Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Palmer

Mary Alice Palmer

Principal & Director of Hospitality Interiors, HKS

As Principal and Director of Hospitality Interiors and one of the 5 leaders of HKS' global hospitality practice, Mary Alice Palmer provides a distinctly unique vision. With a rich and widely varied career in film, fashion and interior design, her path has been an unconventional mix of creative perspectives resulting in her unique point of view. HKS recruited Ms. Palmer to start the Hospitality Interiors Studio, where in the role of Creative Director, she cultivated that point of view to advance the design process through research, and storytelling to craft a narrative that works as the spine and framework for the evolution of project design.

An education at Parsons School of Design prepared Ms. Palmer for an initiation into interiors in the rarefied world of John Saladino in New York where she worked as a luxury residential designer, but wanderlust led her to California and several years spent working on design in films, TV and videos, ultimately winding up the adventure working with director James Cameron. The art of designing to propel a story became ingrained through the experience of set design.

She has designed some of the most luxurious and intricate interior spaces for brands including Auberge Resorts, Grand Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, St. Regis, W, Le Meridian, LVMH Cheval Blanc, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, etc.

Today, Ms. Palmer works with an exceptional team of creative thinkers, architects and interior designers to realize award winning environments geared to produce magical, inspiring, life enhancing experiences for guests. Through Wellness and sustainability concepts, their approach has health and well-being deeply integrated in the process, instilling better balance in a framework for travel and life. A history of successful design leadership has propelled Ms. Palmer into a globally recognized thought leader. 

Please visit http://www.hksinc.com for more information.

Ms. Palmer can be contacted at +1 214-969-3012 or mapalmer@hksinc.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.