Competition in the hospitality industry is intensive, and currently this industry is characterized by a significant brand expansion to attract more visitors and provide them with unique personalized or customer-oriented services and experiences (Wu & Ko, 2013). The focus is on establishing and developing a brand that will become attractive to guests in terms of the proposed services, concept, philosophy, and design.
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The most famous international hotel chains are also oriented to changing and establishing new attractive brands. Curio Collection by Hilton is one of such innovative brands that was launched in 2014. The first Curio hotel in Australia appeared only in October 2017, and its first guests will be expected in January 2018 (Curio Collection, 2017). The purpose of this report is to discuss Curio Collection as a new international brand established by Hilton and describe the details of its facilities management with the focus on such aspects as technology and environmental sustainability.
Curio Collection and Its Market Position
Being established in 2014 as a brand of boutique hotels, Curio Collection by Hilton attracts travelers’ attention because of hotels’ design, proposed experiences, and Hilton’s reputation. In spite of the fact that this international brand has recently emerged in a modern hotel market, it is currently one of the most reputable new brands. While discussing the market positioning of the brand, it is important to note that, according to the STR Global Chain Scales, Curio Collection is characterized as an upper upscale chain (type 2) operated by Hilton Worldwide (Curio Collection, 2017; Selwyn, 2016).
The position in the market is determined with reference to the average daily rate for a previous year. In contrast to other chain scales, upper upscale hotels have exclusive designs, high prices for rooms, and unique services.
The Facility Design Philosophy
Curio Collection’s facility design philosophy is based on using only unique and innovative buildings for Curio hotels. These properties should be appealing to visitors and guaranteeing authentic experiences, as well as being exceptional in their nature (Curio Collection, 2017). Furthermore, the facility design philosophy is also grounded in the aspect that Curio hotels are boutique hotels that differ from other hospitality facilities in their life-style perspective and eclectic style (Hou, Tao, & Mao, 2016; Jones, Day, & Quadri-Felitti, 2013). Curio Collection hotels unite independent properties that are located globally and that are different in their design to reflect the culture of a community which they serve.
There are no prescriptive designs for hotel buildings, they are operated independently with the focus on the “soft brand” principles, and this aspect influences facilities management in Curio hotels (Curio Collection, 2017). As a result, facilities management is based on a distinctive character of different Curio hotels and various visitors’ needs. Hilton supports the chain and provides security and safety standards to follow while organizing facilities management. To address guests’ needs, the focus is also on providing perfectly arranged spaces, high-class services, safety, security, and innovative technologies.
In Australia, the first Curio hotel is West Hotel in Sydney that is located in a new unique building. This boutique-style hotel proposes 182 guest rooms, four suites, a bar, a restaurant, a meeting room, and a fitness hall. The modern design of the hotel with different classic elements was developed by Fitzpatrick and Partners, and the interior was created by Woods Bagot (Curio Collection, 2017). The key theme of the design that influences facilities management is a botanical theme. West Hotel has a unique open-air garden atrium, and the elements of the floral design appear in the overall interior.
Aspects of Facilities Management
The specific aspects of facilities management in the hospitality industry need to be discussed in this section in detail. The focus is on analyzing technology and environmental sustainability issues with reference to the example of Curio Collection hotels. In addition, the discussion of other relevant aspects of facilities management is provided.
It is important to note that technology is one of the key aspects of facilities management in the hospitality industry because of the necessity to guarantee efficient and timely reservation operations, registration, scheduling, planning, and monitoring while using computerized facilities management systems (Edwards, 2011). In Curio hotels, the customized computer-based facilities management system is used. It is integrated into the system provided by Hilton to guarantee access to Curio hotels’ loyalty programs, discount propositions, security and safety standards, reservation resources, brand notifications, and financial data (Czyzewska & Roper, 2017).
Still, the focus on independent and community-oriented services allows managers of West Hotel to modify the computerized facilities management system and address specific needs of managers and guests of this Curio hotel. Thus, the key focus of West Hotel is on managing operations and contacting the staff while using the computerized facilities management system, as well as on creating a database of guests.
The ventilation, heating, and air conditioning control techniques are technologies that are also used in Curio hotels to automatically monitor the work of these systems. If there are repairing issues, the system provides signals to address and checks the availability of replacement elements (Madanoglu & Ozdemir, 2016; Roper, 2017). Furthermore, the category of technology also includes services provided to guests in terms of available information technologies and gadgets.
Today, visitors’ expectations regarding comfortable rooms are also associated with access to the Wi-Fi connection, TV sets, SMART services, and other technologies. In Curio hotels, guests have access to Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas, and rooms are equipped with 49-inch TV sets and several USB ports (Curio Collection, 2017). Furthermore, Bluetooth speaker systems are proposed. Much attention is also paid to guaranteeing digital data security for users of provided technologies.
Much attention in the hospitality industry is paid to addressing the principles of environmental sustainability. The focus is on reducing the energy, water, and resources use, decreasing the amount of waste, and choosing materials that can be recycled (Bruns-Smith, Choy, Chong, & Verma, 2015; Nielsen, Sarasoja, & Galamba, 2016). Curio hotels follow environmental sustainability standards promoted by Hilton Worldwide. Thus, facilities and resources management strategies are developed to reduce waste by about five per cents each year, as well as to reduce the use of water (Curio Collection, 2017). As a result, a negative impact on the environment becomes reduced, and it is possible to state that Hilton is focused on implementing more “go green” strategies.
In West Hotel’s design, the key focus is on an open-air garden atrium with a unique bar that is developed by florists to have a specific system of the water use to guarantee the work of a cyclical system that ensures the minimum consumption of water (Hsiao, Chuang, Kuo, & Yu, 2014).
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Furthermore, ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems of the hotel work to reduce the consumption of energy using innovative energy-saving elements and covering norms of the ISO 50001 Energy Management certification (Curio Collection, 2017). The energy management is also realized with the help of an effective electrical system that was developed as innovative during the process of building West Hotel. Furthermore, in Curio hotels, food waste solutions are also used to guarantee the efficient utilization of products and to minimize food waste.
Facilities management is also based on such aspects as cost effectiveness of operations and utilities, operational efficiencies, equipment efficiency, security and safety, the quality control, staff training, scheduling and planning, and budget control in addition to technology and sustainability (Edwards, 2011). All these aspects need to be addressed by facilities managers to guarantee the effective processes and operations in a hotel.
In Curio hotels, costs of materials, resources, operations, and services are controlled and regulated with the help of informational and financial systems developed for Hilton Worldwide. The quality control issues, as well as safety and security questions are also resolved with reference to the principles, policies, and systems developed for Hilton Worldwide (Kasim, Gursoy, Okumus, & Wong, 2014; Lub, Rijnders, Caceres, & Bosman, 2016). Decisions regarding design, equipment, staff, and scheduling are made by managers in independent Curio hotels, and these processes are regulated with the help of local computerized management systems. One of such systems is adopted at West Hotel in Sydney to organize the work of a facilities manager.
The purpose of this report has been to discuss Curio Collection as a new international brand launched by Hilton globally and identify specific details of facilities management typical of these hotels with reference to the example of West Hotel in Sydney. Curio hotels are boutique hotels that differ from each other in their design, conception, and operations. As a result, approaches to facilities management in different Curio hotels vary depending on the location and guests’ needs and expectations.
In Sydney, West Hotel proposes guests not only unique interiors of rooms but also exceptional services and authentic public spaces, including an open-air atrium. It is possible to conclude that modern international brands change to attract more clients, and today the emphasis is on boutique hotels that guarantee exclusive experiences to visitors, and this aspect influences their facilities management.
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