Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It seems so rare to come across a hotelier in this day and age who's #1 focus is something besides money and the ROI. So, when you read something like this from the owner of a rising boutique brand, it really makes you stop to think. Chip Conley, the owner of Joie de Vivre Hotels, gets it and as a hospitality designer and avid traveler, I can't tell you how refreshing it is to hear his perspective. I think people are growing tired of the cookie cutter norm. Across the board, in everything from your hotel room to your tomatoes, our society was sold into this idea that mass production would save the world, or at least our pocketbooks. Things may be a little cheaper as a result, but in the process we've lost the flavor in life and our sense of place. What makes things special is their uniqueness. The best thing about traveling is making those new discoveries & coming back with stories to tell, even if you are on a business trip.

Mr. Conley really sums it up when he says, "Until recently, most of the world's largest hotel chains thought that the mirror we wanted was purely banal predictability with the Hilton in Austin feeling no different than the one in Boston. Road warriors like George Clooney in Up in the Air want consistency but they also want a sense of place with a soul. Aldous Huxley once suggested, 'Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.'"

Here's hoping that more hotel developers start to see the light and help us all find our own "joie de vivre."

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