extremely<br />

intuitive making it easy and stress-free to<br />

use for both staff and guests who want a<br />

smooth experience. Mid-stay surveys is<br />

another function of the app (and one that<br />

is being adopted by many other online<br />

travelling platforms), giving customers<br />

the option to flag up any issues during the<br />

stay and allowing staff to iron out potential<br />

problems so that customer satisfaction<br />

is guaranteed and the relationship is<br />

strengthened further.<br />

Guest Engagement Platforms are<br />

be<strong>com</strong>ing increasingly popular<br />

with many well-known <strong>com</strong>panies<br />

already integrating them into their<br />

existing systems. With the current<br />

pace of technological innovation,<br />

such systems will likely replace<br />

older, outdated forms of customer<br />

interactions.<br />

20 21

Turkey Tel + <strong>www</strong>.getwebee.<strong>com</strong><br />

WeBee<br />

Europe | Guest Engagement Platform<br />

WeBee is a brand new Hotel solution that aims to strengthen Guest<br />

engagement. Specifically designed to take into account the busy rhythm of<br />

modern day life, WeBee does away with the middleman. It is no longer necessary<br />

for Guests to queue endlessly simply to check in their rooms. Remote check-in<br />

and keyless entry are just two of the many technological innovations available.<br />

WeBee makes it possible to interact with guests in real-time during all stages of<br />

their journey.<br />

From laundry requests, to room service and wake up calls, all is done via the App at<br />

the click of a button. Perfect for hardworking business people or tired visitors who<br />

want the smoothest experience possible. The App is extremely intuitive making it<br />

easy and stress-free to use for both staff and guests.<br />

WeBee gives Hotel Managers the<br />

ability to tailor-make interventions<br />

based specifically on their guests’<br />

wishes and behaviours. Guests<br />

can receive targeted offers and<br />

suggestions at any time during their<br />

stay and can modify those using the<br />

versatile platform from their phone,<br />

tablet or desktop.<br />

Satisfied customers leave satisfied<br />

reviews. WeBee mid-stay surveys<br />

ensure that your guest is <strong>com</strong>pletely<br />

pleased with the service they are<br />

receiving before it is time to check<br />

out. If anything is flagged-up as<br />

substandard, staff have the chance<br />

to rectify the situation immediately.<br />

This shows excellent customer<br />

service skills and improves the<br />

bond with the guest. Post checkout<br />

guests have the option to stay<br />

in touch via the app, increasing the<br />

likelihood of future engagement.<br />

22 23

Innovative Marketing<br />

Techniques<br />

Powerful marketing strategies<br />

are crucial to the success of any<br />

business no matter how big or small. They<br />

help identify and target specific audiences<br />

and develop profitable products. The<br />

unprecedented rise of digital marketing has<br />

made it possible for <strong>com</strong>panies to create a<br />

strong online presence by harnessing the<br />

benefits of a multitude of platforms, to both<br />

obtain new customers and deliver services<br />

to existing ones.<br />

The travel sector has a large audience<br />

with the global market generating over<br />

$1.3 trillion annually. Whereas less than 2<br />

decades ago people depended on travel<br />

agents or Teletext and took chances<br />

based on pictures they saw on brochures,<br />

today’s online platforms make it possible<br />

for customers to research extensively<br />

in a relatively short amount of time<br />

before buying. It is a well-known fact that<br />

people have hundreds of interactions<br />

with <strong>com</strong>panies while investigating travel<br />

destinations.<br />

From all the digital marketing platforms,<br />

social media is by far the biggest influencer<br />

and has changed the way people travel, with<br />

Facebook and Instagram being the Top 2<br />

most used platforms. Both offer a great deal<br />

of user engagement through different types<br />

of adverts, content promotion, live chats and<br />

visual stimulation. Facebook is fantastic for<br />

building brand awareness and ads are highly<br />

customisable to suit the different stages of the<br />

customer’s journey.<br />

Instagram is an equally powerful tool for building a following and many<br />

brands use it to regularly reach out to their audience. In fact, in a recent<br />

study, ‘Instagrammability’ was the most crucial factor for Millennials<br />

on choosing a holiday destination.<br />

Both platforms offer integrated video marketing options and according<br />

to studies, approximately 50% of users will actually act after watching<br />

a video ad.<br />

But irrespective of the platform used, perhaps the most important part<br />

of a <strong>com</strong>pany’s marketing strategy ought to be an awareness of the<br />

different phases of the customer’s journey.<br />

24 25

Stages of the Customer’s Journey<br />

Google analysed user behaviour and<br />

identified 4 key ‘micro-moments’, all of<br />

which are important entry-points for<br />

influencing a potential customer and<br />

eventually leading to a purchase<br />

Dreaming: this is the preliminary phase<br />

where there are no fixed plans and<br />

customers are browsing for ideas.<br />

This is quite an influential stage of the<br />

journey and first impressions of travel<br />

brands will really make an impact at this<br />

point.<br />

Organising: with a destination pinned<br />

down, customers are now in the<br />

process of choosing dates, flights and<br />

ac<strong>com</strong>modation. This is largely done<br />

through the use of search engines and<br />

travel brands ensure their website and<br />

products have a carefully optimised<br />

presence in the search results.<br />

Booking: with choices narrowed down, customers are now<br />

ready to book. This is a crucial moment and brands often<br />

make this as smooth a process as possible, with inviting<br />

call-to-action buttons and fast-loading pages.<br />

Experiencing: with the holiday now a reality, this is a more<br />

relaxed but still exciting part of the journey. <strong>Travel</strong> brands<br />

can offer a variety of options for ‘things-to-do’ while the<br />

customer is on their holiday.<br />

26 27

127 Hampton Rd, Bristol BS6 6JE, UK Tel + 44 117 911 3734 <strong>www</strong>.3sixty.co.uk<br />

3Sixty Digital<br />

United Kingdom | <strong>Travel</strong> Digital Agency<br />

We’ve inspired 1000’s of users to book<br />

holidays and travel experiences that they<br />

will never forget. We love the sector and<br />

want to help as many people as possible<br />

find their dream trip. We are here to make<br />

a difference, to drive results, and to inspire.<br />

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<strong>www</strong>.facebook.<strong>com</strong>/3SixtyAgency/<br />

We create websites and digital solutions for travel brands and launch various<br />

travel products of our own. Our focus is on providing exceptional user<br />

experiences, which, in turn, ultimately drive <strong>com</strong>mercial performance.<br />

Over the past few years, this has led to a number of leading travel brands experiencing<br />

record-breaking years with 3Sixty at the fore. We are dedicated to helping brands<br />

boost website conversion, utilising digital platforms to improve team efficiencies,<br />

boosting travel brand profitability, and for all our clients, helping them produce the<br />

highest revenue-generating performance in their history.<br />

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Architecturally<br />

Inspiring Hotels<br />

Though architectural design might<br />

not seem to be one of the top criteria<br />

for choosing a hotel or resort for most<br />

travellers, for the design-conscious<br />

customer it is a key priority, especially in<br />

the field of luxury travel. More and more<br />

people opt for upscale boutique hotels<br />

and elegantly refurbished properties<br />

instead of regular chain hotel stays.<br />

We’ve scoured the globe to bring you<br />

the Top 5 hottest designs.<br />

boasts floor-to-ceiling<br />

windows, <strong>com</strong>bining<br />

old Chiloé tradition with<br />

modern architecture.<br />

Portions of the hotel are<br />

raised on stilts to cause<br />

as little damage to the<br />

ground as possible<br />

and this gives the hotel<br />

an unusual, almost<br />

futuristic feel.<br />

Tierra Chiloé, Chile<br />

Perched in a prime location on the edge<br />

of a cliff on the island of Chiloé, this<br />

stunning hotel offers unprecedented<br />

views of the Chiloé archipelago lying<br />

just off the coast of Chile. The hotel’s<br />

distinctive architecture is in line with the<br />

stunning surroundings, with a wooden<br />

exterior that is reminiscent of the<br />

traditional churches in the vicinity. The<br />

hotel is situated on green, unspoiled<br />

pastoral hills with spectacular vistas of<br />

the nearby channel. The ground floor<br />

Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo, Monaco<br />

A well-known retreat frequented by the rich and famous, Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo reopened<br />

its doors in 2019, after an extensive 4-year renovation project. The property has retained its<br />

signature Belle Epoch façade, with lavish decorations reminiscent of by-gone eras of the late<br />

19th century. The Hotel now features upgraded lavish ac<strong>com</strong>modation including the new<br />

Princess Grace Suite, an extravagant 2-bedroom property arranged over two floors and featuring<br />

some of the Princess’ favourite items on display. Add to this a sea-facing glamorous SPA and<br />

a range of dazzling restaurants, it is easy to see why this place is a favourite of the crème de la<br />

crème.<br />

30 31

Park Hyatt, Bangkok<br />

Bangkok is a metropolitan city rife with<br />

spectacular high-risers offering one<br />

of the best skylines in the world. Park<br />

Hyatt offers a safe Haven high up in<br />

the sky, a protective sanctuary from<br />

the intensity of the urban jungle that<br />

is modern Bangkok. The architecture<br />

of the building is wonderfully irregular,<br />

with the steel exterior forming a threedimensional<br />

figure of 8 with curved<br />

corners while the interior is filled with<br />

free-form elements that exude an<br />

intimate and calming vibe.<br />

Al Bait, Sharjah<br />

Recently named UAE’s<br />

most luxurious resort, Al<br />

Bait <strong>com</strong>bines traditional<br />

heritage elements with<br />

features of contemporary<br />

architecture. This is a luxury<br />

escape that retains important<br />

archaeological findings of the<br />

area as part of its architectural<br />

structure and parts of the<br />

development are over half<br />

a century old. It <strong>com</strong>bines<br />

the traditional Arab feel with<br />

finer touches of luxury, paying<br />

homage to traditional Sharjah<br />

architecture, making this a<br />

very charming destination<br />

in an underrated part of the<br />

country.<br />

32 33

Interior <strong>Design</strong><br />

Bold Minimalist Vs<br />

Magnificent Maximalist<br />

Minimalism<br />

The minimalist movement in the field of<br />

architecture started in the 20 th century.<br />

It is a design that is characterised<br />

by austerity and parsimonious use<br />

of resources. ‘Less Is More’ is the<br />

overarching guiding principle. It aims<br />

to retain only essential elements and<br />

do away with anything unnecessary.<br />

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is the German<br />

architect first credited with outlining the<br />

basic principles of the movement. He<br />

advocated the use of modern materials<br />

such as steel and glass and promoted<br />

the idea of large, open spaces designed<br />

in strict geometric shapes. This concept<br />

draws attention to the few elements<br />

used and makes them stand out more.<br />

Minimally designed interiors are often defined by simple, often black and white<br />

or at most binary colour palette. Furniture is usually designed in very simple<br />

geometric shapes and monochromatic tones. Spaces tend to be open plan<br />

and without partitions and often feature clever storage solutions. For example,<br />

cabinets and shelves can easily be built in or attached to walls, thus saving space.<br />

Because of its simplicity, minimalist design has gained a lot of popularity in recent<br />

years. There are obvious benefits to this trend. Minimalism is all about ‘trimming<br />

unnecessary fat’ and is therefore beneficial for anyone without much space<br />

to spare. In that way, smaller scale hotels can make the most use of space by<br />

reducing clutter and creating a more spacious interior. A well-designed minimalist<br />

hotel can also bring guests more peace of mind by creating a sense of calmness<br />

and serenity, further enhancing their stay (it’s not surprising that a lot of SPA<br />

interiors are designed with minimalist principles in mind!)<br />

34 35

Treehouse in Sweden is a fantastic<br />

example of minimalist design done<br />

well. Imagine living in a cube-shaped<br />

room made up of mirror that reflects its<br />

surroundings, suspended up in a tree in<br />

the northern region of Lapland. Though<br />

each room has a different theme and<br />

tells its own story, they are all designed<br />

in classic Scandinavian Minimalist<br />

style. With very simple interior design,<br />

this is the closest you get to living with<br />

just the bare necessities.<br />

Maximalism<br />

In exact opposition to the minimalist movement,<br />

the Maximalists are governed by an equally bold<br />

principle: ‘The Bigger, The Better’. Maximalism<br />

has been evident in music, literature and the<br />

visual arts at the end of the 20th century and was<br />

the rather obnoxious answer to the stingy use of<br />

materials and space in the field of interior design.<br />

The movement encourages making the most of a space and utilising<br />

a wide variety of elements and resources. Maximalism uses a bold<br />

colour palette and embraces the idea of excess. Think busy, bright<br />

and textured interiors filled with repetitive patterns and graphic<br />

representations. However, far from it being a movement that promotes<br />

hoarding and cluttering, there is a method to the seeming ‘madness’ of<br />

maximalist interior design. Colours and patterns are carefully weaved<br />

together to avoid messy and intimidating results. Although this style<br />

can be daunting at first glance, once the eye gets used to the busyness,<br />

intricate themes begin to emerge.<br />

36 37

Interiors will often feature some<br />

very unique statement pieces with<br />

a backdrop of a <strong>com</strong>bination of<br />

styles such as Art Deco and Eclectic.<br />

Maximalism is a very emotional style,<br />

often bringing up strong and passionate<br />

feelings, as opposed to Minimalism’s<br />

somewhat sterile vibe. ’Connecting the<br />

dots’ is an expression often used by<br />

Maximalist aficionados and it refers<br />

to ensuring there is a sense of careful<br />

continuity in the seemingly endless sea<br />

of visual stimulation. A stay at a hotel<br />

with a maximal design is in and of itself<br />

an adventure, a potentially unforgettable<br />

experience that stimulates every sense.<br />

Hullett House in Hong Kong is one interesting<br />

example of maximalist style with an eastern<br />

twist. Being the oldest building in the city, the<br />

hotel retains its heritage by integrating historic<br />

photographs, hand-painted murals depicting life<br />

under the Tang Dynasty with an overall Kitsch<br />

aesthetic. Each suite showcases a different<br />

theme designed in a gloriously maximal style.<br />

Still undecided? Fear not. London’s Curtain hotel has designed the first<br />

half and half hotel suite. The room is literally split right down the middle<br />

of the bed and features both styles in equal proportions. Which one will<br />

you gravitate towards?<br />

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