Social media moments not affecting hotel design: VP, SB Architects

Designers should create curated moments regardless of the impact of social media, David Rychlowski told Hotelier Middle East

David Rychlowski, vice president and associate principal, SB architects
David Rychlowski, vice president and associate principal, SB architects

A survey by UK-based holiday insurance provider Schofields revealed that over 40% of respondents aged between 18-33 book their stay based on how it will appear on social media.

In line with the latest trends, conceptualising spaces within a hotel property is becoming increasingly important for designers and while many would say it is the approach they are following now, David Rychlowski, vice president and associate principal, SB architects, told Hotelier Middle East that his company takes a more holistic approach to hotel design.

“We are seeing social media affect designers across the globe but not us. We take a very holistic approach to our work and being in the hospitality and design landscape we’re always curating moments in public spaces.

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“Pre-instagram or post-Instagram, there will always be curated moments where people can pause and appreciate whichever location they are in. I cannot think of a moment where we’ve sacrificed the overall development or planning of a hotel just for a specific Instagram moment but we certainly look at these paused points in the lobby, waterfront, bar, pool and functions space or event lawns to give them their own identity.”

Creating a space that works well on social media is not only about one particular spot, it can be a whole experience that creates something unique which guests would want to share. Once such trend that Rychlowski has seen in recent times is re-thinking the check-in experience.

“We work hand-in-hand with the operators to develop the check-in experience for the new generation of hotel users. The trend right now is to eliminate check-in counters and have a more personalised experience, sitting in a living room setting, creating an intimate situation. A lot of brands are beginning to experiment with the idea of getting everything prior to the guest’s arrival so that they don’t have to deal with any of the formalities like swiping cards and reading the passport,” he said.

“Our work as designers goes beyond the development of a specific guest experience for a specific brand, we need to be open minded to respect the fact that there is going to be constant evolution as technology progresses and how that speeds up is going to become more relevant in how we design from the concept level.”

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