The Independent Hotel Show

In a society where both brands and followers are seeking a shareable story, ‘place making’ has become one of the hottest trends in hospitality.

This week we travelled through rainy Kensington to attend the annual Independent Hotel Show, the industry’s largest business event for the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.
In a showroom filled with aesthetic booths vying to stand out from the crowd, the place making trend was eminently evident. In a panel discussion hosted by Richard Fraiman of The Good Hotel Guide, the growing demand for hotels to have a unique sense of place and quirky stories was a recurring theme.
Brands were challenged to move beyond cookie cutter hospitality and bind their hotel’s narrative to the neighbourhood’s narrative to achieve a unique customer experience.

A recent place making trend has been influencer marketing. Global hotel brand citizenM organised the largest influencer hospitality collab to date, where 150 of New York’s top lifestyle bloggers were invited to the NYC hotel for an evening of surprise activities and hotel previews in exchange for online coverage. The campaign reached 1.5+ million Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users and ultimately doubled the hotel’s organic revenue YoY (Ingenuity Digital, 2017).

Place making was central to Household’s design approach to the recent hotel launch – Another Place, The Lake. We looked to the hotel’s natural surroundings to inform the design, immersing guests in the Cumbrian landscape both inside and outside the hotel. We chose woollen tartans with earthy tones and seasonal accents, representing the locality and the changing seasons.
Each aspect of the customer journey is optimised guest enjoyment of the local setting, from picnic lunches provided by the pantry to drinks flasks in each room ready to equip a hike into the hills.
Our design was recently featured on Design Hunter, where writer Helen Powell reflected on her visit to the hotel and discussed her own experience of place making at Another Place, The Lake.
Helen recounted feeling “deep in the heart of the beautiful Cumbrian countryside” from the moment she checked in, described how the design of communal spaces encouraged “chatting to other guests much more than…at other hotels” and explained how the hotel’s unique offer of active relaxation balanced spa relaxation with adventures in the nearby fells.
Read more about the hotel’s “winning formula” here.

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