Hilton Garden Inn Project Grow Design
Interestingly enough, I think Hilton has done a really nice job with their PROJECT GROW. They have determined a small quantity of “branded” items that are required in every single property. While I don’t care for all of them, and I think some are too expensive (I’ll address later), the concept of identifying only certain items throughout the public spaces that are branded and required is an interesting one. From this starting point there is flexibility and that is what I like.
My company, ALTERNATE RESOURCES, does interior design, but more importantly we offer purchasing services. Our purchasing services come with little or no design fees on large projects, but we spend time value engineering and selecting and specifying all the items for hotel projects.
Let’s go back to PROJECT GROW DESIGN. Hilton has guidelines that have to be followed, and they stick to them very carefully in their review and approval process. They use words like “nature derived colors,” and “organic inspired patterns,” all very popular these days and therefore easy to pull together an attractive design. Plus, they have selected a multitude of fabrics and furniture pieces that you can used if you’d prefer. They have Scenarios of required branded items and other Scenarios for finishing the rest of the space to comply. There is plenty of room for your own expression, while maintaining their requirements and fulfilling their levels of design for the HILTON GARDEN INN brand.
This all leads to a perfect combination of custom design and meeting the requirements of the brand. It works nicely for any hotel owner, management company, and general manager of the hotel. It can be exact or it can be custom, but in either case it can satisfy everyone. Nicely done, HILTON!
On some HILTON GARDEN INN PROJECT GROW DESIGN projects, we have submitted completely custom designs for our clients, where everything is different than the written specification, but meets the parameters. On other projects, we have helped our clients execute exactly what the HILTON GARDEN INN PROJECT GROW DESIGN specifications say, and we have handled purchasing the products, managing the fabrics and furnishings and shipping, tracking and administering the project. While on other projects, we have melded these two approaches where we have worked within the scope of the fabrics and furnishings that HILTON suggests, but mixed it up a little to meet the needs of our specific hotel owner. In all cases though, this allows companies like mine to offer our clients the perfect blend (for them) of creativity, innovation, and cost conscious renovations.
Now let me digress for a minute, and circle back to certain items being too expensive. The brand requires fireplace art, basic regular poster art with words on it, for almost $3,000 a piece and once it is crated and shipped, the received costs are way higher. Now maybe I am not being fair, since any of you that know me, know I love to have fun with artwork. You all know that I am completely in to photography and using unique images in my hotel projects that are special and original to the location or the property or the specific hotel. It is my way of achieving “one of a kind” artwork that is not prohibitively expensive. Ok. I grant you…..it is “MY” thing, so maybe my opinion is skewed…..but, $3,000 for a piece of poster art with words seems very expensive to me. Plus, the words on artwork thing doesn’t work for me. Hilton does a nice job of using phrases that are inviting and welcoming and putting these phrases on banners in the hotel, like over the front desk. That I get! But on the fireplace art, doesn’t work for me. Also, if they have phrases they want to use to describe the experience, have custom “boards” made that say the phrases in nice colors, like they have in any gift shop, and hang these instead of putting the custom graphic in the artwork or on a sticky banner that gets adhered over the front desk. I don’t mind the idea at all, it is the execution that doesn’t work for me. Again, the idea of fireplace art, even with a specific direction, and frame size, is a nice idea. I just don’t go for the graphics and poster art. I would rather be more creative and more trendy, add some POP to the seating area with an original photo of a dahlia, or a leaf or a moon, or the sky…you get the idea!
Now that I have totally digressed, let me get back to the point. Hilton has a nice approach to the design of their Hilton Garden Inn properties. They are looking for updated decors, using current trends in color and design and then requiring their hotel owners to fulfill the requirements with professional help and within a set time frame. That is what the hotel business used to be like and this concept is perfect. It allows for creativity and uniqueness but maintains the brand. It stops the “cookie-cutter” approach where every single thing is exactly the same. It makes the brand a bit trendier and hipper and more interesting.
As a Mom, I am raising three kids in to the “Millennial Generation.” They will appreciate the Hilton Garden Inn approach way more than the comparable brands. They don’t like each hotel they go to, regardless of the city they are in, to look exactly like the last one they have been in. They don’t find that to be comforting and inviting. Rather they seek cleanliness, safety, technological amenities and diversity. They want everything to be a bit different and bit more fun. They would be way more comfortable in a Hilton Garden Inn rather than the competing brands (you know who you are!!).
So in summary…GO HILTON!