There are certain details contained in the hospitality experience that really define what a great vacation is meant to be. For us, villas and boutique hotels that combine thoughtful restrained design, cultural and site-specific nods along with seamless amenities rank as our favorite destinations for rest and relaxation.
Successful design always incorporates a thorough investigation of the end-user's needs and their use of space. Combined with thoughtful aesthetic solutions, including culturally specific nods with an eye for the environment and luxurious living can create a unique sense of intimacy and will enhance the traveller's personal experience.
During a recent trip to Bali we found that the design of The Villas at AYANA Resort in Jimbaran captures this idea perfectly. From the effortlessly designed and curated cottages with Balinese luxury found in every detail down to the on property 24-hour butler service for each cottage, each villa felt like it's own secluded paradise. In conversation with Clive Edwards, the general manager of the villas as well as The AYANA Resort & Spa and the Rimba Jimbaran Hotel, we discussed what he looks for when curating amazing hospitality environments:
Name one key design element that makes for a memorable hospitality experience?
CE: I would have to say cultural specificity. AYANA for example, by design, is extremely traditional. The artwork in public spaces speaks to this in great detail, from the fragrant frangipani adorning clay pots to intricate wooden carvings that get into the mind and stay there.
How often do you refresh/renovate/redesign the properties that you manage? What is the catalyst for the change?
CE: Typically guestrooms are renovated and redesigned every 5-7 years. This also applies to heavily utilized public spaces and restaurant design. There are many factors to be considered which include emerging trends, for example, ten years ago sushi bars and cigar rooms were the rave. Other things to consider are technological improvements facilitating a more interactive customer experience and customer demographic and nationality segmentation. For example, guestroom design for a large Japanese market will focus on minimalism and clean lines as opposed to a Middle Eastern driven market.
We believe in order for a hospitality environment to be truly successful, at least these three things: design, service and superior product must be top-notch…what is your take on this?
CE: I agree absolutely that a truly excellent hospitality product comes from the intersection between great hardware and software. Organizational culture uses the element of continuous improvement to separate good hotels from great. A continuous examination of processes, technology and ensuring absolute engagement of the individual are key elements that should be a part of this organizational culture. Of course continuous measurement of these performance indicators is a prerequisite for continuous improvement.
To see a curated list of 13 Amazing Things To Do in Bali penned by Clive, read HERE.