Sincerely, BLLA

The Artisans: Kevin O’Shea

The BLLA Team sits down with Kevin O'Shea, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Salt Hotels, as he delves into his experience as a boutique hot...

The BLLA Team sits down with Kevin O’Shea, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Salt Hotels, as he delves into his experience as a boutique hotelier.

BLLA: What is your company’s mission statement?

KO: We are a service-focused and design-led collection of hotels deeply immersed in our communities through authentic hospitality, inclusion, and education.

BLLA: How did you enter the hospitality industry?

KO: I started my career at Starwood Hotels and Resorts on the corporate design teams for Sheraton and then onboarded the Le Méridien brand helping to create global design standards. I then had the amazing experience of working on the corporate design team of Morgans Hotel Group before striking off on my own. 

Hotel Greystone | Miami Beach, Florida

BLLA: What does “boutique” mean to you?

KO: Genuine and authentic experiences that truly immerse guests, giving them a sense of place and a truly thoughtful, personalized experience. There is no rule book for “boutique.” It must be tailored to every single project and be born from a narrative that is inherent to the unique qualities of every property. 

BLLA: How are you an artisan?

KO: I have always been passionate about creating environments and understanding how much the details matter to make experiences really resonate. I love the challenge of a blank piece of paper each time I approach a new project and how I can apply experiences that have shaped me and influences I have been exposed to, to create truly unique ideas every time. 

The Aster | Los Angeles, California

BLLA: What advice would you give to first-time hoteliers?

KO: Trust your gut, stay the course, and believe in your ideas & stay convicted of those. It is easy to stray off course with so much noise and information floating around. Confidence in your ideas will show through in a genuine way… in the execution when you are true to yourself.

BLLA: What would you say to hotel lenders & investors reading this?

KO: Great boutique projects can reap so many rewards. They may have involved more risk in the past from the financial side; however, when we have the right partners who are “all in,” we are able to create dynamic and exciting projects that can be leaders in their markets and produce phenomenal returns. Take the risk! 

Salt Hotels is a hotel corporate premier member of BLLA – view their listing here!

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