Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Rod Clough

The President of HVS Americas speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment. BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry? RC: “Early...

The President of HVS Americas speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment.

BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry?

RC: “Early on in high school – an after-school job at University of Colorado Catering as a server and then supervisor. The Director of Catering was a graduate of Cornell’s Hotel School and introduced me to the concept of hospitality as a career choice.”

BLLA: What does boutique mean to you?

RC: “Boutique is a hospitality experience that is tailored to the market I am visiting, in a smaller property (with a design inspired by the city) that is not so overwhelming. You can “get to know” the bellman/valet, front desk agent, and housekeeper by name, as you are likely to see the same people throughout your stay. Your restaurant experience is also tailored to the market and unique.”

BLLA: How would you define the word “luxury” in the hospitality industry?

RC: “Design: larger rooms with unique furnishings, art, and lighting, 5-piece bathroom, upscale restaurant & bar on-site and a front office that includes separate functions for front desk, concierge, bell stand, and valet. Service: twice-daily housekeeping, and ‘next-level’ front office and food and beverage service that is really top-notch and checks off all the boxes, among other aspects.”

BLLA: What are the top three trends that you see in the boutique hotel investment space?

RC: “Alive public areas that are blending the traditional departments of front office and food and beverage. The ability to position hotels to take the most RevPAR out of a market and lead to greater feasibility. The rebranding of traditional brand names into the boutique space in order to take advantage of market opportunities that may not be available for that traditional name.”

BLLA: What are you hoping to get out of your participation in the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference?

RC: “Sharing ideas and understanding what the innovations in this space are – how are we achieving high levels of service in a time when hiring is so difficult? How are we achieving the best margins but at the same time not diminishing the guest experience? Meeting new people!”

BLLA: Where are you seeing the most boutique hotel development these days?

RC: “Secondary and tertiary markets that have not seen boutique just yet but could really benefit from the entrance of a higher-end, boutique property.”

BLLA: Why do you believe boutique hotels are a good investment?

RC: “Not being boxed into brand updates and PIPs that drive uniformity but not profitability – this is a key factor for owners. Also, being able to move away from a perceived rate level or ceiling and really push to new heights that may be available with a boutique name. Being able to react to market influences and take advantage of market opportunities that may not be otherwise available by a traditional brand name.”


This interview was originally published on BLLAEvents.com

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