Hotel Concept Development

17 October 2018

We help hotels stand out by becoming unique lifestyle destinations.

Today’s hoteliers are under greater pressure than ever. Traditionally, they were mainly concerned about competitors down the road. Today they have to compete with Air BnB, OTA’s commissions and fast-changing customer behaviour. Additionally, the democratization of travel means that a hotel in Ibiza is indirectly competing with properties in Bodrum, Mykonos or even Phuket.

This means that to stand out hotels must provide more than a bed, a shower and a breakfast. In fact they must become lifestyle destinations that connect with their guests at an emotional level. Newcomers such as Ace Hotel, Citizen M and Zoku have proven that well-executed concepts can outsmart even the most established players.

A great hotel concept can, among other things, do the following:

  • Command a price premium comparable to similar competitors’ products
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Streamline communication efforts and generate free press
  • Convince investors and partners
  • Fast-track growth through licensing or franchising

Whether your are running a small family property or managing a portfolio of hotels, you can benefit from our expertise in hotel concept development. We work for international players such as Kempinski Hotels and Vienna House as well for independent hotel groups such as Maurice Hurand in Paris or Kramer Group in Zurich.

What exactly is a hotel concept?

It is a commonly held misconception that interior designers are responsible for the development of a hotel concept. In reality, a hotel concept goes far beyond space planning and considers aspects such as the service design, the storytelling and the communication strategy. Indeed, a beautifully designed hotel cannot succeed without a good service concept or an enticing story. We are convinced that the success of a hotel concept relies on the integration of both “soft” and “hard” elements. This is why we developed our proprietary Hotel Concept Framework TM. Our approach is unique because it takes into account the four key components of a hotel concept: product, operation, distribution and personality.

What does a project with us look like?

While we work with clients of all different sizes, with different challenges and objectives, our approach remains similar. A typical project is divided into three phases.

1. Research + Analysis

In this initial phase, we take a 360 view of your business and look at its broad context. We review competitors, cultural offerings and retail scene. This enables us to identify the opportunities of your project and ensure that we create something truly unique.

2. Concept Development

We use the insights we collect as our creative constraints to come up with a core idea for your hotel. That means deciding if your hotel could/should be a rebel luxurious property, a classic French icon or a hipster flagship. For instance, we successfully established the Terrass Hotel in Paris as a “legend of Montmartre” that is the “artist’s address since 1911”. Using our Hotel Concept Framework TM (see the image below), we then make sure that the entire customer experience reflects the core idea.


We look at the zoning of the property and the type of outlets it will contain. We develop a narrative that tells the story of the hotel and identify the best ways to communicate it throughout all the customer touchpoints (i.e., a classic French room-service should be quite different than a luxury rebel one). Once again, the result should be an integrated experience, from booking to check-out.

3. Implementation

To ensure the concept coherence from theory to practice, we follow through on the project evolution. Our role as an agency is to make sure that all the project stakeholders (owner, developer, operator, consultants etc.) are and remain aligned behind the same concept. This phase typically includes feedback on architect and interior designer drawings as well as reviews of mock-up rooms and advice on the go-to-market strategy.

Are you developing a new hotel? Or renovating an outlet such as a bar or a spa? Drop a line to to tell us about your project. We would love a chance to show you how you can benefit from our expertise.

Hospitality, Hotel Branding