Hospitality As An Economic Driver

An integrated design approach creates cohesive, unique, and memorable guest experiences

January 2, 2018

When a location becomes more than a location – when it becomes a memorable and iconic experience versus simply a place to visit – it leaves travelers inspired and enlivened by expanding their horizons and shaking them out of their routine.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) dedicated 2017 to celebrating and promoting the contribution of global tourism to building a better and more sustainable world. Declared the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, initiatives were intended to bolster world tourism by supporting changes in policies, practices, and consumer behaviour. This year-long campaign was realized to capitalize on the capacity of tourism to stimulate economic wealth. According to the UNWTO’s December 2016 press release, the tourism sector accounts for 7% of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs, and 10% of the world’s GDP.[1] Moving beyond its economic impact, tourism also supports cultural appreciation, social inclusivity, and the protection of cultural and natural assets – qualities that define popular and prized travel destinations.

In an increasingly globalized world where products, places, and things have the potential to become overly homogenized, it’s imperative – now more than ever – that travel provides welcoming and authentic experiences that reflect the local land and culture. Particularly as people continue to travel to evermore remote places, they want to experience someplace else through attributes that make every destination unique and different from home. This is precisely why every hospitality design exercise is a place-making exercise. When a location becomes more than a location – when it becomes a memorable and iconic experience versus simply a place to visit – it leaves travelers inspired and enlivened by expanding their horizons and shaking them out of their routine.

Central to authentic design is understanding how every touchpoint contributes to an experience. A cohesive hospitality experience considers everything – from the moment guests arrive at their destination, to how they navigate within it, through to their departure. Resort destinations provide a great opportunity for designers to play in this space. CHIL Interior Design was thrilled at the opportunity to work closely with its Architecture and Planning and Landscape teams to create a truly cohesive travel experience for a destination in Southeast Asia that included three separate hotels, each with a unique and distinct identity.

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The master plan for this beachfront resort speaks to the region’s emphasis on mixed-use communities, where commercial, retail, and hospitality programs blend to complement the experience at local resorts and entertainment complexes. Linking the development, waterfront boulevards and boardwalks enhance accessibility to the beachfront. They also connect local and tourist communities through offshore and nearshore amenities in addition to parks and beaches dotted with retail, entertainment, and a traditional marketplace that reflects the local character. A main boardwalk exists as a continuous path of connection along the waterfront – bridging people, spaces, and amenities.

Addressing the Client’s need for accommodations and amenities that range from budget-conscious to luxury, each hotel design embodies a distinct character. The 3-star experience is conveyed through a cozy, modern, youthful, and colourful environment. Efficient and friendly in its design, the hotel’s guestrooms and public areas are driven by an abstract incorporation of the local culture guided by the umbrella brand’s design principles and standards. These two aspects blend to create an experience that’s fun, modern, and locally attuned. A bright colour palette and graphic wall treatments create a welcoming and vibrant environment while an open lounge area at reception provides a space for guests to relax. Selected finishes complement the brand’s eco-friendly values while contemporary furniture and smart, efficient design features speak to the budget-conscious guest.

Moving closer to luxury, the 4-star hotel experience draws its inspiration from a local cultural dance. This dance enchants viewers and tells stories through a series of slow, symbolic hand gestures. A source of local heritage and pride, the gentle and methodical movements of this traditional and beloved dance are articulated in the design elements for this luxurious resort. The local landscape and local arts, textures, patterns, and forms are thoughtfully woven together to further inform the design and create tranquil settings. Meticulously carved stone clad columns, highly detailed focal points in the lobby and restaurant, and brightly-coloured textiles and accents are reminiscent of the local dancers’ costumes, reflecting the vibrancy of the region’s culture.

Amenity spaces such as the health club and spa carry out the luxurious detailing of the lobby while incorporating a more restful and organic palette featuring aqua and turquoise tones as a nod to the ocean beyond. Finally, local art and woven textiles adorn guestrooms and suites providing the ultimate resort experience balanced with fine, contemporary detailing. Just as the slow movements of the local dance are used to draw the eye and engage observers, this luxury addition is designed to enchant guests by slowing their pace and allowing them to experience all the harmony and beauty this cultural destination has to offer.


Location: Southeast Asia
Number of Suites:
3-star (354 rooms)
4-star (470 rooms)
5-star (122 rooms)
Status: In Progress
Client: Confidential
Services: Interior Design, Architecture, Planning + Landscape

The epitome of luxury at this Southeast Asian resort, the design for its 5-star hotel is ‘inspired by her’ and features a subtle and tastefully developed design with both the local and international woman in mind. Inspired by ‘La Silhouette de la Femme” (the female silhouette) design elements allow guests to intuitively feel and flow through spaces that express movement, form, and tonality. Demonstrating a French aesthetic and maintaining the essence of the female form, design features are harmoniously and delicately paired with locally inspired elements. Memorable moments are created through the juxtaposition of light, shade, and shadow, and the fusion of fine lines and intricate details elegantly introduced throughout. Sensual, stunning, and stylish, this retreat exudes a sense of grace through timeless design that offers guests an unforgettable and luxurious experience.