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Simple and brilliant: When little things mean so much

Recently I wrote about touring hotels with students and the value of the same to faculty as well.  Earlier this year, I visited the newly opened Reikart House Hotel, in Amherst, New York, south of Buffalo. Managed by Greenwood Hospitality, this Marriott/Starwood Tribute Portfolio Hotel is a reimagined historic inn with a nod to the past but firmly planted in the future. 

Interior of the Reikart House Hotel in Amherst, New York
Interior of the Reikart House Hotel in Amherst, New York

It’s beautiful. In the wave of independent and boutique hotel openings, it’s tough to do something unique that feels good too. One of the best, most straightforward sensitivities I discovered was a label over the sleeping room’s many light and amenity switches. It is so simple, yet so clever. The lighting design in the rooms, along with the décor, evokes emotions while being practical for those necessary activities of a hotel room.

Unless the guest is a road warrior going to the same property frequently, few transient or leisure guests stay in the same room. So when you arrive and want to see what all the cool knobs, switches and buttons do, you simply read the label. These are understated and non-intrusive. They don’t flash (pardon the pun).

Just read the label.
Just read the label.

My favorite label was the fireplace. It made me think that the hotelier really is thinking of my ease and comfort, and how can s/he make it just that nicer to enjoy my stay.

Simple and brilliant. What other simple and brilliant ideas have you seen lately? There are so many cool, functional designs flowing into the new brands – name yours.

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