Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Alex Kirkwood

The Founder & President of Kirkwood Collection speaks his truth on boutique hospitality. BLLA: Why are you excited to be a facilitator? AK...

The Founder & President of Kirkwood Collection speaks his truth on boutique hospitality.

BLLA: Why are you excited to be a facilitator?

AK: “The boutique hotel industry is a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving, and I’m always happy and honored to provide insight.”

BLLA: Why is it important for boutique hotel owners to gather in person annually?

AK: “It’s important to get together with other hoteliers to have an enlightening exchange of ideas on the advancement of the industry. We’re in the business of building community, so we can’t neglect our own. Gathering gives us the opportunity to discuss shared struggles, celebrate obstacles we’ve overcome, and refresh and inspire each other. These events often act as the catalyst that sparks our creativity and solves our challenges.”

Garden Street Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA

BLLA: What is the mission statement of your company?

AK: “Kirkwood Collection hotel keys unlock so much more than a room. We are reimagining the historic bed and breakfast concept into a modern, boutique hotel group with luxury amenities that inspires guests to explore the destinations and communities around us.”

BLLA: What is your philosophy of hospitality in the new age?

AK: “We want to leverage the screens in front of us to invite guests into our iconic destinations and open their senses to unforgettable, real-world experiences. On property, we believe in using tech as a fail-safe instead of the go-to. We choose to prioritize the human point of contact to foster a sense of community among our guests, teams, and locals, creating bonafide experiences guests will come back to experience again and again. Continuing with that thread, we’re also destination-focused, kicking off the guest’s connection to the city in our lobbies and rooms through strategic local partnerships that inspire community exploration and encourage guests to get outside and play in the cities we love.”

Hideaway, Santa Barbara, CA

BLLA: Name two boutique hotel owners that inspire you and two new boutique owners you see as emerging voices in the industry.

AK: Two who inspire are:
1. Nick Jones from Soho House
2. Charlotte and Justin Salisbury from Artist Residence

Two emerging voices:
1. Ari Heckman, Jonathan Minkoff, Will Cooper, and Jenna Goldman from ASH NYC
2. David Bowd and Kevin O’Shea from Salt Hotels

BLLA: How are you keeping the spirit of boutique alive in your hotel or business?

AK: “When we launched Kirkwood Collection, we set out to create the first branded B&B company that can scale, targeting historically significant properties in iconic vacation destinations. We focus on providing an intentional and intimate experience in a luxury hotel setting that caters to the kind of stay guests are craving when looking for a boutique lodging option.”

Seven Gables Inn, Pacific Grove, CA

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