Jan 14, 2022
In this episode of the Hotel Design Podcast, we welcome back to the show Ron Swidler - who is the Chief Innovation Officer of the Gettys Group Companies. Ron was previously featured on our podcast during Episode 3.
Host Glenn Haussman and Ron start by discussing how we’re at an interesting intersection in history and how it’s created the rare opportunity to reinvent everything we do in hospitality design from scratch. It's the Great Reset: a chance to try new things with less scrutiny than the pre covid era. It’s a chance to fail without judgment, and an opportunity to push traditional design boundaries of what could be when it comes to the future of hospitality.
They talk about the varied facets of the company’s Hotel of Tomorrow project, which brings together industry leaders, students, and manufacturers to work together to change conventional thinking when it comes to hotel design. First, they discuss biophilic design - the notion of bringing in natural elements into a building - and how this intersects with the notion of activating spaces that appeal to different day parts. This design is reflected in a concept developed during last year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project called Outside In, Inside Out.
For example, Ron and Glenn discuss how programmable lighting, as well as large format LED displays, are becoming more affordable and available. Another strategy is to turn parking spots in front of a restaurant to create outdoor dining space. They discuss how LEDs are used to shift lighting within a space throughout the course of the day to better match circadian cycles. This allows hoteliers to create different moods during different day parts that are designed to lead to higher customer engagement, and hopefully translating to higher food & beverage sales.
The downtown Minneapolis Rand Tower Hotel is another project design by The Gettys Group. Here, Ron explains how the property has sensors and display screens in the meeting spaces showing the air quality. They quickly move onto a project that was envisioned during last year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project called Robot Alliance. They address how to expand food and beverage offerings beyond the constraints of a restaurant or a bar that might be tucked away in a hotel.
Another cool technology discussed is Bed XYZ - a sleep platform concept created during last year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project that monitors sleep quality while allowing the gamification of multiple sleep environment elements. This concept allows guests to try to achieve a higher sleep score during their night’s stay!
Going beyond the hotel’s walls, a student group determined that an RV could be serviced and picked up at a hotel. While stopping at the affiliated hotels along the travel route to get housekeeping, guests can get room service, or to use the pool and the amenities of the hotel.
Glenn and Ron also discuss virtual reality and its use as a training tool. Not only does this system teach specific job tasks, but it also lets others understand how difficult it is to do a specific the job - which leads to a higher appreciation for that staff member.
Finally, they summarize the virtual reality experience is a truly remarkable experiment currently being pushed by many Big Tech companies and others. Listen to how this will have wide ranging change on how we interact with each other and build environments, and how this influences this year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project.
It’s not too late to be a part of this year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project! They are still accepting members to be involved in this project, and you can register and learn more about this year’s Hotel Of Tomorrow Project by visiting https://hotel-of-tomorrow.com/ .