The modern traveler has a diverse range of needs and desires when choosing accommodation at their desired destination. More and more they have come to rely on specific brands that they know, through experience or recommendation, that will meet their expectations. Whilst this gives a sense of security and comfort it can also run the risk of homogenising diverse journeys into a series of remarkably similar offerings, despite the vast range of cultures and places these brands operate within. Therefore, global brands and leading hospitality designers are finding new ways to cater for those travelers looking for unique local experiences and authenticity of place and country in a way that differentiates one location from another.
To offer global consistency whilst delivering a distinctive indigenous experience is a finely tuned balancing act.
It requires a deep knowledge of both global tourism trends and the site, its surrounds, local offerings, the community, and the connectivity between each. As designers we also must understand the programmatic and operations side of the hospitality industry so that this is seamless, consistent, visible only when of assistance, and again reflects the nature and culture of the place in which it is situated.
To achieve such ends, it is not simply a matter of offering both a global and a local option – indeed that is the antithesis of an offering that is successfully integrating into a setting. The sense of place must be ingrained throughout all aspects of the user experience, in terms of service we see this through the influence in uniforms, attitudes, language, food and beverages, even the greeting heard upon entry. Design is remarkably similar, the way the building is presented, the first impression, the materials chosen, the construction methods (particularly those that are visible), the integration of landscape and light, the use of local handicrafts both as authentic items and inspiration for more disparate elements, all combine to create a built offering simply cannot be realized in another location.
It must be noted that this sense of belonging within its context must not be contrived, the aim here is not to have a ‘theme park’ or a display.
Authentic local experiences are simply inherent in a way of thinking when approaching a design and therefore do not need to be labelled or overtly explained. Instead, the traveler is given an opportunity to immerse themselves, their own curiosity and interest will help them discover more not only about the space they are residing in, but the locale that surrounds them. This approach can lead to a plethora of design solutions, each remarkably different from one another, but each a product of their immediate environment, this too reflects the diversity of the cultural context which visitors are coming to experience.
Studio3eight has been honoured to work with global brands all over the world, from our design leaders to our most recent staff, we work to ensure a deep and abiding respect for the place and people where the project is located. We engage with the local culture through exploration, research and via communication with those who know the site most deeply – sometimes we are lucky that those very people work within our diverse multi-cultural team. We bring this approach to every aspect of the design, working with the client to create a unique offering that ensures their resort or hotel is both world class and truly of its setting.
Together we offer the traveler piece of mind, global standards and the authentic local experience they journeyed so far to find.