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S U M M E R 2 017

NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL


stay-boutique.com stayboutique_


FPO STAY BOUTIQUE AD


BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

Table of Contents

It’s all in the details.

In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


A Word From the Founder................................................. 6 About BLLA..................................................................... 8 BLLA’S Guide to New York City...................................... 13 Official List of NYC’s Boutique & Lifestyle Hotels...................................................16 Food = Life...................................................................................................22 5 Bars in NYC That the Stay Boutique Crew Loves...............................................28 Summer in the Hamptons.................................................................................34 An Inside Look at HGU New York.....................................................................40 Streetwear Stores That Boutique Hotels Should Work With.....................................47

Boutique Trend Reports.................................................. 53 Boutique Trend Reports Introduction...................................................................56 In These Times, Everyone Needs To Be A Great Editor..........................................58 Trends in Digital............................................................................................61 It’s All in the Details........................................................................................65 The De-Evolution Of Fancy Dining.....................................................................67

Boutique & Lifestyle Education...................................... 74 Official Boutique & Lifestyle Dictionary...............................................................75 Excerpts From the BLLA Blog.............................................................................78 Books Every Boutique & Lifestyle Person Should Read ...........................................83 The Hostel Revolution: the Story of Clink.............................................................87 Why We Need To Stick Together.....................................................................91 Members Only Clubs in London........................................................................96 The Importance of Collaborations & Partnerships for Boutique Hotels......................105 You’re Doing It Wrong!.................................................................................109 BLLA’s Annual Sentiment Survey ......................................................................116

The Importance of... .................................................... 127 The Official Inside Scoop.............................................. 139 About BLLA Media’s Stay Boutique..................................................................142 Best Boutique Hotel Collaborations.................................................................145 The Stay Boutique Summer 2017 Style Guide...................................................151 Where to Grab a Croissant Around the World..................................................153 A Boutique is Born ......................................................................................160 The Curtain................................................................................................164

Photo Series................................................................. 167

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| About BLLA BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| About BLLA

A word from the Founder

BY FRANCES KIRADJIAN | FOUNDER & CEO, BLLA WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH

It’s exactly five years since we held the first Boutique Hotel Investment Conference, and in this fast-moving industry, a lot has changed since then. Happily, the boutique sector has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years. The number of hotels, investors, travelers and other interested parties has grown steadily, and this year interest is at an all-time high which has allowed us to move the conference into a fabulous new space. The result is a bigger, brighter and bolder event, as befits this growing sector of the hospitality industry.

PERMISSION ONLY

Our conference connects up all the aspects of the boutique hotel business, from planning to investment, interior design to fine cuisine. Hotels frequently succeed or fail according to the commitment and talent of the people who run them, and today you’ll have a chance to meet and hear from some of the most inspiring and successful figures in the business. An exciting program of guest speakers, from Arianna Huffington to West Elm Hotels’ David Bowd and Andrew Fay from The Gettys Group, will present their forward-thinking insights about the boutique sector. You’ll hear from some of hospitality’s foremost service providers and learn how they can help your business. And there will also be a priceless networking opportunity

so you can swap contacts with the industry’s star players. From current trends in investment and growth, the recent growth in the boutique sector is set to continue apace. We’re looking at a future in which boutique and lifestyle brands will dominate the conversation, both in the hearts and minds of travelers and, of course, in hotel owners everywhere. And there is nowhere better to prepare for this bright future than right here in this room today. To help all of us get the most out of this cultural moment, we at the BLLA are proud to be partnering with UCLA Extension on a conference for hospitality executives and professionals in October. This exciting program will bring together experts and captains of industry for five days of groundbreaking talks and exchanges. Of course, the larger our sector grows, the more important it becomes to band together with a unifying voice and mark of quality – and this is the reason the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association was first established. Our body unites the finest boutique and lifestyle hotels in one place for the benefit of consumers, agencies and owners alike. We promote fairness and equality across the boutique sector, as well as providing an effective

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| About BLLA marketing and distribution platform for hoteliers as well as a place for them to connect with just the right manufacturers, products and service providers. BLLA is a place for boutique-minded professionals to connect, network and change the global hotel landscape together. We’re constantly working to expand the benefits we provide to our members. As part of our BOOK DIRECT initiative, we created www.stay-boutique.com, the first official list of real boutique and lifestyle hotels around the world, where holidaymakers and business travelers can book direct and (in the case of BLLA members) all proceeds go direct to the hotels. We also established a vital service for the industry’s vendors, manufacturers and service providers in www.bllagrandbazaar.com, where they can sell direct to hotels and BLLA members are entitled to a discount. Members will receive

VIP access to the finest suppliers who are selected based on many criteria. Online presence aside, the value of meeting people face-to-face cannot be underestimated, and the BLLA is committed to creating events and conferences on a local, national and international level throughout the year - keep an eye on www.bllaevents.com for more. Also, ensure you are receiving the industry’s news via BOUTIQUE WEEKLY. You can register directly on www.blla.org. We at the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association are committed to providing a platform in which the world’s leading boutique hotels can thrive, and by joining us today you are helping us to make this project a success – which is good news for all of us. So thank you for taking part – and here’s to another five years!

Frances Kiradjian Founder & CEO

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| About BLLA

About BLLA About the Association

BLLA Membership

BLLA was created in 2009 to fill the need for a collective voice in a then-fragmented boutique hotel industry. Today the association has more than 1,000 members worldwide. As the only association that champions the needs of authentic boutique and lifestyle properties across the globe, BLLA is a unifying force in this distinctive sector of the hospitality industry. This cutting-edge organisation unites a global coalition of boutique hospitality executives, leaders, innovators and industry trend-setters, together with the resources that make them exceptional. This association is family-run, and therefore views its members as part of the family. BLLA is the home for the Boutique & Lifestyle world.

BLLA’s members operate the hospitality industry’s finest upscale, verified authentic Boutique & Lifestyle properties and small brands, as well as some of the world’s best vendors and manufacturers. An official membership grants access to global thought-leaders and the most prestigious events in the industry. Our members are also supplied with indispensable marketing tools, white papers, resources, and boutique-oriented educational programs for executives and employees (through our new collaborations with UCLA Extension and other partner organizations).

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| About BLLA

BLLA Education In 2016, BLLA created an alliance with UCLA Extension to educate hotel owners and developers in the Boutique & Lifestyle sector. Together we’ve developed a course aimed at those looking to turn an asset into an upscale or luxury boutique property, or to convert a property from a larger brand to an independent business. The planned curriculum for the first education day, in conjunction with BLLA’s Leadership Conference, is based on research findings and linked to real-life applications of the course content. In the future we’re planning an executive-level program, as well as formalized education for hotel staff in all departments, designed to accommodate those with demanding schedules. Our goals will be to offer a flexible, affordable and sustainable education platform for the boutique hospitality sector. With this new program, BLLA is able to help educate the Boutique & Lifestyle world.

Boutique & Lifestyle Awards BLLA’s annual awards honor outstanding Boutique & Lifestyle hotels across five categories, as well as individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their properties or organizations. We celebrate the winners and finalists during the conference, at the Gala Awards

About BLLA Events Our conferences hold 3 key values: 1. We are about educating the Boutique & Lifestyle community. 2. We are about networking with other like-minded people who believe in boutique. 3. We are about celebrating this boutique family about how far we have come and how far we will go together.

UPCOMING EVENTS BLLAevents.com The Stay Boutique Leadership Conference Los Angeles October 3–5, 2017 Travel Industry Executive Women’s Conference Los Angeles March 8, 2018 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference New York June 6, 2018 Boutique Leaders Who Lunch Los Angeles New York Miami London Berlin

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| About BLLA

Stay Boutique www.stay-boutique.com

ABOUT THE STAY BOUTIQUE LIST As the official association for this sector, we wanted to make it easier for consumers to find and book relevant hotels. At the same time, we also wished to provide our hotel members with another avenue to attract incremental bookings directly, by referring interested consumers to their own booking pages. And we’ve achieved all of this with no additional membership fee, in the form of BLLA’s direct-booking site, StayBoutique®. ABOUT STAY BOUTIQUE MEDIA Since relaunching our newsletter BOUTIQUE WEEKLY earlier this year, we have discovered that the world loves the articles we are bringing to light. So we’re expanding this avenue with the creation of BLLA Media, which is the ultimate source of information on all things Boutique & Lifestyle. This will include all the relevant content for the boutique thinker from collaboration alerts, industry news, leader spotlights, development news, white papers and just fun content that we know you’ll love.

BLLA Grand Bazaar www.bllagrandbazaar.com

The BLLA Grand Bazaar is a Boutique & Lifestyle industry marketplace designed to give our hotel members the benefit of collective buying power, as well as a vetted list of high-quality suppliers who are providing a discount to BLLA members. The offerings will include products and services that may be difficult to locate, or are highly customized or specialized.

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| Guide to New York City BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

BLLA’S Guide to New York City

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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FPO AD


| Guide to New York City

Official List of NYC’s Boutique & Lifestyle Hotels BE ON THE LOOKOUT AS BLLA LAUNCHES STAY BOUTIQUE, THE ONLY PLACE FOR THE OFFICIAL LIST OF THE ALL THE BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN THE WORLD

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| Guide to New York City

Uptown

Midtown

Upper West Side, Upper East Side,

Midtown, Columbus Circle,

Marble Hill, Inwood, Fort George,

Rockefeller Center, Diamond District,

Washington Heights, Hudson Heights,

Turtle Bay, Midtown East, Times

West Harlem, Hamilton Heights,

Square, Hudson Yards, Midtown

Morningside Heights, Central Harlem,

West, Hell’s Kitchen, Garment District,

Harlem, Strivers’ Row, Astor Row,

Herald Square, Koreatown, Murray

Sugar Hill, Marcus Garvey Park, Le

Hill, Madison Square

Petit Senegal, East Harlem, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, Manhattan Valley, Lincoln Square

Affinia Gardens Hôtel Plaza Athénée New York Hotel Wales NYLO New York City The Bentley Hotel The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel The Empire Hotel The Lowell Hotel The Mark Hotel The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel The Sherry-Netherland The Surrey

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

1 Hotel Central Park Ace Hotel AKA Times Square AKA Central Park AKA Sutton Place AKA United Nations Ameritania at Times Square Archer Hotel New York Baccarat Hotel and Residences Bryant Park Hotel Carvi Hotel New York Casablanca Hotel Times Square Cassa Times Square Hotel and Residences Chambers New York Hotel citizenM New York Times Square Hotel City Club Hotel Club Quarters Hotel, Grand Central Club Quarters Hotel, Midtown Club Quarters Hotel, Rockefeller Center Dream Midtown Dream Times Square (TBD) Dumont NYC Dylan Hotel NYC Edition Times Square (TBD) Fifty NYC Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel Hotel 32 32 Hotel 48LEX New York Hotel Elsyee Hundson Hotel


| Guide to New York City Hotel Shocard Langham Place, New York Library Hotel Lotte New York Palace Mandarin Oriental New York Morgans New York Night Hotel Theater District Night Hotel Times Square Paramount Hotel Park Central Hotel Park Lane Hotel Pod 39 Pod 51 Room Mate Grace Row NYC Hotel Royalton Hotel Sanctuary Hotel Shelburn NYC Shoreham Hotel Stewart Hotel The Algonquin Hotel The Avalon Hotel The Benjamin The Bernic Hotel The Blakely New York Hotel The Chatwal The Court The Gallivant Times Square The Gotham Hotel The Gregory Hotel The Iroquois New York The Kitano New York The Knickerbocker Hotel The Lexington New York City The Lombardy Hotel The London NYC The Manhattan at Times Square The Mansfield Hotel The Marmara Park Avenue The Michelangelo The Moderne Hotel The Out Hotel

The Peninsula New York The Quin The Renwick Hotel The Roger Smith Hotel The Time New York The Tuscany The William NYC Trump International Hotel and Tower Viceroy Central Park WestHouse Hotel New York

The NoMad Hotel The Redbury New York The Roger Hotel The Standard High Line Virgin Hotel New York (Opening 2018)

Between Midtown & Downtown Flower District, Hudson Yards, Kips Bay, Rose Hill, NoMad, Chelsea, Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, Stuyvesant Square, Union Square, Stuyvesant Town, Meatpacking District, Waterside Plaza

Arlo NoMad Carlton Hotel Dream Downtown Edition New York Gansevoort Meatpacking Gansevoort Park Avenue Gramercy Park Hotel HGU New York Hotel Americano Hotel Chandler Hotel Giraffe Lex Hotel NYC Refinery Hotel Restoration Hardware Hotel (TBD) Six Senses New York (Opening 2019) SLS Park Avenue The High Line Hotel The Marcel at Gramercy The Maritime Hotel The MAve Hotel

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| Guide to New York City

Downtown Downtown Manhattan, East Village, Greenwich Village, NoHo, Bowery, West Village, Lower East Side, SoHo, Nolita, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District, Two Bridges, Tribeca, Civic Center, Radio Row, South Street Seaport, Battery Park City

11 Howard Ace Hotel Bowery (TBD) AKA Wall Street Arlo Hudson Square BMB Hotel (Opening Fall 2017) citizenM Bowery (TBD) Club Quarters Wall Street

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

Club Quarters World Trade Center Cosmopolitan Hotel Crosby Street Hotel Duane Street Hotel Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel Hotel 50 Bowery Hotel East Houston Hotel Hugo SoHo Hotel on Rivington Nolitan Hotel SoHo NoMo SoHo Orchard Street Hotel PUBLIC New York (Opening 2017) Q & A, a Residential Hotel RIFF Downtown Sago Hotel SIXTY LES

SIXTY SoHo Smyth, a Thompson Hotel Soho Grand Hotel The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel The Bowery Hotel The Broome Hotel The Greenwich Hotel The Jane Hotel The James Hotel The Ludlow Hotel The Marlton Hotel The Mercer The Nolitan Hotel The Roxy Hotel The Standard East Village Trump Soho Walker Hotel World Center Hotel


| Guide to New York City

Brooklyn Williamsburg, Greenpoint , Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Forte Greene, Prospect Heights, Prospect Park, Boerum Hill, Caroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Bklyn House Hotel The Brooklyn-A Hotel Dazzler Brooklyn Henry Norman Hotel Hotel Le Bleu McCarren Hotel & Pool NU Hotel Pod Brooklyn (Opening 2017) PUBLIC Brooklyn (TBD) The Boerum Hotel (TBD) The Box House Hotel The Hoxton Brooklyn (Opening 2017) The Williamsburg Hotel Vos Hotel Brooklyn (Opening 2018) The William Vale Wythe Hotel

QUEENS Long Island City, Flushing

Boro Hotel Paper Factory Hotel The Parc Hotel Dream Long Island City (TBD )

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| Guide to New York City

Food = Life Our Favorite Restaurants in NYC Flora Bar, Image Courtesy of Johnny Miller

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| Guide to New York City

Flora Bar

THE MET BREUER 945 MADISON AVE Co-Owners Thomas Carter and Chef Ignacio Mattos Designer Beyer Blinder Belle @florabarnyc

Images Courtesy of Johnny Miller

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

4 Charles Prime Rib WEST VILLAGE 4 CHARLES ST

Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff @nycprimerib

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| Guide to New York City

abcV

UNION SQUARE 38 E 19TH ST Co-Owners Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Paulette Cole Chef de Cuisine Neal Harden @abcvnyc

Images Courtesy of abcV

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

Loring Place

GREENWICH VILLAGE 21 W 8TH ST, NEW YORK Chef Dan Kluger @loringplacenyc

Images Courtesy of Aliza Eliazarov

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• Lifestyle Hotels • Golf Destination Resorts • Condotels

Tell your Insurance Broker about SUITELIFE and Rest Insured. For a competitive quote, ask your Broker to contact: Jim Shaffer at 800-282-6247 ext 237 | jshaffer@ventureprograms.com or visit: www.suitelifeins.com |  suitelifeins  linkedin.com/company/suitelife-insurance-program Proud to be a Diamond Sponsor & Inner Circle Club Member of the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association.


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| Guide to New York City

Bars in NYC

That the Stay Boutique Crew Loves

Blacktail

BATTERY PARK 22 BATTERY PLACE, 2nd FLOOR PIER A HARBOR HOUSE Cuban themed cocktail bar

Co-Founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry Minds Behind the Drinks McGarry, Muldoon, Jesse Vida & Jillian Vose @blacktailnyc

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| Guide to New York City

Westlight

WILLIAMSBURG 111 N 12TH ST THE WILLIAM VALE HOTEL Noho Hospitality

Partners Luke Ostrom, Chef Andrew Carmellini & Josh Pickard Chef Anthony Ricco Mind Behind the Drinks Anne Robinson @thewilliamvale

Images Courtesy of Noah Fecks

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

The Twenty WILLIAMSBURG 177 GRAND ST

Owner Jacob Willis Operating Partners Cadi Storm & Anthony Hoy Fong @thetwentybar

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| Guide to New York City

De Maria

NOLITA 19 KENMARE ST Culinary Director & Executive Chef Camille Becerra Art Director Nikki Brand Named after midcentury artist Walter De Maria @demarianyc

Images Courtesy of Nicole Franzen

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

The Lucky Bee LOWER EAST SIDE 252 BROOME ST

Owners Rupert Noffs & Chef Matty Bennett $1 of each drink goes to the New York City Beekeepers Association @luckybeenyc

Images Courtesy of Filip Wolak

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| Guide to New York City

Summer in the Hamptons

The Montauk Beach House MONTAUK 55 S ELMWOOD AVE

Owner Larry Siedlick Designed by Walt Lindveld @thembh

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| Guide to New York City

Stay: Topping Rose House

BRIDGEHAMPTON 1 BRIDGEHAMPTON-SAG HARBOR TURNPIKE Owners Bill Campbell & Simon Critchell Designer Champalimaud @toppingrosehouse

c/o The Maidstone EAST HAMPTON 207 MAIN ST

c/o Hotels Owner Jenny Ljungberg Designer The Metrics Design Group @themaidstonehotel

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa MONTAUK 290 OLD MONTAUK HWY

Owner George Filopoulos & Lloyd Goldman Designer Michael Kramer @gurneysmontauk

Image courtesy of Gurney's Montauk

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

Eat: Oreya

SOUTHAMPTON THE CAPRI HOTEL Culinaria Group, Owner/Chef Greg Grossman New Concept in Modern Mediterranean Dining @oreyahamptons

Moby’s

EAST HAMPTON 341 PANTIGO RD Owners Nick Hatsatouris & Lincoln Pilcher. Chef Gary King

Image courtesy of Baltz & Co.

Rustic, market driven menu @mobysny

Arbor Montauk MONTAUK 240 FORT POND RD

Owner Marc Rowan Chef de Cuisine Philippe Corbet Mediterranean wine & beer bistro @arbormontauk

Grey Lady MONTAUK 440 W LAKE DR

Owners Callum McLaughlin, Ryan Chadwick & Gavin McLaughlin Executive Chef Jonathan Warnock Modern farm-to-table New England style seafood @greyladymtk Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Guide to New York City

Workout: Barry’s Bootcamp SOUTHAMPTON 10 MONTAUK HIGHWAY CEO Joey Gonzalez @barrysbootcamp

Soul Cycle

EAST HAMPTON 68 NEWTOWN LN Partner Equinox, Co-Founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice @soulcycle

SLT

SOUTHAMPTON 16 HILL ST #2 Founder Amanda Freeman @sltnyc

TA Tracy Anderson Method Studio EAST HAMPTON 30 PARK PLACE

Owner Tracy Anderson @tracyandersonmethod

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Guide to New York City

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Drink: AM

SOUTHAMPTON 125 TUCKAHOE LN @amsouthampton

Southampton Social Club SOUTHAMPTON 256 ELM ST

Paige Hospitality Group Owner Matt Shendell, President Brian Mazza, Co-Owners Ian Duke & David Hilty @sh_socialclub

Jue Lan Club SOUTHAMPTON 268 ELM ST Owners Alex Amano & Naiome Ram @juelanclub

The Surf Lodge MONTAUK 183 EDGEMERE STREET Owner Jayma Cardoso @thesurflodge

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Leadership Conference

October 3-5, 2017 UCLA Luskin Conference Center & Hotel Los Angeles

The Future is WOW for boutique hospitality!

FPO AD

The annual fall Leadership Conference has taken on a new name and a new level of sophistication where the disruptors from the world of boutique hospitality come to celebrate each other and their success in the complex world of hotel ownership & development.

Featuring more than 70 speakers, workshops, speed networking, & awards banquet with new open seating & design

You need to be there!


| Guide to New York City

An Inside Look at HGU New York PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST

ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut INTERVIEWS BY ARIELA KIRADJIAN del ipsam, nonsecae conseque WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FORofficiis BLLA. ALL illecta ilicill aboreprest, et RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

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| Guide to New York City

| Guide to New York City

A talk with Mike Namer, CEO & Founder of Alfa Development’s first hotel property, HGU New York, one of the city’s most forward-thinking boutique hotels AK: What is the vision behind the reinvented HGU New York? MN: It’s not so much a reinvention as it is a remake of the original hotel, which was established in 1905. We were very conscious to ensure the history and culture behind the brand remained a prominent part of our existence. We refer to the new HGU New York as a landmark reborn. The new and improved HGU New York has undergone a complete renovation, and the artistic community of the NoMad district inspires the design work that floods our hallways and hotel suites today. AK: What does HGU New York stand for? How did you decide on this name? MN: The HGU in our new name stands for Hotel Grand Union, which was the name of the original hotel. We were adamant we wanted to keep the connection to our origin, whilst at the same time creating a platform for an entirely new brand, which has a more modern feel and reflects our new 4 Star status. 41

Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

Shortening Hotel Grand Union to HGU has allowed us to hold a historic brand link, whilst also creating a platform for brand recognition when we go on to pursue plans to expand our presence in other cities across the U.S., and potentially worldwide. AK: How do you keep strong ties to the community? MN: Showing support to our local community is a huge part of the HGU New York brand ethos. ML and I are both artists so we do everything we can to support the many up and coming talented artists in New York City, and keep the community thriving. All of the art pieces featured in the hotel have been purchased directly from local artists, because we want them to receive the return they deserve. We also host numerous charity events in our 1905 lounge, inviting members of the local community and hotel guests to support amazing causes. AK: On your website, you have

an entire section dedicated to “Culture.” Why did you create such an emphasis on this? MN: Our culture is what really defines us, and it’s why our guests choose to stay with us over bigger, chain hotels when they book a trip to New York. As a boutique brand, our USP is that we provide our guests with so much more than just a place to stay when they’re in town. We want our guests to experience New York like a local, and the “Culture” section on the website is designed to act as a virtual tour guide for everyone who stays with us. AK: When renovating the hotel and brand, why did you decide to stay independent, and not join a large chain? MN: The biggest reason behind this decision is that we didn’t want to be absorbed by a large chain that would suppress our individuality and dissolve what makes us unique. Boutique hotels also hold a better track record in New York City, in terms of ADR, and traffic.


| Guide to New York City

| Guide to New York City

PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

A collaboration spotlight interview with ML Perlman, Vice President of Development & Marketing at HGU New York AK: Who have you collaborated with since opening last year? ML: Since opening in July 2015, we’ve ingrained influencer marketing into our overall strategy. Our key audience is largely generation Y and Z, so we know that the impact of social media is invaluable. HGU New York is a boutique hotel with an artistic flare, and that’s really reflected in our clientele. We tend to attract new up and comers on the art scene, and we embrace that within our marketing approach. One of our most successful, and longest standing collaborations is with Gallery 151. Our founder, Mike Namer, established the gallery 10 years ago and our Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Guide to New York City ongoing collaboration with the brand has allowed us to not only raise awareness of HGU New York amongst the community, but also help support the artists who contribute to the gallery. Everyone who visits us is greeted with art from Gallery 151. The artwork hanging in our lobby and all of the guest rooms really defines the unique experience, and the entire ethos of the hotel. It’s what sets us apart from other hotels in the city. We’ve also had some amazing talent come through our doors since opening in summer 2015; everyone from former Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo to world-renowned model, Emily Ratajkowski. During New York Fashion Week last year, we collaborated with numerous influencers, including Shea Marie and Caroline Vreeland, who all documented their stay at the hotel via. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. AK: How did you reach out to them, or did they reach out to you? ML: It’s a real mixture. When we first opened, we wanted to get word out that we were the hottest place in town to come and stay, so we reached out to a selection of top influencers and talent agencies we knew could really speak to our demographic. However, as the rave reviews have flooded in, we’ve now seen requests coming in organically from guests who have 43

Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

heard about us, or seen influencers and celebrities staying at the hotel. AK: Why, in your opinion, do collaborations help boutique hotels? ML: It’s all about getting inside the mind of the consumer and reaching the right people. From experience, we’ve found that utilizing influencers and being able to naturally market ourselves through exposure to their following has proved hugely successful.

During NYFW, when the majority of our guests were embracing the culture of New York’s nightlife, we offered special treatments to help cure hangover symptoms, and set everyone up for another full day of runway shows. The reaction was amazing, and it definitely helped to put us on the map with consumers within the fashion industry. AK: Do you agree that collaborations are the next greatest trend in the hospitality industry? ML: Absolutely!

We accommodated a number of A-Listers during NYFW 2015 and 2016, and the results were invaluable for brand exposure. In addition to influencer collaborations, we’ve also worked with a number of innovative brands to enhance our overall guest experience. In 2016, we installed FLI Charge hubs in to all of our hotel rooms to ensure guests never go a minute without being able to document their stay. New York is a city for exploring and documenting your travels, so we know how important it is to always have all of your devices fully charged. Another successful brand collaboration we pursued was with REVIV, the leading global wellness provider of signature IV nutrient therapies and booster shots.

At HGU New York, we’ve learned from experience that successful brand collaborations can be invaluable for establishing brand recognition, extending brand reach, establishing new markets, and helping to improve brand image. The caliber of influencers we have collaborated with has also directly impacted our brand reputation and helped to position HGU New York as a luxury, boutique hotel. The most exciting thing about collaborations is that different industries and audiences can come together to benefit from one another’s strengths. AK: The hotel’s marketing is right on point with what’s trending today as seen on your Instagram page and website. How do you stay relevant in the always changing landscape of the hotel industry?


| Guide to New York City ML: Social media, especially Instagram because it’s so visual, plays a huge part in our marketing success. Staying relevant is key because we always want to keep on top of industry trends, but at the same time, we don’t just like to follow the crowd. We like to think of our social media accounts as a mirror of our guest experience. All of the content has been developed through the eyes of previous guests, and what we know they have loved about their experience with us. Through our Instagram page, we provide a real taste of what it’s like to stay at the hotel. Our founder, Mike Namer and I are both artists, and it’s our mission to ensure everyone who visits the hotel immediately feels like part of the family. We share a mixture of images of our rooms, all of the amazing art pieces hanging in the lobby, sharing posts from guests enjoying their time with us, suggestions of events and happenings in the city, and everything we believe our audience will value. The overall goal of our online presence is to provide an element of discovery, whether that is through discovering a new artist, or a new place in the city to hang out.

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| Guide to New York City

Streetwear Stores That

Boutique Hotels Should Work With BY ARIELA KIRADJIAN | VICE PRESIDENT BLLA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STAY BOUTIQUE WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

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Image Courtesy of Stadium Goods Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

BLLA predicts that collaborations are the next greatest trend in hospitality. It’s all about working together to help each other. For instance, streetwear is the most powerful fashion trend for 2017. Even Louis Vuitton partnered with Supreme to launch a collection together (two brands you wouldn’t think would even be in the same category) as they saw the opportunity of helping each other and overlapping different markets to see the vision of both brands. The Ace Hotel’s “gift shop” is none other than one of the first modern fashion disruptors, Opening Ceremony. It’s amazing because these boutique travelers are able to relate to the hotel’s official gift shop because this only adds to the guest experience. The hotel experience and the modern retail experience both have similar visions as they both emphasize innovation and originality. BLLA predicts that this is only the start, that the boutique travelers will see this grow as boutique hoteliers continue to realize the significance of partnerships.


| Guide to New York City

Supreme

NOLITA 274 LAFAYETTE ST Founder James Jebbia “Over it’s twenty-two year history, Supreme has worked with some of our generation’s most groundbreaking designers, artists, photographers and musicians- all who have helped continue to define its unique identity and attitude.” - Supreme

HSWLD

LOWER EAST SIDE 15 ESSEX ST “Brand was founded in 2009 by two brothers from Europe living in NYC with a background of skateboarding culture. They had a vision to emphasize the depths of art, fashion, and lifestyle; aiming to make their own spot within the realm of creativity. Starting off small and independent, they turned a living room into a handmade screen-printing studio. Gradually growing, they then started a garment production in Europe and opened the first store in New York City, 2014”

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Stadium Goods

SOHO 47 HOWARD ST

Owners John McPheters, Jed Stiller & Yu-Ming Wu 3,000 square flagship store in Soho “We are a premium sneaker + streetwear marketplace selling only the most sought after footwear, apparel and other hard-to-find items on behalf of our sellers. We are driven by our principles and committed to providing the best consumer and consignment experience there is.” – Stadium Goods

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| Guide to New York City

Opening Ceremony

SOHO 35 HOWARD ST

NOMAD 1190-1192 BROADWAY ACE HOTEL Founders Carol Lim & Humberto Leon “Taking its name and mission statement from the modern Olympic Games, founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Opening Ceremony adopts a multinational approach to retail. In addition to stocking both iconic and emerging homegrown designers, every year OC showcases the spirit and merchandise of a visiting country, transforming each store into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.�- Opening Ceremony

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HOSPITALITY REINVENTED Boutique Design’s content is tailored to the design principles that define the boutique and lifestyle approach—and to the visionaries driving the future of hospitality.

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In every issue you’ll find unique, forward-looking hotel and leisure projects that inspire trends and set edgier standards for guest spaces worldwide. BoutiqueDesign.com/subscribe

Boutique Design connects the hospitality industry with these trade fairs and events:


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| Boutique Trend Reports

Boutique Trend Reports

BY GREG SATO | FINERY

WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details.

In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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| Boutique Trend Reports PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

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| Boutique Trend Reports BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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| Boutique Trend Reports

Boutique Trend Reports Introduction BY: FRANCES KIRADJIAN | FOUNDER & CEO, BLLA WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED;REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

The world of hospitality has long been dominated by trends. After all, one of the main reasons we travel is to pursue new experiences, and so the quest for the latest hot travel sensation is never-ending. In the Boutique & Luxury Lifestyle sector, we’re at the forefront of breaking trends, and are able to adopt them faster than larger, chain hotels.

Adopting a trend can also add extra value to an already highquality offering. Your 18th-century converted townhouse might seem un-improvable, but that extra boost in sales you’ll get from opening a pop-up conceptual cocktail bar in the basement certainly won’t hurt your finances nor will it harm the brand’s values.

But just what is the value of trends, and why is it so important that we stay abreast of them? Isn’t it enough that a hotel can provide its guests with high standards of comfort and service, without obsessing over the latest trends?

As well as attracting new customers, trends can also serve to keep existing ones engaged. Even the most faithful repeat visitors are lured by novelty, and you may well find your new in-room interactive entertainment system persuades them to return once again.

One reason to pursue trends is that it gives us the edge in a fiercely competitive market. A boutique hotel, being financially independent and able to move swiftly, can adopt the latest trends way ahead of a large chain, branded hotel. Boutiques are also more at liberty to break new trends and to experiment.

That’s why we at BLLA Media are making a commitment to keep you up to speed with the latest trends on a continuous basis. Our content will cover every aspect of hotel trends, from decor to tech to food and drinks. And to get things started, here are a few interesting topics of what’s hot in the hospitality world in 2017.

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| Boutique Trend Reports BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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| Boutique Trend Reports

Trend Report:

In These Times, Everyone Needs To Be A Great Editor BY CORY INGRAM | FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, IDENTITY ATELIER WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

Our vision and quest for projects is to think like an editor and build incredible brand equity through storytelling, activations and design. Like many endeavors, it’s about the meticulous work that goes into making projects appear totally effortless, with every detail harmonizing seamlessly with the next. The greater an impression you leave on a guest, the more likely they are to share those experiences and come back for more. The preference is to lead with experiences that focus on natural authenticity and are supported by community-based actions. For instance, the lobby space for Unscripted, the newest brand being

launched for Dream Hotel Group in Durham, is a highly activated space with records playing and classic martinis served in vintage glassware—all while a live drawing class is taking place. Guests walk into the excitement, ready to share what we’ve created for them on their social networks. It’s all about using all the items in our toolbox to create a dynamic and exciting environment. The approach has always been to tell a narrative that guests can appreciate without a hard explanation.  At The Restoration Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, we created a very strong brand narrative of Americana

and the concept of “Freedom and Travel” and then supported those ideas with dynamic programming. Over the past year, we’ve curated full scale, gallery-quality exhibitions of things like vintage American flags and religious artifacts that speak to Charleston being the named “The Holy City.” The vintage flags were displayed all across the property, from our farm-to-table restaurant The Watch, to our retail store The Port Mercantile, to our coffee shop, The Rise. In every outlet, we included a little nugget of narrative and captivated our guests, resulting in a flurry of social posts and revenue. With prices ranging from $800

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| Boutique Trend Reports to $25,000, we sold 23 out of the 26 flags on display and are bringing back a new iteration of the exhibition for summer 2017. Editorially-minded successes require heavy curation and an obsession with detail. It’s more than just implementing on property, we have to think bigger in terms of all the narrative platforms: social, blog, newsletters, digital, publicity, and of course, print, which includes our Cultural Almanac magazine and signage on property.  We coordinate a lot of creative partnerships for such a small property so that we have very enriched content. In our Cultural Almanac, we have a collection

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of articles and features on what is most relevant on property, like how much we love SEWE, a Southeastern wildlife event that takes place in February. It’s all about refining and editing layers upon layers of experience, from retail to print to social, and letting guests dive in. Continuing to work with the philosophy of blurring lines between highly layered experiences, we are able to cast vision for many projects. For example, with Dream Hotel Group’s upcoming Hollywood opening we are forecasting a digital, social “Meet the Makers” program. We are focused on devising a robust campaign that helps us tell the rich stories that

speak directly to the brand’s DNA of creativity and collaboration. Utilizing the pillars of “Cottage, Craft, and Hand” to reconnect with the great craftsmen and craftswomen of the Los Angeles creative community, we are linking with custom guitar designers, mad hatters and botanists to showcase their unique products in our shop. Through workshops and Q&A’s in our versatile space at Dream Hollywood, we can expand the relationship even further. We are also getting an exclusive look inside the makers’ studios through videos and interviews that we will share across our digital channels, a very organic way to create brand awareness.


| Boutique Trend Reports PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

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| Boutique Trend Reports

Trends in Digital BY ADAM WALLACE | FOUNDER & CEO, SPHERICAL COMMUNICATIONS WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

The digital world is space where travelers can connect with their hotels long before (and after) they’ve checked in. Keeping up with the rapid pace of trends in the digital sphere is vital to maintaining a successful presence both online and offline. Here are some of the content, social, and web trends we’re watching, preparing for and embracing as they increase in popularity. CONTENT TRENDS: CUTTING THROUGH THE NOISE Boutique hotels are still maneuvering how to deal with “content shock,”

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as more brands from nearly every industry have become digital publishers (on web and social). On the flip side, travelers today are increasingly surgical in their ability to dissect digital content as they search for authentic characters who represent clear ideas and cohesive aesthetics. To be noticed, hotels are investing more time into developing and sharing distinct stories. This evolution has created new ways to tell stories across multiple mediums at once, creating a seamless experience from website, to social, to the storefront in a visual standard as well as a data

crossover. Now, a business will use digital platforms to understand your interests, know your name, and tailor your commerce experience specific to you. To stand out, brands have to differentiate themselves in new ways. On Instagram, more brands are opting for highly curated feeds that tell a clear story upon first glance. Brands have to stand out with a cohesive visual aesthetic, usually relying on a mix of their own photography and user generated content to interact with their audiences.


| Boutique Trend Reports The days of hotel blogs winning readers with wide-ranging destination content are behind us. Hotels are having to find their niche in the digital sphere by sharing a unique perspective and identity. Successful hotel blogs are more than just aspirational. They link a destination to a very real, dynamic experience of visiting the destination and staying with the hotel. They expect their hotels to be “authentic” to the destination without having to advertise it as such. This applies in-person, on social, and online, where consumers want to learn about a space or place rather than be told to purchase something. With less room to be unclear and inconsistent, the trend is to present a more unique and complete personality. Expect a lot of “behind the scenes” videos and photos this year across all social channels.

tools—messaging, live content, temporary content, etc.—into their product, making these platforms one-stop shops for their audiences. What does this mean for hotels and the hospitality industry? From the perspective of a hotel brand on social, understanding and keeping up with this trend is vital to understanding how users will engage with content on each platform.

As social media content continues to evolve and platforms become more integrated, video has become the medium of choice for users and a critical component to social media content strategy for brands looking to be heard. From live streaming video to technologies like drones and virtual- or augmentedreality to the return of long form content, innovations in video technology continue to push the envelope. The interest in video

SOCIAL PLATFORM TRENDS: REACHING THE RIGHT USERS AT THE RIGHT TIME More than ever before, social media platforms are finding themselves in a compromising position as their once distinctive features are not sufficient enough to maintain solid engagement from their users. In order to compete with each other in the digital space these platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat are incorporating previously distinct

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| Boutique Trend Reports lies within the desire for authentic, time sensitive content. Users are aware of curation, they’re aware of how social media is and can be manipulated–the endless stream of curated content can be tiring in the 24-hour social media cycle. Video provides users with a sense of authenticity because it appears ‘live’ even if it is not– video in real time is always a gamble but it is a risk that is often rewarding with user engagement as it provides users with a human aspect. While incorporating video has becoming increasingly popular with users, promoting shopping has become increasingly popular with retailers on social. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all focusing on facilitating shopping within their platforms with the recent release of new platform features and ad products. Though most of these are product focused for now, hospitality brands should continue to monitor development in this space. The competition to be THE one-stop platform presents hoteliers with multiple opportunities to promote the social narrative of their brand from every angle on multiple sites, simultaneously. By utilizing each platform as a one-stop platform, guests will be able to experience a seamless transition from engaging with a brand prior to staying at a hotel, engaging with the brand during the stay and engaging long 63

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after their stay. The aim of this social engagement is to create a permanent community of active users around the brand. By keeping up with the trends of social, hotel brands will be able to adjust their use of each platform in order to appropriately reach their audience. WEB TRENDS: COMPETING WITH OTAs FOR DIRECT BOOKINGS When it comes to web trends, mobile speed is becoming the most important factor for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as the number of people spending time on mobile devices increases. Page speed directly affects the time it takes for

a website to display its content. A fast website will receive more views, lower bounce rates, and a better reputation than a slow one. Google has noticed this trend and is expected to implement it into its algorithm; hotel brands should keep this in mind to maintain the best reputation possible. Another trend Google is trying to secure is the personal assistant. With the rollout of Google Assistant across Android devices, the idea of researching, scheduling and booking a trip via a voice-based personal search assistant has transformed from wishful thinking to upcoming reality.


| Boutique Trend Reports The last two web trends involve improved and reduced-cost booking for hotels. More boutique, luxury and lifestyle hotels are trying to minimize their reliance on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Rather than give OTAs vast commission fees, hotels can put a fraction of that money into strategic marketing campaigns concentrating on SEO, social, and branding to improve their overall bottom line and brand strength. Booking systems have always been a notoriously clunky and cumbersome part of the booking process. The look and feel, responsiveness, and point of user interaction has long been a culprit for significant drop off in conversion. Now, more hotels are aiming for a seamless integration into the booking flow. Users can preview live pricing right from the homepage (or even on Google Maps), see snapshots of how many people are booking the same room, and see live rate comparisons with OTAs—all before ever entering the booking system. And more hotels are upgrading the booking back-end as well, to allow for continuity in look and feel from web to booking, a more intuitive and easy to use interface; and, for those booking on their phones, a natural mobile experience to move them from peruser to purchaser in only a few clicks.

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| Boutique Trend Reports

It’s All in the Details BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience. The guiding principle for this fresh perspective is an understanding that a little disruption goes a long way. Acute attention to detail has become just as important as a comfy bed. We now see discerning guests showing a 65

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predilection to spend money on experience rather than goods. They expect that experience to be an intriguing sensorial event that invokes their passions and creates unique memories. It is in this spirit that the uniform, once relegated to staid catalogues and a “one size fits all” approach, is now a major part of the design language that inform a brand’s DNA and guest experience. The uniform is no longer the sum of “uni” and “form” – but is now a tool that nonverbally communicates –

“this is who we are.” Your staff is the front line of your brand. From the moment a guest checks in to the moment they check out, almost every interaction is with a member of the staff. There becomes an instant disconnect in the brand narrative when a catalogue-ordered polyester vest and ill-fitting pant is juxtaposed against an expertly edited interior and perfectly manicured soundtrack. Your staff is an extension of your property – and their look becomes just as important


| Boutique Trend Reports as the architectural details that house them. We firmly believe the uniform is an essential part of a hotel’s storytelling. The uniform, in and of itself, is an experiential touchpoint. Style, character, personality and individuality are all part of the perception of your brand. Ultimately, the story of your brand is told by the people who work there. Not to mention, that when people look good, they feel good, and ultimately do better work.

A good uniform should remain, at its core, workwear. Durability, functionality and sustainability should always be at the core – but no longer at the sacrifice of style. The clothing should be so well-intentioned in its design that by elevating its wearer, it in turn elevates the hotel as a whole. When designing uniforms, our challenge to ourselves is always “would we wear this?”. Our intent is to create pieces that are so design-driven that when staff get

off shift, they won’t feel the need to immediately change to meet up with friends for after work dinner or drinks. Simply put, we filter every piece through the lens of the anti-uniform. And just as no two hotels are the same, no two design explorations follow the same path. Each property receives a fully bespoke program - grounded in their individual brand narrative and geographic location. This entirely personalized approach ensures that no two uniform arrangements will ever be duplicated in whole. At the start of every design exploration, the fundamental rule we address is fit and proportion. In many cases, the updating of silhouette can make all the difference. With a few simple updates to length, cut, and even the size of a lapel, a look can instantly become a modern update on a classic. It’s then that we begin to drill down into specifics on fabric, color palettes, tailoring, accessories, trims, buttons, and other details that bring the uniform to life. The discerning traveler has come to expect that each and every hotel experience is defined by the “little things.” It is this ethos to which we prescribe - starting with a sound foundation on every level, then layering in the minute details and surprises. You’d be amazed at how far a well-intentioned lapel pin goes.

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| Boutique Trend Reports

The De-Evolution Of Fancy Dining The changing role of modern dining as a creative medium BY JODY PENNETTE | FOUNDER & CEO, CB5 HOSPITALITY CONSULTING WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

FUELING EMOTIONS Restaurants need to connect emotionally the same way music, art and film do. It’s not about the consumption of a meal…. it’s about an experience that moves you. BIG PRODUCTION VS. INDIE curated, bespoke, hand-crafted

These styles can shape the subtleties of an emotional connection better than over thought glossy productions that are designed to hype the guest into believing since the true goal lies in engaging the market. 67

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Restaurants used to try and figure out what the public wanted and then sought to deliver it. Today, the industry is about people loving what they are doing and expressing their passion through food and the sharing of this experience with a group of open- minded consumers.

As we de-evolve from high priced formal dining into a more lifestyle reflective arena, the curated products crafted with passion and care are outpacing the larger mainstream production dining boxes that were meant to impose a point of view instead of celebrating a shared one.

HOMEGROWN RULES! The explosive growth of local craft breweries is a vivid example of this homegrown trend. The simplicity of creating honest product to share with friends and guests is the most pure form of hospitality.

The local craft brewers have taken on the big boys in a foamy tidal wave of success. Beer lovers have never been more at the center of culinary pairings and tasting rooms with new bold flavors and exotic ingredients. This unprecedented


| Boutique Trend Reports growth and excitement is fueled by improved technique, appreciation for craftsman heritage and the evolution of awareness that small, hand crafted, product created with passion as a motivation over profit is a great reflection on our changing times. Quality and style are always in fashion but pretense, fussiness and strut are likely gone forever. This new consumer opinion confidence is bolstered by an endless sea of peers by association who find support via social media and can change the way in which retail behaves. Hype and labels can no longer influence us the way they used to … today it’s all about connectivity and managing a relationship that is more than just a one off experience. A good movie moves us emotionally and that is what a great meal should do as well … way beyond just filling a belly. e.mo.tion /: a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s reaction to an experience When we watch a movie, listen to music or go out to dinner, we are actually registering an emotional reaction whether we realize it or not. The more intense and moving…the stronger we feel about the experience.

long way from the days of aspiring to a basic platform of good food and good service. Whereas many restaurant operators describe their goal as delivering a “strong customer experience”, a mightier platform might actually be in striving to develop a relationship with their guests by focusing on them just feeling good. As simple an idea as this sounds, think for a moment how many modern day restaurants are preaching a chef’s philosophy or pulling out all the stops to impress or educate when all we really want is that warm feeling from a good time that ultimately reinforces our choices. ETHOS INSTEAD OF EGOS It’s no wonder today’s chefs are sometimes consumed with their own sense of “greatness” as they are being compelled to compete in cooking shows, out do the already over the top creations of the chef down the street and use products and techniques never before seen all in an attempt to establish themselves as top toque. Somewhere in this quest for selffulfillment many have lost sight of the hungry guests sitting in their dining room who are just looking to enjoy themselves. Impressing people is not as rewarding as connecting to them since the latter can grow into a lasting relationship.

Restaurants have certainly come a

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| Boutique Trend Reports PAPA DON’T PREACH Thinking of dining guests as an audience needs to change. The message today should not be delivered as a speech but instead should provoke a conversation. Once the guests learn to trust a restaurant based upon consistently uplifting experiences, they are ready to take a journey with the chef and his exploration of new dining ideas. This connection is fortified through experience and not by lecturing or condescending to the consumer with a superior knowledge of food in an enlightenment style. Often we find a college age waiter reciting dinner specials as if you, the consumer … knows nothing and they possess a

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glossary of fancy food terms that you should be in awe of. Big studios use glossy production and tons of special effects to entertain while indies use story, texture and oh yeah…great acting! Independent chef owned venues are the “indies” of the genre as they are often risk takers and put all of their resources into the elements that reinforce their core concept. It only goes astray when they fulfill ego instead of their guest’s desires.

obsessed with is similar to Couture fashion. A nice example of what could be but hardly something you actually want to purchase. Often unnecessary dramatic production is simply a distraction much like a rock band using smoke and glitter to compensate for a lack of talent. Great ingredients prepared with passion and care will almost always prevail and today, honest pure cooking is not a trend but a requirement.

FLASH IN THE PAN Great food like great music must deliver harmony for pure enjoyment. The overthought complicated dishes that 1.3% of the population is

British chef/author Jamie Oliver says it best …“real food doesn’t have ingredients… real food is ingredients”.


| Boutique Trend Reports

across the country

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some judge a company by the company it keeps Ian Schrager Hotels Virgin Hotels Starwood Hotels International InterContinental Hotels Cirque Du Soleil Autograph Collection Marriott Hard Rock Hotels Morgans Hotel Group Fairmont Hotels W Hotels Marriott Hotels International Mayflower Hotel Westfield malls Maac Hospitality Evolution Hospitality Waterford Hotel Group Capital Hotel Management United States White House Grand Heritage Hotels Cordish Companies Felcor Lodging Trust Cornerstone Hospitality Onassis Family Stanford Hotels Holiday Inn Hotel Olympia Gaming Easy Cruise Tishman Hotels

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20 years and 300 hotel f&b concepts globally


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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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Boutique Hotel Investment Conference


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

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& Education Boutique Lifestyle

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Official Boutique & Lifestyle Dictionary SERIES 2 LET’S SEE HOW THE OXFORD DICTIONARY DESCRIBES CRUCIAL WORDS IN THIS INDUSTRY

All definitions and origins are from the Oxford Dictionary from Oxford University Press All sentences are created by the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association 75

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Independent

Innovate

adj.

verb

1. Free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority

1. Make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

2. Capable of thinking or acting for oneself 3. Not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; free-standing Origin: Early 17th century (as an adjective): partly on the pattern of French indépendant Sentence: There are so many benefits of staying an independent hotel and thus why they have grown so popular.

Hotel noun 1. An establishment providing accommodation, meals, and other services for travellers and tourists 2. A code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication Origin: Mid 18th century: from French hôtel, from Old French hostel (see hostel) Sentence: Today’s hotel goes by many names and includes lodging such as hostels, bed & breakfast inns and the such, but the standard services described above have changed significantly.

Lifestyle noun 1. The way in which a person lives 2. Denoting advertising or products designed to appeal to a consumer by association with a desirable lifestyle Sentence: When you’re a lifestyle hotel, you have the resort feel while still holding to boutique hotel values.

Origin: Mid 16th century: from Latin innovatrenewed, altered, from the verb innovare, from in- into + novare make new (from novus new) Sentence: Most boutique designers continuously innovate to take luxury and 4 and 5 star boutique hotels to the level of sophistication travelers appreciate.

Passion noun 1. Strong and barely controllable emotion 2. An intense desire or enthusiasm for something Origin: Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati suffer Sentence: If you find that your true passion lies with creating unique experiences and close relationships, you should own a boutique hotel.

Invest Verb 1. Put (money) into financial schemes, shares, property, or a commercial venture with the expectation of achieving a profit 2. Devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result Origin: Mid 16th century (in the senses ‘clothe’, ‘clothe with the insignia of a rank’, and ‘endow with authority’): from French investir or Latin investire, from in- into, upon + vestire clothe (from vestis clothing). Sentence: It seems to be on trend to invest in boutique hotels and create a unique experience for the guests that they can’t get anywhere else. Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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distinction is our only standard Our bespoke approach and proprietary systems ensure your success is always in focus.

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At Charlestowne Hotels, we saturate ourselves in all aspects of the guest experience to help you navigate your specific terrain of operational execution, brand positioning, and profit optimization. Customized and meticulously calibrated, our approach is constantly modified to meet the varying needs of our clients. By focusing on the distinctive aributes of each asset, we are able to pave a tailored path that drives tangible results. And with RevPAR growth that exceeds the national average year over year, it appears as if our efforts are never out of focus.


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Excerpts From the BLLA Blog Where is the top of the luxury pyramid? Luxury is a curiously fluid concept. Not so long ago, the idea of staying in a hotel that prided itself on luxury was reserved for the super-rich, and certainly not something you’d have a chance of passing off as a work expense. Now every hotel worth its salt boasts ‘luxurious’ amenities – and our appetite for the finer things in life grows each year. Exotic foods, sumptuous bedlinen, spa treatments, infinity pools... Once-rarefied treats quickly become commonplace in the hotels of the world, as travelers are offered an ever-growing feast of newer, swisher treats. Meanwhile, at the top of the luxury pyramid, the heat is on to provide a service that marks itself apart from the pack. For the global super-elite, mere luxury is no longer enough; hence the birth of super-luxury. For these, no extravagance is too great, no demand too high. Take a company such as Crystal Cruises, which leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of luxury, regularly extending its menu of oceangoing extravagances. Witness hotelier Andre Balazs stepping down as chairman of the already-sumptuous Standard hotel chain to focus on a developing a new

range of “ultra-luxury” hotels. “The lack of uniqueness in the luxury sector is lamentable,” Balazs was quoted as saying. “I think the luxury market is crying for exactly that.” So is luxury the itch that can never be sufficiently scratched? If today’s desirable convenience becomes tomorrow’s humdrum norm, where does that leave hoteliers looking to make a difference and stand out in a crowded market? The answer, as ever, is to focus on your strengths; and for boutique hoteliers that means a personalized, local experience. Luxury means many things to many people, but at its essence it is more than just gold taps and crystal chandeliers. It represents a degree of ‘specialness’ that’s beyond monetary value. Customers want to feel that they are being taken care of, and that their stay has true value and uniqueness. This means providing an experience that truly stands out – whether it be through personalized itineraries, tailoring meals or sharing local knowledge. In the boutique sector we may not always be able to keep up with the industry’s most extravagant mod cons, but we are able to offer travel experiences that go so far beyond the average hotel as to provide the kind of luxury that makes a true lasting impression.

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Experiential travel is growing in popularity Nowadays everyone is looking for their ‘Instagram moment’. The magnetic allure of that standout event or detail, captured elegantly on a smartphone, that gathers a tidal wave of envious comments, has kick-started a transformation in the way people travel as they seek out one-off experiences, itineraries and options that flatter the uniqueness of their own personalities. The result is a travel industry that is moving ever further from the cookie-cutter package holiday towards individual, highly personal itineraries. The development of Airbnb gives some indication of where things are headed. On the back of its success in the holiday-rental market, the Silicon Valley company launched Places and Trips, two services that provide the kind of experiences only a local guide could offer: private tours, dining experiences, gigs for a small invited audience. Travelers love to feel they are getting an authentic flavor of the area they’re visiting, and the chance of a memorable moment that will be immortalized on social media adds value for many. Airbnb’s recent acquisition of Luxury Retreats suggests the company is also planning to add more upmarket options to its offerings. (Note that the upscale boutique sector’s competition to this will be in the soon-to-launch stay-boutique.com site which will feature experiences in DiscoverBoutique.)

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‘Experience’ is now the hottest buzzword in travel, and the options get more and more bespoke: a curated limousine tour of the local area; dinner for two in a private stately home; a gallery tour with the artist themselves; an up-close-and-personal rock concert. The rarer the occasion, the more desirable it becomes, as travelers will pay good money for the chance to say “I was there”. Interactivity is now the norm. Options for tailoring your trip abound, with apps giving guests the ability to choose not just their room but the variety of pillow, the music playing and even the choice of cut flowers. Search engine Flykt offers travel ideas based on user preferences, data mining and machine learning. Hong Kong startup Think Labs leases in-room smartphones to hotels that will not only allow free calls and texts, but also allow handson access to hotel services. And you can even get downright flirty with your travel choices by swiping Tinder-style through destinations and hotels with apps such as Tourlina. We are, it seems, heading for a soft and malleable future where every detail of your trip is open for customization. Take the case of recent crowdfunded boutique hotel Amberlair, in which each aspect of the property, from the location to the services and decor, was selected by its future clientele. More cool hotels and their experiential elements are popping up all over the place!


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The Club is for Members-Only! How boutique hotels are transforming their spaces. How do you make the rarefied atmosphere of highend boutique hotels more exclusive, more desirable? A new wave of LA hotspots have provided the perfect answer: by turning their properties into members-only clubs, you can stay the night. Soho House led the trend, of course, reviving the stuffy members-only concept for a hip younger audience, and turning a British institution into a worldwide luxury brand with a famously stringent members-only door policy (Kim Kardashian was reported to be among those turned away for lack of credentials). Originating in London, where the demand for exclusive clubs has scarcely waned since the 19th century, this has become a worldwide trend, and where Soho House led, others were sure to follow: like the Gwyneth Paltrow-backed Arts Club, another London export; and LA’s quirky, bohemian Petit Ermitage with its hummingbird sanctuary and rooftop sundeck. The latest addition to this discerning bunch is The Hospital Club, yet another London export that is set to take over Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel in 2018 with a series of bars, a tearoom and a rooftop restaurant. The club is a multi-million-dollar project set up by Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen. So for a boutique hotel owner, what exactly is the appeal of limiting your clientele to a select number of paying customers? Well, exclusivity creates a great profile. If your hotel is in a position to be turning away non-members, it can attract attention from all the right people: an exclusive group of discerning hotel-goers with great taste. And that’s a club we’d love to be part of!

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Art in Hotels

The Influence of Fashion

To many of us, a great boutique hotel might resemble a work of art. But some cultured hoteliers are going further than that this year, with boutique properties that double as gallery spaces. We’re not talking about just hanging a few well-chosen paintings in the hallways, but creating true hybrid spaces such as 21c Museum Hotels, a growing chain of hotel/art galleries across North America that combine chic accommodation with avant-garde installations. In the UK, Artist Residences in London and Brighton offer an atmosphere of bohemian creativity among pieces from the likes of Ben Eine.

The fashion world is taking a huge step into the hotel world. Tommy Hilfiger recently announced his new hotel in Miami. Fendi opened a property in Rome. Versace is opening up a Villa. Bulgari is expanding. LVMH is consistently redefining what a luxury hotel is all about.

There’s also the phenomenon of existing galleries opening a boutique hotel on the premises, affording private one-on-one time with some of the finest artworks on the planet. Take Cape Town’s The Silo, which opens in March on the top floor of the new Seitz Museum of Contemporary Art, and the quirky fishing boat/hotel/art installation perched atop London’s Hayward Gallery. So for boutique hotel operators with a passion for art, there has never been a better time to launch yourself into the gallery business. In many ways, a stay away from home presents the perfect circumstances for customers to contemplate the depths of a great work of art, and this opens up whole new avenues for attracting business. And in an arena where preferences for an overnight stay are becoming ever more unique, refined and distinctive, the link with the art world seems more than justified.

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One of the ways this growth is becoming more noticeable is the prominence of them in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. These publications always have articles specifically about luxury boutique hotels which you have seen in the issues of BLLA’s BOUTIQUE WEEKLY. How does fashion influence boutique hotel design? Why do renowned fashion designers feel a need or desire to take their personal brand to a hotel? As a fashion designer uses scissors to sculpt fashion garments, when he enters the hotel world, the scissors become the tool that represent the finite detail of the architecture, the design elements and the customer facing services that emotionalize the guest experience.


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Books Every Boutique & Lifestyle Person Should Read SERIES 2

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The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At a Time

BY ARIANNA HUFFINGTON “In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives -- and even our sex lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power. The Sleep Revolution both sounds the alarm on our worldwide sleep crisis and provides a detailed road map to the great sleep awakening that can help transform our lives, our communities, and our world.” — Synopsis from Amazon Books

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The Intelligent Investor

The Story of Art

BY BENJAMIN GRAHAM

BY E.H. GOMBRICH

“Benjamin graham inspired people everywhere in the world and is known to be the most famous investment advisor of the 20th century. His book The Intelligent Investor is recognized and believed to be the stock market bible since it was published in 1949 because of Graham’s philosophy called value investing which explains to investors how to develop long term strategies and prevent errors. Famous investor, Warren Buffett, has described this book as the best book on investing ever written. The intelligent Investor teaches us how to reach our goals financially and how to avoid the calculated risks involved. This book has become famous as being imperative for everyone in the business of investing. Our market has come a long way and the advancements are a proof of graham’s take on finance, his plans and ideas...” — Synopsis from Amazon Books

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“The Story of Art, one of the most famous and popular books on art ever written, has been a world bestseller for over four decades. Attracted by the simplicity and clarity of his writing, readers of all ages and backgrounds have found in Professor Gombrich a true master, and one who combines knowledge and wisdom with a unique gift for communicating his deep love of the subject...” — Synopsis from Amazon Books


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The Innovator’s Dilemma

The Sun Also Rises

BY CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN

BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY

“Jeff Bezos had his executives read ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma,’ one of the all-time most influential business books and a top pick of several other founders and VCs, whose reviews are below. Steve Blank, a former serial entrepreneur who now teaches at U.C. Berkeley and other schools, says of the book: ‘Why do large companies seem and act like dinosaurs? Christensen finally was able to diagnose why and propose solutions. Entrepreneurs should read these books as ‘how to books’ to beat large companies in their own markets. ‘Chris Dixon, an investor at Andreessen Horowitz and a former cofounder and CEO of Hunch, notes: ‘ ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ popularized the (often misused) phrase ‘disruptive technology,’ but there’s a lot more than that one big idea. Great insights into the ‘dynamics’ (changes over time) of markets.”

“The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.” — Synopsis from Amazon Books

— Synopsis from Bianca Male, Aimee Groth and Alison Griswold from Business Insider Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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The Hostel Revolution: the Story of Clink BY ANNE DOLAN | CO-FOUNDER, CLINK HOSTELS WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since my sister and I went backpacking, post-university. I love travelling. Besides opening our minds and horizons, it combines two of my favourite things - meeting people and seeing new places. Clink Hostels is the company I co-founded with my sister after our travels together, and fueled by our love of hosteling. Wherever we were in the world, finding a good hostel was like finding a home on the road. And there are so many great hostels, each with their own particular character. In those days, the setup was usually pretty basic, but the sense of camaraderie and community at some of the places we stayed in was tangible and addictive. We knew it was the business we wanted to be in, but we wanted to do it better whilst

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We like to think that you can turn up alone or in a group at a Clink hostel and immediately feel part of a community.

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still capturing that sense of warmth and friendship. Clink now has three ‘homes from home’ - two in London and one new and ambitious one in Amsterdam. There are plans afoot to open more Clink locations across Europe over the next few years. The aim for us? To be the affordable places to stay, where amazing city experiences start for our guests, to provide them with the knowledge they need to make the most of each city and, last but not least, to deliver unique surroundings that are friendly, fun, social and creative.

zeitgeist with the best of them. Years ago, hostels catered solely to the backpacker market - travellers on the tightest of budgets who were willing to compromise on the comforts associated with hotel accommodation in return for a cheap bed. That’s all changed. Hostels today, certainly in the European market, have come to stand for something more; they’ve opened up to a new kind of traveller who is looking for affordable, well-designed, hip and social accommodation.

I’d certainly agree with BLLA in saying that there’s a kind of ‘hostel revolution’ going on right now. It’s a really exciting time to be in this industry and I’d venture to say that Clink are riding the

The average guest staying at Clink is around 24 years old. Today the traditional backpacker, like yesteryear, still wants to spend their disposable income on experiences in the cities they visit rather than

Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

paying for a smart hotel. A budget ‘no-frills’ hotel serves its purpose, but the new ‘boutique’ kind of hostel will win out for the discerning millennial traveller… and GenZ, who are already on their way! With a mixture of private and dormitory options, sharp event programming, and friendly, cluedup staff, the convivial atmosphere facilitates opportunities for authentic connections between both the city and people. The word ‘poshtel’ often crops up in commentary surrounding this new generation of hostels. And it’s not hard to see why. An astonishing amount of time, effort and money is spent on ensuring that the interiors and furnishings are inviting, extremely comfortable and exciting.


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education Alongside great interiors there are often an array of services you’d expect at top end hotels; bars and nightclubs, comfortable relaxation areas, great places to eat, welltrained, helpful and knowledgeable staff who often have as much local insight as the concierge in five star establishments – but a lot more price savvy! At Clink we place emphasis on great design and great service – we worked closely with innovative Dutch architects on our recent renovation of the old Royal Dutch Shell Head Offices in Amsterdam. But, first and foremost, we pride ourselves on the friendliness of our teams at every Clink hostel. We aren’t flashy and we don’t really align ourselves with the word ‘poshtel.’ The main focus at our hostels is to make visiting a

great city accessible to all. We want our guests to feel completely welcome from the moment that they step through the door, fostering a fantastic social experience and helping them to make the most of their trip. For that reason, communal areas make up a big proportion of Clink’s interiors. They’re designed in a way that’s really geared up for social interaction, with a perfect mixture of cosy corners and livelier areas. Our events teams do an amazing job of lining up in-hostel events most evenings, from cocktail making classes to scrabble nights! The teams are always happy to share their favourite local hotspots with guests. ClinkCREATIVE is our collection of programmes that bring art and music into the hostels. Musicians stay for free in exchange

for playing a gig for our guests, artists can use space to paint and exhibit. Our initiative is to engage and connect creatives, travellers and the local community. We’ve tried to maintain the idea that hostels are, above all else, about interactions; between places and people. We like to think that you can turn up alone or in a group at a Clink hostel and immediately feel part of a community. That’s what my sister and I loved so much about the good places we stayed in when we were backpackers. The standard of hostels has soared – and that’s a great thing – but I’m determined to make sure that Clink remains true to the essence of hostelling; the ‘home from home’ feeling that is at the heart of what we do.

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Why We Need To Stick Together BY FRANCES KIRADJIAN | FOUNDER, BLLA WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

Anyone who has tried to prepare a large conference room for a formal dinner while short on time will be aware of the benefits of teamwork. Frantically wrestling with a tablecloth singlehandedly is unlikely to be anyone’s idea of a good time. Moreover, collaboration is key to success in any industry. We’re social animals, after all, and we frequently work best as part of a team.

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But as the boutique hotel sector is one that thrives on independence and individuality, it can be tempting to feel that we have to plough our own furrow. We cherish the fact that we are not beholden to anyone financially or otherwise, as this gives us the freedom to create beautifully distinctive hotels that visitors will fall in love with – and that they will want to visit over


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education and over again. But this doesn’t mean that we have to sever all ties with other hotels and fend for ourselves, lonely and alone until the end of time. At the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association, we believe that in this field where being independent is our unique selling point, sticking together is crucial to our success. This might run counter to our competitive instinct - as other boutique hotels are vying for the same customers and offering comparable products, making them apparent rivals. But when we consider that we are all up against the might of the big hotel chains and the heavy financial weight and power they wield, all of us independent hotels are on

the same side. To succeed to the height of our abilities, we need to exploit our strengths, and the best way to do this is by combining forces and making the most of the virtues we all share. When the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association was created in 2009, the sector was still in its infancy. Since then, of course, the popularity of boutique hotels has skyrocketed – and it continues to grow apace. Alongside this explosion in popularity, we have been able to develop an organization that assembles the finest boutique and lifestyle hotels under one roof. Thanks to our members’ participation and teamwork we’ve

been able to offer them many advantages and are proud to have contributed to their successes. One example of this is our StayBoutique® initiative, which has provided a platform for members to advertise their business and take direct bookings, with all proceeds going direct to the hotels. Under the StayBoutique® umbrella we’ve put together a catalogue of some of the finest boutique and luxury hotels in the world, all approved and recommended by BLLA. The result is a database of distinctive and beautiful hotels that provides considerable value both to customers and hoteliers, and is a great example of how combining our strengths makes great business sense.

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Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. – DE S M ON D T U T U

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Another advantage lies in the sharing of knowledge between association members. Being independent-minded is all well and good, but we have a lot to gain from spreading the insights we have gained from the practical experience of running a boutique hotel day in, day out. Through BLLA our members have a reliable and trustworthy platform to pool their knowledge and create a better informed business for all of them. Our organization provides numerous opportunities for networking and sharing of information, where you can meet and learn from some of the industry’s brightest and best, both in a series of inspiring and groundbreaking talks and workshops, and in our productive networking sessions. The independent spirit of the boutique sector attracts a formidable variety of visionaries and pioneer thinkers. Where else, for example, would you find the likes of serial pioneer Ian Schrader, Parisian designer and creative whirlwind Marc Ange, or Belgian lawyer-turned-quirky hotelier Jo Vanbelle? Together we have a great power to inspire and encourage each other. And BLLA has created conditions in which we can pool our knowledge and work together without compromising our individuality.


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education In the eight years since BLLA was formed, the charms of boutique hotels have become so much more widely known, and the popularity of what we offer is so great that the mainstream hotel industry has been forced to take notice. ‘Boutique’ is still a very fashionable word and everyone wants in on the action – hence the emergence of ‘fake boutique’ hotels managed by some major hotel chains, and the mainstream adoption of quirky, individual details that strive to recreate a little piece of the charisma that makes our establishments so appealing. But there is no substitute for true individuality in terms of appeal, and no luxury like the truly personal. But how do holidaymakers discern true boutique hotels from big-business

substitutes when a quick flick through a tourism website might not yield this information? We as an industry need to inform customers about who we are, what we do, and where to find authentic, high-quality version of the boutique experience. This is why the value of a unifying standard cannot be underestimated. And by bringing together the best of the independent and unique, BLLA has created a mark of quality that can be relied upon. We are the gold standard when it comes to independent luxury hotels. This is, after all, no small business concern we are talking about, nor is the boutique and lifestyle offering a passing fad. It is estimated that half of the world’s hotels are independently owned – a fact

confirmed by former Starwood CEO Adam Aron. And half of those are boutique or lifestyle hotels. We are many, we are here to stay, and we treasure our independence and uniqueness. BLLA provides boutique and lifestyle hotels with the platform to celebrate their uniqueness and find the success they deserve. The values we share as boutique and lifestyle hotels are the things that make the travel industry truly shine: individuality, character, a personal touch and a real sense of luxury. By banding together we can help each other - and help others to realize our virtues. And, like two waiters laying a tablecloth together, by collaborating we can achieve the best possible results.

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. – J A M E S C A SH PE N N EY

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C ATER I N G

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Members Only Clubs in London New York City can learn a thing or two from those over the pond! BY ARIELA KIRADJIAN | VICE PRESIDENT BLLA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STAY BOUTIQUE WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

These clubs have become the ultimate way to network. In this new world, we love exclusivity and we like to feel special…one of the reasons boutique hotels have gained such popularity. Remember the 2003 episode of Sex and the City where Samantha can’t get off the waitlist at Soho House? #TheStruggleIsReal Image Courtesy of the Hospital Club Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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Soho House & Co. Founder & CEO Nick Jones

Shoreditch House HACKNEY 1 EBOR ST

High Road House

CHISWICK 162-166 CHISWICK HIGH RD 97

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76 Dean Street SOHO 76 DEAN ST

Electric House NOTTING HILL 191 PORTOBELLO RD

Little House Mayfair MAYFAIR 2 QUEEN ST

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Quo Vadis SOHO 26-29 DEAN ST

Owners Jeremy Lee and Sam, Eddie & James Hart @quovadissoho Image Courtesy of Quo Vadis

The Club at the Ivy WEST END 9 WEST ST

Caprice Holdings, Owner Richard Caring, Designer Martin Brudnizki, Head Chef Adam Sutton Image Courtesy of Sim Canetty-Clarke 99

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The Arts Club MAYFAIR 40 DOVER ST

Senior Director & Principal Shareholder Arjun Waney; Chairman, Director & Principal Shareholder Jai Waney; Director Peter Waney @the_arts_club Image Courtesy of The Arts Club

The Hospital Club COVENT GARDEN SEVEN DIALS LONDON, 24 ENDELL ST Founders Paul Allen & Dave Stewart @thehospitalclub Image Courtesy of Paul Winch-Furness

Chess Club Mayfair MAYFAIR 1A CHESTERFIELD ST

Experimental Group’s Owners Romée de Goriainoff, Xavier Padovani, Pierre-Charles Cros & Olivier Bon, Co-Owner Francesca Zampi, Chef Jackson Boxer, Designer Fran Hickman Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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Devonshire Club WEST END 5 DEVONSHIRE SQUARE

Founder & Developer Harry Harris, CEO & Founder Brian Clivaz, Developer SUSD, Designer March & White @devonshire_club

Tramp London MAYFAIR 40 JERMYN ST

Owner Johnny Gold @tramp_london Image Courtesy of Joshua Simons

South Kensington Club KENSINGTON 38-42 HARRINGTON RD Owner & Co-Founder Luca Del Bono @skc_london Image Courtesy of South Kensington Club

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Also Check Out… Ned’s Club at the Ned CITY OF LONDON 27 POULTRY

The Groucho Club SOHO 45 DEAN ST

Richard Caring Clubs

Soho House & Co Sydell Group

Owners Graphite Capital, Isfield Investments & Alcuin Capital Partners

Annabels

@thenedlondon

@thegrouchoclub

A Berley Club Owner Richard Caring

12 Hay Hill Membership Club MAYFAIR 12 HAY HILL

CEO Simon Robinson, Co-Founder & Designer Anton Khmelnitskiy

Robin Birley Clubs 5 Hertford Street

@12hayhill

MAYFAIR 2-5 HERTFORD ST

Home House

Owners Robin Birley, Zac Goldsmith and Jamie Reuben

PORTMAN SQUARE 20 PORTMAN SQUARE @homehouselondon

Morton’s Club MAYFAIR 28 BERKELEY SQUARE

Owner Marlon Abela, Group Head Chef Yvonnick Lalle @mortonsclub

@5hertfordstreet

Loulou’s

MAYFAIR 2-5 HERTFORD ST Owners Robin Birley, Zac Goldsmith and Jamie Reuben, Designer Rifat Ozbek @loulous_5hertfordstreet

MAYFAIR 44 BERKELEY SQUARE

@annabelsmayfair

Harry’s Bar MAYFAIR 26 S AUDLEY ST

A Berley Club Owner Richard Caring

George

MAYFAIR 87-88 MOUNT ST A Berley Club, Owner Richard Caring @georgemayfair

Mark’s Club MAYFAIR 46 CHARLES ST

Owners Richard Caring, Peter Dubens, Charles Price and Howard Barclay, Designer Tino Zervudachi

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education

The Importance of

Collaborations & Partnerships for Boutique Hotels

BY NICK HARTWRIGHT | FOUNDER, GREEN ROOMS WOOD GREEN WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

In May 2016 I launched Green Rooms, the UK’s first independent arts-led social enterprise hotel. While the hotel is open to everyone, it is aimed primarily at people who work in the creative industries. Creatives are a discerning bunch but most of them don’t have hundreds of pounds to spend on hotel rooms when they come to London. So their funds are limited, but by the same token the last places they want to stay are soulless, formulaic, budget chain hotels. Green Rooms is a godsend for them. It is an affordable, well-designed space with a

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education pared-back, utilitarian feel, and somewhere for artists to sleep, eat, work and spend down time with congenial people. It’s a creative haven, a melting pot of ideas – a place where lateral thinking and new approaches are actively encouraged. And a place where sharing is key. From auspicious beginnings the hotel has developed and evolved over the past 10 months, and partnerships have been intrinsic to its success. They permeate all aspects of Green Rooms and run right through it. They’ve enriched the whole proposition, added

piquancy and delivered constant ‘newness’. New partnerships give customers reason to return – they’ve impacted the bottom line and I’d argue they can do the same for any boutique hotel. However, I believe that for partnerships and collaborations to pay dividends they have to be truly authentic, and symbiotic. You can’t fake them and you can’t hoodwink people or pull the wool over their eyes. My business card says ‘Green Rooms founder’ but it’s not a title I buy into really, I’m more the chief facilitator or enabler.

For starters, Green Rooms funding structure is rooted in partnerships and the hotel simply wouldn’t exist without the financial support we received at the outset from Haringey Council, the Greater London Authority and a number of impact investors. The beautiful 1930s Art Deco building which houses the hotel was earmarked for demolition and would very likely have been turned into a block of luxury flats – not something the area needed. I had an alternative vision for the building, a vision where everyone would benefit. And when we sat around the table together it wasn’t hard to convince

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education people to invest, they could see right away that Green Rooms was an altruistic project. A project that would benefit the local community and the wider creative economy in London. What’s pleasing is that Green Rooms is being held up as a glowing example of how local authorities, social enterprises and private investors can work together to deliver game-changing cultural entrepreneurships. Not to mention the fact that all of our stakeholders use the hotel, whether that be to

stay a night or two from time to time, or to put on events in the communal spaces. And then we have our institutional partners. I believe you have to speculate to accumulate, and while Green Rooms ‘rack rates’ are more than competitive, to help secure block bookings from arts organisations we offer discounted prices to the likes of Somerset House and The British Council. All we ask in return is that the artists

our partners’ put up at the hotel share their work – so if a group is working on a show we’ll have them put on a truncated version for guests to enjoy. It’s all about content. If you’re a ‘normal’ customer at Green Rooms there’s a fair chance you’ll see some sort of artistic endeavor when you’re with us, whether that be a piece of immersive theatre, an exhibition or a musical performance. Of course, we programme our own events too. Some are esoteric, others more mainstream, but I like to think there’s something for everyone. Just recently we started a series of ‘city showcases’. Every month we celebrate a different culturally progressive city. We put artists from said city up in the hotel, let them exhibit their work and have renowned DJs play at the launch night. Bristol was the first and it was a roaring success. In the coming months we’ll be focusing on other UK cities and international arts hubs as well. Our restaurant programme is all about partnerships too. Green Rooms isn’t your average hotel – so it follows we didn’t put an average, run-of-mill-club club sandwich restaurant in the lobby. The restaurant space runs as an incubator project, which means every six months we bring in a hot up-and-coming restaurateur, give them the kitchen and dining space free of charge, and provide them

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education with expert tutelage at the same time. Said tutelage comes courtesy of Johnny Smith – co-founder of the Michelin-starred Clove Club restaurant in Shoreditch. Whilst at Green Rooms restaurateurs gain experience in running their own joint, and they get financial advice and help finding permanent premises after they leave. Our guests get delicious food and the chance to try something new every six months. It’s a supportive, creative and holistic programme where everyone wins. We’re currently on our second residency, Pop’s Kitchen, a modern take on

Caribbean food, and it’s going great guns. The constant newness keeps people coming back. Above all else, what really sets Green Rooms apart is the collaborative ethos we’ve fostered. A few years back I set up a pop-up hotel for a number of theatrical companies visiting the UK and it was a resounding success. It was what convinced me that Green Rooms could work. What struck me were the interactions the groups had; it’s one thing working together but another thing to stay with likeminded people too. Conversations

spark ideas, which in turn can become projects, and in some instances these projects evolve into fully-fledged creative businesses. Green Rooms brings people together from a wide range of creative disciplines and some brilliant ventures have already been conceived at the hotel. Mostly at the bar over or a cocktail or three. But make no mistake about it, the partnerships and collaborations we’ve set up have made it the success story it is. I just preside over it all and steer things in the right direction as best I can.

Above all else, what really sets Green Rooms apart is the collaborative ethos we’ve fostered. Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education

You’re Doing It Wrong! Why Customer Centricity is the Future of APAC Boutique Hotel Development

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education

BY GIRISH JHUNJHNUWALA | FOUNDER, OVOLO GROUP WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

If I asked you as a hotelier what you thought was most important to provide your guests, what would your answer be? A clean bed? That’s a given. Attentive staff? Everyone has that. A great deal? A cheap rate will only get you so far. For centuries, the general model in hotel development was to build a property fit for a restful stay, and replenish guests by offering some food & beverage, all at a cost to sell the almighty room night. This model of course hasn’t changed. It’s the bedrock of what makes a hotel. But what has worked consistently to the favour of hoteliers, has quickly suffered to the detriment of who we work for – that person who strive each and every day to please, take care of, and of course, accommodate: the customer. Boutique hoteliers and developers in the West wised up to the idea of

Customer Centricity several years ago, but it’s only been as of late that the trend has started gaining attention in Asia Pacific. Being customer-centric comes from asking a simple question – if you were the customer, what would YOU want? Ovolo Hotels was founded on this question. Travelling around the world in a past life, running my family’s watch business, I had my fair share of experiences staying in hotels. Several questions kept bothering me through these experiences – why was I being charged for items like water and a bag of nuts in a room I paid for? Shouldn’t these things be inclusive? How was I supposed to relax if I’m feeling nickel and dimed at every corner? Then I started to think – has anyone in the hotel business in APAC actually thought what the customer wants? Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education When I set out to form Ovolo, I made customer centricity our central focus from day one – having it drive the brand’s design, marketing, recruitment and operational development at every step of the way. The result, has not only produced multi-award winning hotels, but has benefited our bottom line greater than I could have ever imagined. Here’s how we did it each step of the way. DESIGN THAT FITS WITH THE CUSTOMER For too long boutique hoteliers have put too great of an emphasis on design in their property development. Hiring a fancy design and architectural firm is one thing, but does the customer really care about that award-winning lamp you’ve placed in every

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guestroom, if its occupying the only power port? Did you know that today’s traveller carries on average two digital devices with them on every trip? Those devices need power, and your guest will be none too happy when they find out they have to compromise – do they want light or a fully-charged phone? Overdesign is another pitfall of boutique hoteliers. What might look good in a magazine, may turn off guests from ever coming back. Functionality is becoming the main driver of boutique hotel design in the region. More and more hoteliers are getting involved in the design process with their architects and interior designers. I was fortunate to hire design firms who viewed

themselves as partners instead of consultants in Ovolo’s projects. It’s fine to have that stylish lamp in the corner, but if it isn’t heightening the guests experience, you might as well forget about it. COMMUNICATION THAT TALKS LIKE THE CUSTOMER If functional design is how great boutique hotels are built, engaging marketing campaigns are how brands are born. Boutique hotel marketing in Asia has gone from being heavily reliant on big Advertising campaigns and Online Travel Agency partnerships to a direct conversation with customers. While there’s still a number of hotel guests that will just settle for the best price available, a rising number choose their accommodation based on multiple factors – location,


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education loyalty rewards, inclusivity, the list goes on. What’s central to all of these factors is engagement, both active and passive. Active engagement comes from a multi-channel marketing engagement. Promoting a great campaign through one channel is no longer effective when the competition for attention is in the millions. Customer-centric communication is reached by speaking to audiences at every suitable channel to your customer. Marketing terms like Above The Line, or Below The Line are old news. Today, everything is Through The Line. In a Through The Line campaign, your new room package is shared across all platforms available and suitable – print & digital advertising, e-Newsletters, media relations, partnerships, content marketing, social media and more. To be successful in Through The Line marketing, is to offer a concise, targeted message that becomes repetitive but not annoying – leaving a lasting, and hopefully positive, impression on your customers view of your brand. Being passive is equally, if not even more important. As hoteliers, we know it’s not what we communicate that’s most important, it’s what others say about us. Traditionally passive promotion meant third party reviews from people like journalists

and magazine editors. While the professionals still greatly matter in promoting the guest experience, customer to customer reviews are now a hotelier’s greatest asset. And the one place for this that can make or break hotels today, is TripAdvisor. While APAC hotels in the past would traditionally ignore their TripAdvisor pages, more are adopting a customer-centric

approach to the global travel review site. APAC hoteliers are increasingly realising that by responding to TripAdvisor complaints as well as praises, their customers feel both heard and appreciated. The results always speak for themselves – guests are twice more likely to re-book seeing a highly engaged hotel on TripAdvisor. And with sites like TripAdvisor re-writing hotel star ratings, a customer-centric Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education approach offers hoteliers that chance to raise their ranking – Ovolo Woolloomooloo & Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour are perfect examples of this. Our hotels ranked in the high 40’s of Sydney hotels when they purchased. After their first years, with strong focus on customercentricity, both have climbed the ranks to become Australia’s #2 & #5 best hotels respectively. When it comes to customercentric communication, relatable engagement are the keywords. APAC hoteliers are rapidly understanding that connecting with your customer in the way they communicate, and speaking how they speak, are the strongest skills boutique hoteliers have to differentiating their product. In order to be customer-centric, hoteliers need a like-minded staff and operational procedures. But what would that actually look like? CUSTOMER-CENTRICITY BEHIND THE SCENES When it comes to ensuring the most seamless, customer-centric experience for guests, an effective communication policy & Integrated Guest Service System, coupled with a continuous feedback policy and process improvement system are good starting points. The Guest Experience has to be a part of the company’s Vision and Philosophy – not an afterthought.

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At Ovolo we take our philosophy of “Effortless Living” and Vision of “Shiny Happy People” and engrain it not just in how we service our guests but also our team both Front of House (FoH) & Back of House (BoH).

is on indirect interactions and to provide them with opportunities for increased guest engagement. This doesn’t mean they need to face the guest, but it’s about empowering them to make decisions that will benefit the guest.

We strive to create an engaged and happy workforce, and that starts with a hiring process based on culture fit and on-boarding focused on promoting the company’s vision. Once hired, performance reviews are centered on the guest experience in addition to of course financial KPIs.

It’s important to celebrate daily successes as this helps drive the culture and make the team feel part of the process. FoH team members nominate BoH staff for their support role during our recognition program, placing an emphasis on the team effort that goes into our work.

By focusing on creating effortless guest experiences and constantly sharing and celebrating any feedback, we’ve found the financial results automatically followed. Specifically, teams on a regular basis celebrate continuous positive feedback and take pride in maintaining a leadership position in guest service.

MEASURE SUCCESS IN SATISFACTION, NOT P&L

We try to eliminate any separation between BoH and FoH staff and apply the same training, onboarding, reporting, KPIs and objectives at all levels. All of us have a customer-focused goal and that’s SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE all around. No confusion, so it’s absolutely simple. Of course, it can be hard to keep BoH engaged so we work hard on it - our focus with BoH staff

Customer centricity shouldn’t be a complicated process nor a laborious task in implementation. What’s vital to achieving it overall is a mental commitment from senior management down to the most junior of employees to conduct actions from the customer’s perspective. As the boutique hotel industry evolves in Asia, hoteliers looking to enter the market have to make a commitment to the guest experience first, and worry about their P&L second. Ovolo’s history has shown that when a customercentric approach is a hoteliers primary focus, customers respond with incredible results. And as we all know, a happy customer, is most likely a repeat customer. And what hotelier doesn’t want that?


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

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It’s important to celebrate daily successes. Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education

A Look at the Future of the Boutique Hotel Industry

BLLA’s Annual Sentiment Survey WRITTEN BY BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

A little insight is a valuable thing in hospitality, and the value of comparing notes and getting an overview on the industry in general and broader trends is huge. These kinds of insights are also one of the reasons BLLA is such a useful organization to be part of for the Boutique & Lifestyle sector. And nowhere is this truer than in our annual Sentiment Survey, an essential overview of the state of this thriving area of the hospitality industry. We reached out to you, our ever-expanding network of more than 1,000 of the finest Boutique & Lifestyle hoteliers, to find out the truth about the state of the sector in 2017. Our questions probed to the heart of the industry and uncovered vital information about

the state of play in Boutique & Lifestyle, what is working and what isn’t, key trends and information about this most exciting and vital of hospitality sectors. The picture that emerges from all of this data is that the Boutique & Lifestyle sector is in better health than ever, looking to the future whilst also conscious of preserving its heritage. Our survey will serve as a vital resource in making decisions that affect the future of your business and of the industryat-large. The world of Boutique & Lifestyle Luxury hotels changes and develops at a fast pace and so these answers and insights will help us all to navigate this ever-shifting landscape in informed and savvy ways.

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Survey Results SURVEY DEMOGRAPHICS The majority of those who responded were from North America, which represented 88.89% of responses; and the second largest group was those based in Europe, which made up 11.11% of the survey responses. Of the hotels that took part, 40% were small hotels with 51-100 rooms; 30% had between 1 and 50 rooms; 20% had between 101 and 50 rooms; and 10% had more than 150. Half of the survey responses were from urban hotels; a fifth of respondents were based in the countryside; 10% were in beach and mountain resorts; and a further fifth categorized their environment as ‘other’. ANALYZING THE RESULTS The data from this survey gives us an informed look at the state of the industry and helps us answer questions such as ‘What are Boutique & Lifestyle Luxury hoteliers’ greatest concerns in 2017?’, ‘What are the biggest trends in the sector?’ and ‘What are the industry’s plans for the future?’ We see a picture of a sector in the peak of health, able to change and develop to keep pace with constant

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developments in technology, but proudly upholding its core strengths of great customer service, a personalized touch, and a focus on providing one-off experiences to guests. We also see a wealth of ambition, with an impressive 90% of those surveyed saying they are harboring plans to expand their business.

We see a picture of a sector in the peak of health BIG CHAINS Question: What do you think the big chains have learned from studying our independent Boutique and Lifestyle hospitality segment these past 5-6 years?

One story that has been hard to ignore in the past year is the steady infiltration of the big chains into areas previously reserved for Boutique & Lifestyle hotels, looking

to cash in on the sector’s evergrowing appeal. We asked our responders what they felt the big chains had learned from studying our independent segment for the past five to six years. Several emphasized the importance of offering unique, one-off experiences: “Guests are looking to have enhanced experiences that are unique and not cookie-cutter. They want those Instagrammable moments.” A few said that customer service and staff training were paramount; and authentic local flavors were also said to be important. “They want to experience the ‘place’ and not just the amenities the hotel has to offer.” And one thoughtful response looked at the influence of boutique hotel design – and how our independence allows for greater creative freedom. “They have realized that the institutional look of hotels is no longer desirable. But they will still suffer from imposed brand standards that will put a damper on genuine creativity.” MAINTAINING OUR INDEPENDENT SPIRIT Question: How do acquired boutique hotels maintain their independent spirit


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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education alongside a big “chain” brand?

Related to this is the question of how we can best maintain our independent spirit faced with the might of these big chains. Here there was a fascinating diversity of responses. Personalized experiences again factored large (“customization and personalization of services to meet the needs of each traveler”), as well as the appeal of local culture and authenticity. Some responders mentioned smart technology and sustainable technology, while others said that the solution lay in finding their niche, referencing the brand agility that independence allows for: “Boutique hotels can be nimble, unlike their chain-branded competitors”; “We can add in trends faster than chains can, as we’re more mobile – and keep reinventing ourselves.” DEVELOPMENT Question: For new market development, what makes for the ideal landscape?

What about the landscape for establishing a new market: is it better to redevelop heritage properties or build new ones? The majority of our survey (63.50%) favored renovation, but a sizeable proportion (36.50%) responded that new construction was a better

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environment – an answer base reflecting the healthy diversity of the sector in general. DIFFERENTIATION Question: As major hotel brands and the Airbnb and similar sites compete for space in the boutique hotel world, how will you continue to differentiate?

Next we asked how hoteliers intended to keep their market share in the face of Airbnb and similar sites competing for space in the boutique hotel world. Several responses emphasized service (“We do a few things exceptionally better than competitors – unique service and WOW moments”). Individuality was also considered a factor (“Copying other people’s designs and playbook is what the brands and some boutique wannabes are great at. Real competitiveness comes from originality”). Other responses cited specifics such as marketing strategy, local sources, bacteria-free guest rooms and sustainable technology, and one hotelier said it was all about a state of mind: “The intent of the hotelier and their story will always be the true factor for what makes a great boutique hotel.” DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY Question: How do you plan to use design or technology to differentiate in ever-competing landscape?

Boutique hotels can be nimble, unlike their chainbranded competitors Next we asked those surveyed about how they planned to use design or technology to differentiate in the competitive market. Responses hit on subjects such as customization and online check-in, keyless entry systems, TV on demand and guest-profiling technology. In the realm of design several of our survey respondents talked about the importance of reflecting the local environment in the design, “the rich history of our building and neighborhood”, as well as natural elements such as stone and wood. We were also curious as to what property management system those surveyed were using. The most popular was Opera (33.33%), followed by RoomKeyPMS (11.11%).


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education DEFINITION OF LUXURY Question: What do you believe is today’s definition of luxury?

It’s a word that gets thrown around a ton in the industry but what does ‘luxury’ mean to Boutique & Luxury hoteliers in 2017? Once again the importance of personalized service was emphasized in the responses (“Service that goes above and beyond – anticipating the guests’ needs before they do!”) Others said it was about providing experiences that transcended the norm (“the ability to exceed expectations in unique crafted ways that are not expected”) and giving guests a memory to treasure (“provide something that money cannot pay for, or if it can… searching for the best way for the guest to feel like a local during their stay”). Some responders felt the question of luxury was more complex. “Luxury is defined by the standards set by your target market,” said one. “Luxury is no longer a blanket/allencompassing set of characteristics that may have defined luxury 20-30 years ago.” And yet another felt the American concept of luxury was somewhat lacking (“Only Asian brands truly know what luxury is”). HOTEL OF THE FUTURE Question: What does the hotel of the future look like to you?

Casting our gaze forward into the mists of time, what does the future hold for our sector of the hospitality industry? This was another question that inspired a variety of responses. One hotelier predicted that the evolution of hotels would reflect that of the retail industry, as “the full-service institutional brands are becoming dinosaurs.” The idea of experiences came up once again. “The future will hold a focus on experiences and local market/culture influences.” Convenience and choice were seen as important by some (“I think the hotel industry is on the verge of a big change as guests demand more and convenience is expected”.) Yet other respondents said that local factors would become increasingly important (“the hotel of the future will provide guests with an immersion into the destination that they are visiting”). EXTERNAL FACTORS Question: What external factors do you think have the most impact on your business?

Next we asked our survey subjects what external factors had the most impact on their businesses. 70% said that customer behavior was the most important factor; and there was a tie for second place, between increasing/ changing competition and “other

macro-economic factors” such as weather and political stability (both at 20%). Decreased demand and “other factors” each received 10% of the vote. POLITICAL LANDSCAPE Question: Do you believe the new U.S. 2017 White House will have an impact on our industry? NO IMPACT 11%

YES, NEG. IMPACT

YES, POS. IMPACT 44%

44%

Talking of political stability (or otherwise) we wanted to know what kind of impact hoteliers thought this year’s change of staff in the White House would have on the industry. Interestingly, 50% thought that it would have a positive impact on the industry, citing that “the 2017 White House has more business experience than the past” and “may make things easier through deregulation.” 40% believed the impact would be negative (“concerned about travelers not wanting to come to the USA, or who the president will upset”; “closing or restricting borders will not help the industry”); Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education and 10% thought it would have no impact at all on hospitality. COMPETITORS

VALUE, PERFORMANCE AND PROFITABILITY Question: How would you judge your ability to add value and drive

Question: How do you rank these

performance at your hotel? What are

competitors as potential threats to

the biggest cost pressure points you

boutique & lifestyle hotels?

face to maintain profitability?

Asked where the greatest threat in terms of competition lay in the industry right now, responders rated the stronger threat on average on the part of their rival boutique hotels; next in line were the bigchain boutique brands (such as Marriott’s Autograph Collection and Hilton’s Curio), and major hotel brands. Shared accommodation platforms such as Airbnb were rated lowest in terms of their threat to Boutique & Luxury hotels’ businesses. Asked about other threats to business, hoteliers mentioned the difficulty of competing with central urban hotels due to the high rates, and the difficulty of finding quality employees.

So how well do you rate your own performance? 60% of those who responded rated their ability to drive value and performance as ‘good’; 30% rated theirs as ‘excellent’; and 10% considered themselves ‘average’ in this matter.

INNOVATIONS Question: Where do you see most innovative solutions flourish in the boutique hotel industry?

We asked where responders felt the most innovations in the boutique hotel industry lay. Here food and beverages rated highest (30%), followed by customer service (20%) and technology (10%).

AVERAGE 10%

EXCELLENT 30% GOOD 60%

and those surveyed were invited to select three answers. In joint lead were sales and marketing activities, and food and beverages (both at 60%). After that came refurbishment, control of costs and internal management issues (all at 30%). The rooms came in last, at 10%. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Question: What is your main competitive advantage?

Asked what their main competitive advantage is, 20% said advanced technology, 20% replied that it was their image to the market, 20% said it was their best product or service, 10% said it was their operational management such as cost control, and a further 20% simply replied that they didn’t know what their competitive advantage was. SOCIAL MEDIA

The biggest cost pressure points mentioned were rising payroll (50%), rate transparency due to online distribution (40%), the cost of distribution (20%), the cost of technology (20%), and 10% said other costs were more important. FOCUS OF BUSINESS Question: What areas of your business take most of your attention?

We asked what areas of the business take up most attention,

Question: Which social media sites do you believe have the most potential for your business?

It’s hard to get away from social media nowadays, but which is the most important in the eyes of the Boutique & Lifestyle hotel sector? Instagram rated the highest at 40%, followed by Facebook (30%), LinkedIn (10%), other social media (also 10%), and a further 10% said none of them were important.

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| Boutique & Lifestyle Education BOOKINGS Question: From which source do you get most of your bookings?

COSTS

OTHER 10%

Question: What percentage of cost

marketing budget. FOOD AND BEVERAGES Question: What is the percentage contribution of F & B to your hotel revenue?

does your payroll represent? How

NONE 10% FACEBOOK 30%

LINKEDIN 10%

INSTAGRAM 40%

As to where hotels got the majority of their bookings, 44.44% said most of their bookings were direct, be it through their website, on the phone or via email. 22.22% cited online agents such as Expedia and Booking.com as being their

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primary source. 11.11% mentioned traditional travel agents as being more important.

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much is your sales & marketing spend as a percentage of revenue?

30% of those surveyed said they spent 20-30% of their budget on payroll, and another 30% said it covered 30-40% of theirs. 20% said payroll represented more than 40% of their total outgoings. In the case of sales and marketing, 40% said this represented 2-5% of their budget; another 40% said they spent more than 5% of their budget in this area; and 20% were unaware of their sales and

The contribution of food and beverages to hotel’s profits is on the rise, with half of the survey base saying food and beverages make up 20-30% of their total profits, 10% saying it made up 30-40% of their hotel’s income, and 20% saying it was responsible for 0-20%. EXPANSION PLANS Question: Are you planning to expand your business? (new openings, new outlets, etc.)


| Boutique & Lifestyle Education The Boutique & Luxury Lifestyle market is an ambitious one, with 40% of those who responded saying they plan to expand their business in the next six months, 10% harboring expansion plans for the next 12 months, and 20% planning to expand in the next two years. 10% said they wanted to expand but weren’t sure when. Only 10% said they had no plans to expand (and 10% were unsure). CONCLUSIONS It has been another vintage year in the world of Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging hotels as the popularity of these properties continues to grow, and the survey results reflect the constantly shifting and growing nature of this sector. The results show boutique hoteliers are focused on services, technology

and innovations, and 90% of them harbor plans for innovation, with 40% aiming to carry these out within the next six months Boutique hotels know how to play their size and independence to their own advantage by being quick to adopt new innovations and by being quick to respond to the demands of their clientele. There is also a clear focus on perennial values like great service and a personal touch, which this sector has always excelled at. This year’s survey shows an increased focus on sales and marketing as boutique hotels are quickly learning to harness the tools they need to succeed in the competitive marketplace. Our hotels are taking the majority of

their bookings direct through their own sites, as well as dealing with online agents like Expedia and Booking.com. In the social media world, Instagram has overtaken Facebook to become the most important network in the eyes of hoteliers, and our members talk of the importance of the “Instagram moment” at their properties. Financially the biggest pressure point is payroll. Boutique hoteliers are conscious of the competition from “fake boutique” hotels run by big brands, which BLLA members see as a much bigger threat than sites such as Airbnb. But the biggest perceived threat is from fellow boutique hotels – further proof that the sector is healthier than ever.

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ONE INDUSTRY, Supported and aggregated by leading industry players and associations in the international hospitality industry, Hsyndicate operates an industry-specific content and intelligence database which centralizes and redistributes filtered B2B information from and to industry professionals/organizations within the global hospitality industry.

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The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and our experience. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2017 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. Images in this advertisement do not depict Greenberg Traurig attorneys, clients, staff or facilities. 29130


| The Official Inside Scoop BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

The Official Inside Scoop

It’s all in the details.

In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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| The Official Inside Scoop PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

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| The Official Inside Scoop BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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| The Official Inside Scoop

About BLLA Media’s Stay Boutique

The Boutique World’s State of Mind BY ARIELA KIRADJIAN | VICE PRESIDENT BLLA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STAY BOUTIQUE WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

Here’s a puzzle for you: when is a boutique hotel not a boutique hotel? The answer is when it’s a large hotel chain in disguise. From Marriott’s Edition urban hangouts to the trendy Sofitel So sunspots, ‘boutique-y’ offerings from heavyweight brands are multiplying across the world, as these large companies attempt to appropriate some of the respect that has been rightly earned by true boutique hotels through their independent approach. To an untrained eye, the difference may be hard to spot – devoid of obvious branding, quirkily decorated and knowingly low-key, these ‘faux-boutique’ hotels aim for the same demographic as the true independents. But there are benefits to staying in a true boutique hotel that cannot be faked. The financial independence that comes from being a small company brings with it other freedoms. With no need to

get permission from head office for its actions, a boutique hotel can be continually shaped and molded to fit the preferences of its customers and management. The result is a truly bespoke experience that is as much a human relationship as a transaction. Small hotels also often provide more of an authentically local experience than large chains can ever hope to bring, even with folders full of expensive research under their arms. Because a local hotelier has a lifetime’s worth of local knowledge, connections and cultural savvy that all add up to exactly the kind of experience holidaymakers hold in high regard. So then, as true boutique hoteliers, how do we promote this advantage that we have over these financially powerful rivals? The best way we can advertise our independent credentials is by being certified

through an internationally recognized association of boutique hoteliers that sorts the true independents from the megabrands-in-disguise. This is where the value of a body like the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association really comes to the fore. This organization, run by two powerhouse women in the hospitality industry, has assembled together an elite group of pioneers and independent spirits of the hotel world, presenting an international mark of quality that can be recognized and relied upon around the globe. However, we recognize that more needs to be done to spread the word about the businesses and values we represent, and that’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of an authentic, relevant and forward-thinking media site. Named Stay Boutique, it will set out

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| The Official Inside Scoop to inform and entertain anyone with an interest in boutique hotels. Stay Boutique was born to fill a gap in the media surrounding the hospitality industry, for an outlet that speaks directly to boutique believers. Back before the world believed in this ‘trend’, Frances Kiradjian believed and stood behind their integrity. Years later, I was added to the mix, assisting in this movement to help grow the niche even further. What’s the best way to get the word out? Media. And so Stay Boutique will cover all topics relevant to a boutique-loving audience. If the boutique community can show the world that we’re not only a trend, but a central driving force in the industry, we’ll be able to prove that ‘boutique’ does not mean small, it means so much more.

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Our new BLLA booking site stayboutique.com, launching in the second quarter, will be a further step in bringing the world’s attention to the independent properties we represent. But as a gesture of goodwill towards those corporately owned competitors, we will list the independently run boutique properties of specific big-chain boutique brands – but without a booking link. So let’s gather our forces and inform the world about the joys of boutique. Independence and individuality are central to our ethos and, although these can apparently be faked, no one can do it better than us. It’s time to show the world what we do best!


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Best Boutique Hotel Collaborations

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The Upper House 88 QUEENSWAY, HONG KONG Collaborations with Diane Von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Net A Porter, Elie Saab, & Taschen

Images Courtesy of The Upper House

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The Mark Hotel 25 E 77TH ST NEW YORK CITY Collaborations with Lauderee & Berdorf Goodman

Images Courtesy of The Mark Hotel, Noah Fecks

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Ace Hotel 20 W 29TH ST NEW YORK CITY Collaboration with Opening Ceremony

Images Courtesy of Ace Hotel

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Dream Hotels 355 W 16TH ST NEW YORK CITY Collaboration with Sprayground

Images Courtesy of Dream Hotels

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LODGING M E D I A

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| The Official Inside Scoop

The Stay Boutique Summer 2017 Style Guide We’ve got you covered for your essential picks for this summer whether you’ll be at the Revolve party in the Hamptons, on a yacht in St. Tropez or by the pool in Santorini.

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Images Courtesy of farfetch.com All pieces available on farfetch.com


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8. ZUHAIR MURAD, Sequined Jumpsuit, $10,171 // For those summer nights in the Hamptons, a jumpsuit like this will have people talking.

1. SAINT LAURENT, Embellished Bomber Jacket, $2,690 // Bomber jackets don’t seem to be going away anytime soon! 2. GIVENCHY, Antigona Tote, $1,750 // Light pink is the standout color for this year. 3. MOSCHINO, Chain Illusion Print Swimsuit, $325 // The 80’s are back… 4. OFF WHITE, Embroidered text T-shirt, $255 // Having something of Virgil Abloh’s collection is crucial anytime of the year. 5. FENDI, Logo Backpack, $1,850 // For all those summer travel days, a stylish backpack is necessary. 6. GUCCI SNEAKERS, Ace LowTop Sneakers, $640 // Gucci has been ahead of the sneaker game for the designer world. 7. AMI ALEXANDRE MATTIUSSI, Cap, $131 // A simple denim cap will go with just about anything.

9. PAUL SMITH, Two-Button Blazer, $1,050 // A perfect addition to class up a summer outfit. 10. ROSIE ASSOULIN, OneShoulder Ruffled Blouse, $1,695 // You’ll fit right in with the Monte Carlo crowd! 11. HELMUT LANG, Lace-Trimmed Slip Skirt, $441 // A summer skirt is essential. 12. GUCCI, L’Aveugle Par Amour iPhone 6 Case, $270 // Having a designer phone case has become just as important as having a designer handbag. 13. VALENTINO, Rockstud Block Heel Sandals, $1,045 // A classic block heel with the signature Valentino studs are a must this summer. 14. MYKITA, Lupine sunglasses, $574 // Small lense sunglasses have made a come-back, sorry! 15. GIVENCHY , Logo Embroidered Towel, $640 // Your street style should include your beach towel. Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

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Where to Grab a Croissant Around the World

Image courtesy of Lune Crossanterie

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| The Official Inside Scoop

Buvette

42 GROVE ST, NEW YORK Chef Jody Williams @buvettenyc

Images Courtesy of Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie

700 S GRAND AVE, LOS ANGELES Executive Pastry Chef Sergio Avila Favela Images Courtesy of Buvette

@bottegalouie

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Boulangerie Dompierre TENGSTRASSE 31, MÜNCHEN Owner Thomas Haeberle @boulangeriedompierre

Images Courtesy of La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac

La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac 24 RUE PAUL BERT, PARIS

Chefs Cyril Lignac & Benoit Couvrand Images Courtesy of Bottega Louie

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@cyril_lignac


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Symmetry

9 JALAN KUBOR #01-01, SINGAPORE Owner Abby Lim Head Chef Nicholas Chew @symmetrysg

Images courtesy of Lune Crossanterie

Lune Croissanterie 119 ROSE ST, AUSTRALIA Owner Kate Reid Images courtesy of Symmetry

@lunecroissant

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A NEXT GENERATION REWARDS PLATFORM FOR BOUTIQUE & LIFESTYLE HOTELS.

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| The Official Inside Scoop BY GREG SATO | FINERY WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

It’s all in the details. In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience..

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A Boutique is Born Sentiments of a new boutique hotel owner BY BILLY THEODORE | OWNER OF THE THEODORE IN CRETE WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

Our retirement dream arrived twenty years early, with a sledgehammer in hand. In a matter of months, my husband and I had gone from playfully pondering the purchase of a small apartment style hotel on my husband’s motherland of Crete, to full renovation of the newly named The Theodore Boutique Hotel. Before I had time to digest the idea of being a boutique hotel owner, I found myself creating a draft of a living vision, a manifesto of sorts for The Theodore. It danced between a reverence for Cretan heritage, honouring the beauty of each present moment, and cultivating the future. We called it Theo-sophy ::

Love + Wisdom. During construction and design, Theo-sophy simmered on the back burner while blueprints and designs concepts sprawled across my computer screen. Like the aroma from a pot of simmering spices, this manifesto lingered in the air. Putting my vision on paper had summoned forth the Muse of the hotel and all who would serve Her. On a visit to Chania after starting demolition, I realized I was being led by something far greater than myself. I had a profound awareness that The Theodore was not mine. My intuition began to attune

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| The Official Inside Scoop towards synchronistic details. An Artisan name Antonia from the village of Argyroupoli reminded me not to let anyone control my creativity. She looked at me with eyes of trust, knowing I would not try to control hers. She placed her stunning textiles in my hands, humbling me with unspoken words and tenderness. The Muse smiled. I shared wellbeing and soulcentered business practices, Cretan philosophies and those of Spiritual Psychology with our core creative team. From our contractor and

engineer, to our newly hired staff. We are souls having and using a human experience. With time and experiences, the staff began to trust that they have all the resources within themselves to respond to any situation. That our guests reflected their gifts like a mirror. Think of them as souls disguised as tourists, Theoxenia. They will serve you as much as you will serve them. At night I would awake knowing The Theodore was flowing through me. Spaciousness. Breath. Creativity. Sensuality. Solutions

through listening with the heart, not the mind. View The Theodore like a metaphor and it would offer clues for living and doing business. Be mindful of the numbers, create a culture of transformation, respect all community and be of loving service. It has been less than a year since this project came alive and the Muse is summoning guests from around the world for our first full season. Welcoming us back to sacred hospitality.

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| The Official Inside Scoop PARIT, SUM CULPARUM | ACEST

Be mindful of the numbers,create a culture of transformation, respect all community and be of loving service.

ALIS DESTO COMNIS UT ENI UTEMQUIAE ESTOTATUR ALIT ET UT UT

Voluptatem. Itae non nonsed moluptat quissi bearitiae eatiberibus modis dio. Neque nis eribus everum que omnimus inullum quo conseni ssimetus, eum ium hil ipsa ius aut quamust iorumquos et as aborporent ape latur andaepe reptatus aut exceatendent vellab ipissus aceatin ciderspel intet officiis velique volupta velibus aut del ipsam, nonsecae conseque illecta ilicill aboreprest, officiis et prem cusdand issequam cuptatur, ist alibus audi volupic taturis cone conse simintia voluptaqui nusam et moluptas sandiam ent.cusandit.

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The Curtain MICHAEL ACHENBAUM | CO-OWNER AND PRESIDENT, GANSEVOORT HOTEL GROUP, LLC.  WRITTEN EXCLUSIVELY FOR BLLA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; REPRINT WITH PERMISSION ONLY

When we started Gansevoort Hotel Group over 12 years ago in New York’s Meatpacking District, amenities such as a rooftop pool and bar were unique differentiators. Now the competitive landscape has dramatically changed, and OTA’s are pushing the commodification of hotel stays despite guests’ wishes for a hyper-local, personalized, and authentic experience when selecting accommodations. For quite some time and for this reason, I’ve wanted to establish a new hotel with a key differentiating factor: a private, members-only club. This added attribute takes service and guest experience to the next level, creating a sense of exclusivity and preventing the sense

of “been there and done that” one seems to feel at most independent properties as of late. With my sights set on the United Kingdom, I’m thrilled to open The Curtain Hotel and Members Club in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood in 2017. We selected Shoreditch based on the area’s emergence as a culturally diverse neighborhood. Comprised of talent spanning the art, music, finance and tech worlds, Shoreditch also retains its historic “grittiness.” With a nod to this past, The Curtain Hotel and Members Club provide an unmatched experience for travelers seeking a mixture of refined luxury with an authentic edge.

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The Curtain Members Club will be an exclusive natural habitat for our member network and guests with extraordinary experiences leveraged by our partnerships with a world-class chef like Marcus Samuelsson, and A-list local artists and icons like Mick Rock. This coexistence will give our guests a taste of authentic Shoreditch. At the same time, we will provide access to a refined club and its select group of members. There is no comparable experience for the average visitor to the area.    

rising trend in the opening of new private members clubs around the world. The significant expansion of Soho House and growth of Neue House are just two examples, and the truth is the more exclusive and unattainable a service or product is, the more people want it. Access to specific spaces otherwise only accessible to members is an attraction to drive demand. The presence of The Curtain Members Club and its requisite exclusivity will drive direct bookings, rates, occupancy and velocity of sales.

Groucho Marx’s infamous words “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member,” are proving false as we’re seeing a

Although OTA’s are helpful, most people rely on family and friends for travel recommendations. In fact, 1 out of 4 people are

Boutique Hotel Investment Conference

inspired to book via friend’s social media channels. This modern marketplace of “word of mouth” recommendations offers an inside look, and we have no doubt our core members will directly help grow a new, eclectic client base of loyal guests throughout the year. As we embark on opening in 2017, our pursuit with The Curtain is to create eclectic spaces with inspiring design and event programming. This environment will become a “home away from home” for our neighbors, members, local partners and hotel guests, where collaborations will be forged in a coveted and dynamic environment.


Photo Series

IMAGES THROUGHOUT THE BOOK PROVIDED BY TRUNK ARCHIVE


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Stay Boutique Summer Magazine  

Summer 2017

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