Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hoover

Erin Hoover

Vice President of Design, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

As Vice President of Design for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Erin Hoover leads the creative team to develop global design concepts for guestrooms, public spaces, brand partnerships, marketing events and other design elements for the Westin and Sheraton brands. Ms. Hoover came to Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT) by way of the fashion world, having previously worked for Armani for nine years; and brings a calm, smart, livable sensibility to the award-winning hotel brands. Prior to Armani, Hoover consulted for Calvin Klein, Edwin Schlossberg, and Polo Ralph Lauren. In addition to designing the next generation of Westin's and Sheraton's guestrooms, Hoover also spearheaded Westin's groundbreaking partnership with United Airlines, designing travel-size Heavenly blankets and pillows, and Westin-inspired Renewal Lounges at airports in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Each Renewal Lounge featured a signature LED candle wall and artwork typical of Westin's soothing aesthetic, along with two pieces of custom furniture: an upholstered ottoman table with a built-in table (for displaying custom botanicals or books) and a day bed for resting, all designed by Ms. Hoover. What's most interesting about Ms. Hoover's work is the diverse variety of properties that fall under the Westin and Sheraton umbrella. While a majority of the properties are new builds, the Westin and Sheraton portfolio also include resort hotels and landmarked buildings including the recently opened Westin Book Cadillac, inside one of Detroit's most storied buildings. To address these differences, Westin, under the creative guidance of Hoover, created three related but distinct design themes: Modern, which is streamlined and uses light woods; Classic, which is modern at its core but with an Art Deco influence; and Historic, for pre-existing buildings where it's most appropriate to respect original architectural details. Ms. Hoover's large scope of design experience ranges from designing textiles and exhibitions to visual merchandising and display, store design, nightclubs and hotels. Her eclectic and varied experience shapes her design perspective and continues to inspire her as a design professional at Westin and Sheraton. Ms. Hoover has an MFA in Industrial Design from Pratt.

Ms. Hoover can be contacted at 203-351-2542 or erin.hoover@starwoodhotels.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.