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  • GARY McCARTNEY

Why Hospitality Design Is More Important Now Than Ever - Take Them On The Journey

Making customers feel at home is definitely part of good hospitality design.


But what if they don’t want to be at home? We’re all suffering from lock-down cabin fever – what about a bit of escapism when we get out of the house?


Food and drink is very evocative of other places- both in memories and in our dreams. How can we evoke the feeling of sipping white wine on the slopes of Mt Etna or eating horse sushi under a Tokyo railway arch on a rainy night?


A Japanese company is replicating the whole in-flight experience, including airline food, inflight entertainment, safety demonstrations, and virtual tours of your destination. But it’s clunky to say the least.


A more abstract approach is better. It starts with the food. The aromas and flavours of food and wine can be highly evocative. Osteria Il Coccia in Ettalong, for example, innovates with fine Italian food where everything is cooked over fire. There are stories around the food, the wine, and even the owners. For a while you’re transported into heady dreams of Tuscany.


The creation of the space itself is important in taking the customer on a journey to somewhere else. Nikunotoriko in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, elevates the humble yakinuku into an escape into nature, with a cave-like interior on the ground floor and an abstracted bamboo forest upstairs.


Even something as simple as a cup of coffee can be a journey into another world. % Arabica, in its latest Kuwait location, takes you into a glass cathedral of coffee where you kick back in tall greenhouses. It’s not your local Starbucks.

So it’s important to think of hospitality design not so much as what you serve your customer, as where you take them.


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