The Devil Is in the Details…And So Is Hospitality
Nicola Law in Hospitality

The secret sauce of great hospitality is comprised of a mix of detailed little touches. Image © Gensler

Last week’s long awaited Holly Hunt showroom opening in Mayfair showcased refined hospitality outside of the usual hotel and F&B establishments. It proved that good hospitality is not just an art form, it’s an attitude. In the case of Holly Hunt, the attitude is more about a belief in great design and materials, where nothing goes unnoticed. No wonder her brand leads the industry in luxury home furnishings. In 1983 she opened her first showroom in the iconic Chicago building The Merchandise Mart. Since then she’s been credited for raising the bar in interior design showrooms. The same can be said for her London opening.

Invite only, with invitation in hand I was greeted like I would in any five-star hotel. A doorman opens the door to reveal smiling faces on the other side ready to greet and check me in using iPads. As I wind my way deeper into the space, filled with inspiring vignettes, live music and professional waiters float through with cocktails and fashionable eats. All my senses are pleasantly heightened thanks to this tailored approach. I have to remind myself that I’m not at a launch of a new bar. Simply put, I was wowed.

It comes back to the old saying that was drummed into our heads at design school: good design is all in the details. This same saying could be said for hospitality in its various forms. Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly campaign attempts to tap into the wishes and desires of customers. Challenging them monthly in an open forum with prizes for incentives. Since its inception some ideas have already been implemented, showcasing that they really are listening to us as consumers. This month’s challenge: Share an idea for something new you want to experience in our Greatroom lobbies. When chatting with other team members, it’s less about a single idea that creates impact, instead it’s an integrated story, reimagined and tailored to each individual hotel. The vision for successful Greatrooms is an extension to the street scape, drawing guests, passersby and the local neighbourhood inside. The lobby becomes an extension of the community, offering up events driven by local culture, where guests and the neighbourhood can intermingle for a more genuine experience over drinks and or dinner. It’s where the functional features of the hotel almost disappear into the backdrop and a hub emerges.

After all good hospitality and the importance of the entry sequence is a memorable experience that lasts.

Nicola is influenced and inspired by a continued exploration of new design opportunities, travel and her international upbringing and background. Nicola has successfully managed simultaneous projects from inception to completion. Projects range in complexity, budgets and scale across the corporate, institutional, hospitality, leisure and residential design fields. She can be reached via email at
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