Well-Being Blooms in Westin Hotels New Nature-Inspired Public Space
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 14, 2012 – Today, Westin Hotels &
Resorts announces that it is applying its industry leading, design-driven
approach to the brand’s new public space experience. Developed with guests’
well-being in mind, the new lobby concept serves as a modern-day oasis from the
demands of travel by incorporating natural elements, vertical gardens, flexible
and functional seating and conveniently-located grab- and-go areas. The
new public space concept is currently on display at The Westin Gaslamp Quarter
in San Diego and will continue rolling-out to participating properties
worldwide starting with Westin Indianapolis, Westin Boston Waterfront, Westin
Birmingham, Westin Georgetown and Westin Bethesda.
Biophilia-Inspired Vertical Gardens Offer a Breath of Fresh Air
The vertical garden is a unique focal element of the new Westin lobby concept designed to improve indoor air quality and create a calming, more natural environment. The brand’s in-house design team, led by Erin Hoover, Vice President of Design, was inspired by multiple studies of biophilia which indicate that the integration of nature into design results in a range of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, enhanced mental stamina and elevated moods. Westin is the first global brand to incorporate these structures in the lobby space throughout its global portfolio and has partnered with Ambius, the premier global interior landscaping provider, to create these “living walls” that further the brand’s commitment to ensuring that guests leave feeling better than when they arrived.
Ranging from 100 to 300 square feet, each vertical garden is custom-designed and integrates wall-mounted plant modules with infill panels of unique textured materials inspired by the interior architecture and the location’s regional identity. Experts from Ambius work with the Westins Brand Design Team and each individual property to determine which plants are best suited for their lobby space, depending on the amount of natural and artificial light, as well as the location’s natural climate. These range from low- and mid-light plants including Variegated Philodendron, Golden Pothos and Dallas Ferns, to high-light plants such as English Ivy and the Purple Waffle Plant – which were all selected by the design team for their detoxifying, high-oxygen producing properties that improve overall air quality. Some of the systems are also designed with a UV filter, allowing for the use of grey water and therefore providing an even further positive impact to the environment over the life-span of the vertical garden.
Sensory Welcome = Haven for Travelers
Upon arrival in the new lobbies, guests are transported from the everyday and are greeted with a unique balance of calm and energy, beginning with a more customized experience at the new Westin check-in spaces. These free-standing structures replace the outdated hotel check-in desk and are ergonomically designed with work surfaces at optimum heights and a more spacious, personal guest interaction area. The Westins signature white tea scent, combined with custom music, calming tonal colors and soft, atmospheric lighting creates a fresh and soothing ambiance. A new back-lit feature wall, on display behind the check-in pods, was created by transferring one of the Westin brand’s nature images onto a solid core material, creating soft visual texture and subtle movement. This new relaxing arrival experience allows travelers to let go of their stress and enter an inviting, uplifting space that helps them stay balanced, refreshed and ready to achieve.
Re-Imagined Seating Creates Opportunities for Working and Playing Well
Whether enjoying downtime with friends and family or conducting an impromptu meeting with colleagues, the brand’s new lobby concept provides guests opportunities to both work and play with specially designed seating zones. Instinctive and inviting seating areas can be found throughout the lobby space for guests to gather and socialize. To meet the demands of today’s business traveler the new lobby design features an active, adaptive space ideal for meetings, browsing the internet or engaging in conversation. Consisting of meeting tables designed with connectivity in mind, re-imagined seating area features conveniently located power outlets, and easy access to computers and printers. Thoughtfully designed seating zones have also been created to meet the needs of modern travelers, with power panels built into side tables for easy accessibility. Flexible spaces can easily transform in order to accommodate varying levels of interaction and intimacy, from semi-private meetings to casual gatherings with friends. New acoustic and architectural screens have also been added to improve sound control and help create a more intimate setting.
Grab & Go Café
Conveniently located in the Westin lobby adjacent to the new seating zones, the Westin grab and go café makes it easy for guests to grab a quick bite or finish up their last-minute shopping. The signature food and beverage concept will vary at each property, ranging from an enclosed café space with a heavenly sky light and a central communal table to a transitional café/bar experience that adjusts to a lively, engaging lobby bar experience in the evening.
Westin Continues to Innovate
The brand’s innovative new public space concept joins a host of initiatives recently introduced by Westin Hotels & Resorts that have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind.Most recently, Westin announced its revolutionary new workspace concept, Project Hive, to meet the changing needs of today’s mobile business travelers.
To learn about the Westin brand’s latest innovations, visit www.westin.com or follow us on Facebook.com/westinand on Twitter, @Westin.
About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resortsoffers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoods and WestinWorkout studio – have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels,with more than 186 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.westin.com
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)