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September 29, 2014

Come check out our new September 2014 Newsletter!

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Lusky Tel Aviv: a small hotel that was infused with personality and experience

September 21, 2014
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The renewed Lusky hotel: renovated rooftop

“I wake up every day with a vision and will for renewal”. This is one of the first things Eti Peres, one of the owners of Lusky Hotel, told me. And the mission I received from her: to translate this need for renewal into a new chapter for her hotel.

Lusky Hotel’s makeover process is still underway, but I would like to share with you what we have accomplished so far. Lusky is small hotel (27 guest rooms, several suites) on Ha’yarkon street in Tel Aviv. The budget for this renovation is very limited, but we managed to accomplish a lot with good ideas and especially with emphasis on exceptional execution.

One of the most important things we did was link the hotel to its excellent location – right by the beach. Lusky is located in a very competitive area, but was not differentiated from other hotels in its vicinity: it did not offer a design, service or any other experience that would make it stand out. One of my main goals was to create this differentiation, by creating a personality for the hotel: Creating a brand with a personality, just like a person’s; Creating a story for the guest. In addition, the prime location by the beach was not present inside the hotel. Together with architect Ruth Arad and Anat Gafni’s branding company (Fresh), we created a renovation and rebranding plan that links the hotel to its surrounding – mainly the beach.

Our concept is based on having the sea felt inside the hotel with all 5 senses:

Sense of touch – beach textures (for example in wallpaper) and wave like rounded lines in the design
Sense of sight – color scheme of the sea. The element of the sea shell that became central in graphic elements throughout the hotel.
Sense of Taste – culinary line that includes seafood.
Sense of smell – aromas from the sea
Sense of hearing – music to create a beach atmosphere

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Renovated guest room: the sea enters the design through the use of blue and the seashell element.

The design plan includes renovating the guest rooms, redesign and bring into use the patio and the rooftop, rebranding and new graphic materials – print and digital. All this was planned in order to create a new message and story around the hotel. We also refreshed work procedures and operational processes.

I am sharing with you a project that is still an ongoing process : a real makeover that includes a new look a rebranding that will enable hotel managers to ask for a higher premium on their price and will improve the hotel’s business results.

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The color scheme and graphic elements that were the inspiration of the redesign of the hotel, as well as graphics for marketing materials.

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We renovated Lusky’s website to fit the new image

Garden hotel in Haifa : Doing business in style

August 15, 2014

I have been waiting for the opportunity to work in Haifa for a long time. For the last year, since I met the owners of Garden Hotel, the Adi family, we have been working on this project together, and I’m proud to say that the hotel is currently being launched. I was born in Haifa, so when I met the owners and heard about the project, I immediately felt committed.

Anyone who has been to Haifa recently knows that its not the sleepy port city it used to be. Haifa today has a lot to offer : a Hi-tech park, great shopping, culture events and a lot of attractions. It has a unique blend of three religions that together make up the heart of the city. However, some things will never change : the sea, the beautiful nature surrounding the city on the Carmel mountain and the easy access from Tel Aviv. All these together make Haifa an ideal location for tourists and Israelis seeking a get-away not to far away from home. More and more companies have business in Haifa and their staff requires accommodations.

The Adi family also runs the Gan Hacongressim complex at the city entrance – for personal and business events. This is a great location for business guests and tourists alike : close to the train station and the beach is a short walk away.

 The Design : delicate and sophisticated

When I joined the project, the owners were leaning towards a classical and traditional design style. Together we analysed the target market, and understood that many future guests will probably be in Haifa to do business in the nearby Hi-tech park. These are modern, sophisticated guests. Therefore, we decided to upgrade the hotel concept. Together with branding studio Anata, we came up with a new concept for Garden Hotel. The hotel’s name refers to the immediate surrounding –  there is green everywhere with gardens and terraces all around. The greenery does not stay outside but rather follows the guest into the hotel through the use of interior gardens and fresh design.

Even before entering, the guests encounter a small garden sunk into a niche in the exterior wall. The main design element inside the lobby is a cactus garden in the middle of the space. A high ceiling with a skylight allows natural light to enter and increases the feeling that we are in a space that brings the outdoors inside.

גארדן הוטל גינת קקטוסים בלובי

Cacti garden in the middle of the lobby brings the outdoors inside. Photography: Assaf Pincuk.

It was important for us to create a “wow” effect right when the guests take their first steps inside. The lobby is very impressive with 14m high ceiling, marble flooring and a cacti garden in the middle. The lobby has afghan rugs and a Onyx marble reception desk that adds to the luxurious feeling.

גארדן הוטל אלמנט גרפי

The hotel logo as a graphic emblem on the lobby wall. Creates a modern fresh look. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk.

The lobby is designed as an open space – one space with many uses. I have written before about the importance I give to the design of the public spaces in all my projects. Today, even those on a business trip do not want to be cooped up in their room at the end of the work day, but would rather be surrounded by inspiring design and experience social interactions. The hotel lobby enables a blend of business and leisure: an open space perfect for networking, that has all the amenities such as work stations and free wi-fi. The hotel restaurant Bistro 29 serves light meals all day long, and the cacti garden adds an interesting twist to the space.

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Online corner – work stations for guests. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

With the design of the guest rooms, we tried to set a different mood. Garden Hotel has 29 rooms, with a relaxed classical designed, that is meant to create a calm oasis different from the more bold design of the public spaces. The rooms are decorated in neutral and earth tones, with wooden furniture that adds to the warm feel. There are touches of blue and green that refer to the blue of the ocean and the greenery that surrounds the hotel inside and out. In addition, the hotel has one honeymoon suite – the “white suite” that is decorated all in white, with a round bed, designer lighting and a retro bath that all create a romantic atmosphere. The honeymoon experience can be completed with a visit to the hotel’s “white spa”.

Garden Hotel guest room: relaxed design. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

Garden Hotel guest room: relaxed design. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

White Suite. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

White Suite. Photography: Assaf Pinchuk

Making It Work

Since the project did not have a management company, Copeland took on this role as well in the setting up period. We put much thought to how to implement the concept in the best way to ensure smooth and successful operation in the future.

We were able to recruit key management positions only two months prior to opening. This timing allowed the owners to minimize costs at a stage when their asset is still not operational, while still allowing staff enough time for training and implementing procedures before the first guest enters the doors.

I introduced Eva Cabassa to the project – an accomplished marketing professional I had worked with in the past, and she was hired as the hotel’s general manager. To me, recruiting a marketing expert as a general manager ensures a link between the concept and the actual operation of the hotel – after all, the most important marketing tool is the hotel itself, how it looks and operates, how guests are treated and the experiences each of them have.

 Business in style

To conclude, Garden Hotel is a business hotel that has a personal, intimate atmosphere. I have no doubt we will be able to lead it to excellent results.

December 2013 Newsletter

December 17, 2013

December 2013 Newsletter

I invite you to read our latest newsletter!

Smart hotels Israel : the making of a smart and small hotel chain

December 17, 2013

One of the basic principles of business is the idea of economies of scale. This is a simple concept that states that a larger company enjoys a more efficient cost structure than a smaller one. The percentage of fixed costs is lower, overhead per unit goes down and the company’s bargaining position with suppliers, clients and other interested parties improves.

My experience in the hotel business has taught me that the advantage is stronger in  hotel chains.While it is true that a hotel needs to have a minimum number of rooms to be profitable, a small hotel of 30-40 rooms can also make a profit if it is managed wisely. However, hotels that are organized in chains can share costs like marketing, sales, supplies and more, and so make each one more efficient.
On the other hand, being part of a chain also has its drawbacks. Many guests today are looking for a unique experience that they cannot find in other hotels. One of the challenges of the business is finding the balance between keeping a hotels uniqueness, that gives a marketing advantage, and taking advantage of economies of scale, that give a business advantage.

Copeland Hospitality has had the priviledge to work with the Azulay family who  manages Ayala Hotels.Over the past years  the business has expanded beyond established Ayala Tours and their properties now include several small hotels including Montefiore and Jerusalem Inn in Jerusalem and Ramon in Mizpeh Ramon and soon to come Eyal Hotel also in central Jerusalem.. We have been working together in developing and repositioning these properties in a chain.
Our work together started with creating a coherent brand and concept. The goal was to create a brand that would enable marketing the hotels together and sharpen the message to the target audience : tourists (most guests in these hotels are leisure travelers), relatively young with limited budgets.

After much thought, we pinpointed a few points that unite all the hotels:

  • centrally located and within walking distance from major attractions such as the old city and food market
  • small hotels – a size that can create an intimate feel for guests but still remain profitable
  • attractive price
  • efficient service
  • comfortable hotels that have everything you need but lack extras such as pool, spa, lounges etc. that have upkeep costs that reflect in room rates.

Drawing inspiration from doing everythng smart; location, few features , value price and tech savvy services,we chose the name SMART for the new chain: When you choose these hotels you are making a smart choice.
A hotel in the right location, the right look, the right size and the right size : smart in every way.
Of course this is also an advertising message to the customer. We are actually saying to them “smart customers choose smart hotels, so if you are smart you have to pick us”

The new look: small smart hotels

We addded to the team  a graphics agency that created a creative look and feel and a visual story for the new brand. Here you can see some examples of the visuals that reflect the sophisticated, clean simple concept of the chain.


The new logo: clean and simple lines. Below the chain logo the name of each hotel appears in color. A different color for each location.

Back of business cards: the  feel of the text is meant to allude to the location of the hotels right in the middle of the action.

The hotels were renovated to fit the new brand. Designers added new color, lighting, textiles, styling to create a younger and more vibrant look. My experience in large international chains was actually an advantage here, and helped me outline new work practices and procedures for this small local chain. We succeeded in joining functionality and design, and between maintaining a unique guest experience and improving the bottom line.

Jerusalem Inn: Dining room

Montefiore Hotel: guest bathroom
Smart Hotels are an example of a small chain that is succeeding in creating a umbrella brand that reflects also the individuality of each hotel.  For example, I recently wrote about my work with Indigo Tel Aviv (link), owner by a huge chain (intercontinental) that has a boutique feel through the use of local landmarks in its design (in this case the diamond exchange and Shenkar school for fashion design. The more chains utilize this way of management, they will succeed in improving their bottom line as well as creating an experience that will keep guests coming back.

Buy Local

December 15, 2013

In the past I have shared content about the existing trend that drives many customers to search for hotels with a small, intimate “local” feel over big uniform chain hotels.

The idea is that the purchase of local products, from local retailers, is to be preferred over purchasing industrial globally produced goods. This trend has been influenced by the worldwide economic situation and by environmental and moral ideals.

In our global economy, purchasing goods created by distant markets (i.e. China) is often the cheapest alternative. So what is the rational to buying local goods? The “Buy Local” advocates prefer to supply jobs to the local economy, or to make sure the products they buy are under strict supervision regarding labor laws and the quality of raw materials (this is especially true for food). From an ecological perspective, it is clear why local manufacturing is preferred over goods that have to be shipped a great distance – there is more waste of fuel, pollution and packing materials. The advocates of the “Buy Local” doctrine are often educated, young and ecologically and socially conscience – this is the profile of today’s trend setters. Therefore, this doctrine has now become a fashion. Large chains – OUT. Local farmers market – IN.

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Neveh Zedek, Tel Aviv : A neighborhood that has seen several openings over the last few years of small hotels

You are probably asking – what does this have to do with the hotel business? Well, the buy local trend has reached hotels as well. It translates as a trend towards smaller hotels, that are not part of a chain, and are locally owned. These hotels give their guests an intimate service experience and make them feel they are part of the place they are visiting. Often, the room price alone does little to create a positive assessment of a hotel: satisfied, loyal customers are created through the collection of experiences they accumulate during their stay. Guests at local hotels expect to have an authentic, original experience influenced by the location of the hotel.

We are seeing more and more hotels strive to create a link to the local community and give guests a local experience by purchasing food supplies from local markets, or offering a seasonal menu. We are all so used to seeing unified menus in hotel lobbies and room service all over the world that being introduced to local cuisine can be a significant improvement.

We are also seeing hotels creating partnerships with local businesses and community groups: for example by hosting community events, designing the hotel to fit the neighborhood “vibe” and planning the event schedule to include local events. All these create a unique experience and also increase the customer base to the neighborhood as well – suddenly locals are interested in dining in hotel restaurants or hanging out at the bar.

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Hi-Matic Hotel, Paris. A large map mounted on the lobby wall helps guests navigate the city. It is also a gathering point for guests and a good place to meet new people and share your experiences.

 

We put together for you some recommendation for small, local hotels where you can feel a true part of the city for a few days:   

Meninas Hotel, Madrid


 Meninas Hotel: Breakfast room 

This hotel is centrally located in Madrid, allowing easy access to the historic part of the city as well as great shopping, within walking distance from cultural and historic sites. The building dates to the 19th Century, and has been completely renovated.

The hotel has 37 rooms of various size, each one with its unique design. All rooms have modern, clean look with touches of retro thrown in.

Price: 77-127 Euro. Depending on the room and the season.
Website: http://www.hotelmeninas.es/

Hotel, Paris HI-MATIC

Hi-Matic Hotel, Paris: Guest lounge that is used for serving breakfast, work or social gatherings.

Hi-Matic Hotel: Guest Room

Hi-Matic hotel is located in Paris’s stylish Bastille, with plenty of restaurants, organic stores, concepts stores, specialized book shops in the area. Young designers meet here, young chefs open their restaurants, and at night you can visit the neighborhood’s great bars.

Hi-Matic is an ecological hotel, furnished and supplied with recyclable products that have been locally produced and can prove fair trade. It serves an organic breakfast and there is a vending machine for organic snacks with recyclable wrappers in the lobby.

The room design is eclectic and colorful. Perfect for the young or young at heart.

Price: 85-135 Euros, depending on room type.

Website: http://www.hi-matic.net/en

Lily & Bloom, Tel Aviv

Lily & Bloom: located in a historic building

Lily & Bloom: Guest Room

Lily & Bloom’s luxury suites are located in a beautiful historic building on Lilienblum Street in Tel-Aviv, on the border of picturesque Neveh-Zedek neighborhood. The complex has three furnished suites, with everything you need to feel at home: from towels to cooking utensils, hair dryer and coffee machine. Each apartment is around 80 sqm. And has 2 bedrooms and a large living room with kitchen. Each one is individually designed in a warm homey style. Available for a few days or for several months.

The Lily & Bloom complex also has several treatment rooms where guests can enjoy a variety of holistic treatments for special rates.

Price: $180-$320, depending on season and length of stay.

Price: https://www.facebook.com/Liliandbloom.apt

For Further Reading about local hotels trend: