Hospitality Design Roundtable Aimed to Define the Rapidly
Boutique Hotel Segment and What Customers Want
|Ithaca, NY, October 24, 2011
two dozen industry executives, architects, designers, developers,
researchers met in October 2011 for the Hospitality Design Roundtable
at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Produced
by the Center for Hospitality Research, the roundtable
the current status of boutique hotels, including what customers want in
boutique property, how they react to boutique hotels, and even how to
Roundtable Chair Richard Penner, a professor at the School of Hotel Administration, noted that boutique hotels are becoming more common since the opening of Morgans in 1984, generally considered the first boutique hotel. Commenting on the discussion, he said: "Many of the participants agreed that the term 'boutique' implies hotels that have more to do with small size and personal attention—that they are more about the guest experience than about design." However, some participants thought that "boutique" is not much more than a marketing hook that has lost its cachet.
Participants observed that the many boutique brands may have caused a "brand blur," but customers often focus more on a particular hotel's features rather than its brand. They also noted that the 25-40 year old segment remains a vital one for boutique properties, while baby boomers (who wish they were young) are not really the market for an experience-driven hotel.
In one session, Cornell senior lecturer Stephani Robson presented a brief summary of J.D. Power and Associates guest satisfaction data for design-centric hotel brands which included the finding that guests believe that design-centric brands are less safe than more traditional hotels and that employees at design-centric hotels are less courteous or skilled in their work.
In a session on boutique hotels and meetings, Cornell senior lecturer Bill Carroll introduced the question of how boutique hotels, given their intimate and personalized approach, might capitalize on this market without becoming a generic business-oriented property. Participants offered ideas that seemed to fit the boutique hotel concept, such as clusters of small meeting spaces organized around an interactive social lounge, perhaps including a gourmet kitchen for personalized breakout snacks or meals prepared in the open by a hotel chef. These and other ideas blur the lines between function space and other public areas; they may need the support of technology to allow both the meeting spaces and the social space to be equally productive. Participants noted that boutique hotels could look toward such meeting innovations as the Cisco TelePresence suite or meeting space with document cameras in the ceiling to facilitate real time brainstorming.
To view the full program and photos of the event, please visit: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/events/roundtables/hosp.html.
About CHR Roundtables
Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) roundtables provide an interactive and engaging meeting place for a small number (approximately 25 or so) invited senior-level executives, Cornell faculty members, and research scholars affiliated with CHR. There is a pre-roundtable session and reception which includes a group of students interested in the topic the night before. The actual roundtable session follows the next day. Each roundtable lasts one day and is divided into three to five focused sessions. Each session typically begins with a short research presentation, open-ended remarks, or guiding questions offered by the designated moderator. After the initial remarks, one or two other participants are invited to offer their comments to either support, contest, or add to the initial presentation. The conversation is then opened up to all the participants of the roundtable for discussion. Given the relatively small number of attendees, all participants gets ample opportunity throughout the day to engage in and participate in discussions during various sessions. Cornell students and other faculty members often sit in the audience and listen to the roundtable discussions. They interact with the invited panelists during session breaks.
For more information on roundtables, please visit: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/events/roundtables/.
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 75 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.
The Cornell School Of Hotel Administration
537 Statler Hall
USA - Ithaca, NY 14853
More About Your
News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here
Research Surveys Restaurant Takeout Operators Regarding Online Ordering
and Introduces a Spreadsheet-based Tool Assisting Hotel Managers in
Making Strategic Comparisons Among Competitors / September 2011
Center for Real Estate and Finance Presents HVS Hotel Valuation
Software Tool Free of Charge / August 2011
Center for Hospitality Research Study Finds Customers Give More
Credibility to the Green Activities of Large Restaurant Companies When
Small Competitors Launch Green Initiatives; Consumers are Skeptical
When Large Chains Promote Initiatives in the Absence of These Small
Competitors / August 2011
2011 Cornell Hospitality Quarterly Features Study of Hotel Guests'
Preferences Regarding Sustainability in Hotels / July 2011
Study Proposes Uniform Sustainability Reporting Framework for the
Hospitality Industry / July 2011
Law, Service Innovation, and Brand Management Addressed at the Cornell
Center for Hospitality Research Spring Roundtables / May 2011
Hospitality Research Summit Participants Say that the Focus of Internet
Presence Must be on Customer Experiences to Build Your Brand / May
Hospitality Research Summit Explores the Dimensions of Electronic
Distribution and Revenue Management; Chief Thread is Need for Hotels to
Establish and Maintain Price Integrity / April 2011
Study Finds That Well-Designed Hotel Energy Saving Treatments Do Not
Diminish the Guest Experience; Study Tested Reduced Television Power
Levels and Alterations in Bathroom Lighting in Guest Rooms by Surveying
192 Guests of the Hotel Statler / March 2011
Report Outlines Six Step Process on How to Develop a Destination Brand;
Student Team Created Plan for Marketing and Branding Zambia as a
Tourism Destination / January 2011