Key considerations for a Hospitality Project
The hospitality sector, involving hotels, resorts, and other accommodation offerings, presents a unique set of challenges and considerations for all stakeholders involved. From client teams and operators to design consultants and management, understanding the complexities of the industry is crucial to delivering successful projects. In this article, we delve into key lessons learned in the hospitality sector, focusing on various aspects that contribute to the seamless execution of projects.
Client Team Considerations
- Operator-Centric Approach:
In hospitality projects, the operator often emerges as the ultimate client. However, delayed operator appointments are not uncommon, leading to potential changes in project requirements and increased abortive work. Establishing a clear line of communication and defining responsibilities between the client and operator early on is essential. In parallel, and while the operator appointment is being finalised, it is pivotal to agree the set of assumptions that the design team will be proceeding on with the client based on relevant benchmarks.
- Developer vs. Operator Roles:
Determining whether the developer or operator provides final information on the project brief and decisions is crucial. Clarity in roles helps streamline communication and prevents conflicts between the two entities. A clear distinction between the responsibilities and roles of these two entities is important, to ensure that the design team receives clear and non conflicting feedback throughout the design process.
- Architect’s Appointment:
Unlike other sectors, hotel architects are often appointed directly by developers based on existing relationships. The selection process relies heavily on established connections or previous involvement in master plans, necessitating a strategic approach to architect appointments.
Design Team Consultants
- Importance of Early Appointments:
Interior designers play a vital role in shaping the overall aesthetic and functionality of a hospitality project. Early collaboration with architects helps create a cohesive design language, minimising clashes later in the project. Ensuring alignment with the operator’s preferences is also crucial.
- Specialised Consultants:
From culture specialists to swimming pool/spa consultants, the appointment of specialised consultants early in the design process is essential. Their insights contribute to cultural considerations, vision development, and avoiding complications in later project stages.
- F&B and Laundry Consultants:
Consultants focusing on food and beverage (F&B) and laundry services need early involvement to align with interior design and MEP requirements. Their expertise aids in determining catering offerings, MEP design impact, and sustainability considerations.
- Stage Approvals and Client Comments:
Clear communication during stage approvals, where clients or operators often have the final say, is critical. Managing client comments efficiently, especially when multiple engineers are involved, requires a consolidated client comments tracker to prevent overload.
- Programme and Decision Tracker:
Hospitality project timelines, while not drastically different from other typologies, are influenced by the urgency to meet opening dates. A well-managed programme, coupled with a client decision tracker, ensures timely progress and addresses potential clashes between the client and developer/operator.
- Ongoing Brief Finalization and Change Tracking:
Finalising the project brief is an ongoing process, necessitating tools like assumption trackers and Request for Information (RFI) trackers. A change tracker becomes essential when operators and interior designers join later, documenting and resolving design and program changes efficiently.
In conclusion, the hospitality sector demands a proactive and collaborative approach from all stakeholders. In Plan A, we support architects by addressing the unique considerations outlined above, ensuring project teams can navigate challenges effectively, achieving the successful realisation of hospitality ventures.