The Importance of Design in Hotels: What Do General Managers Think?

12/1/2019

Design is important in many different aspects, from expressing identity, artistic appeal, to even highlighting comfort and innovation. For hotels, design can be a make-or-break factor in its overall success. A great design can attract people from all over the world, and the meaning of a beautiful design differs in every country. Indonesia Design asked the general managers of several well-known hotels around the country to gain insight and understand just how important design is to the success of a hotel, and how each of their hotels has successfully done so.

Sjefke JansenHotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
Design in hotels is absolutely important to identify your brand and its position in the market. With an endless number of hotels all over the country, if your hotel’s design is not one that stands out, then it will be difficult to position it strongly.

Hotel Indonesia first operated in 1962, officially initiated by the first president, Soekarno, as the first five-star hotel in Southeast Asia to offer international standards. With such historical legacy, Hotel Indonesia was designated as a cultural heritage site by the government since 1993. This means, the design of the building and all of its historic assets should be well preserved and maintained.

This historic hotel is managed under Kempinski Hotels SA, the oldest luxury hotel group in Europe. And this landmark hotel with its heritage designed building, is proof that design is the key point and plays an important role in differentiating your product amongst the competitors which offer the same facilities or luxury. Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta is the pride of the nation, revived and managed in a modern way, offering impeccable, individualistic luxury services while maintaining its distinctive heritage design, local culture and tradition.

Vincent GuironnetThe Apurva Kempinski Bali
Interior design is the first visual experience and has the power to define the guests’ first impressions. This is extremely important as this can be a fundamental aspect to influence the guests’ experience and satisfaction, without forgetting the balance between operational functionality, physical environmental elements, and top-notch services.


The Apurva Kempinski Bali has been carefully crafted by hundreds of Indonesian artisans to represent the country in all its cultural aspects. Our unique interior design portrays a strong sense of the destination which differentiates and sets us apart from the competition. Less than a year after our opening in February 2019, we have earned local and international reputable awards which also align with the business performance.

Michael Gaehler – Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali
A hotel design with a strong concept is an important factor to the success of a hotel. Operational functionality and physical environmental elements need to find a balance and blend harmoniously to create the required ambience for guests. It shouldn’t only focus on the aesthetic side to support the concept from the hotel, but also support the operational needs.

It is important to make a great first and lasting impression where this balance plays a major role in guest experience. Nowadays, hotel design – both interior and exterior, are often used to create Instagram-worthy pictures. It’s even now a part of architectural briefs. This image-sharing platform now plays a key role in the success of the hospitality project by encouraging guests to share their surroundings, and thereby boost the venue’s profile and business.

At Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, a modernised Balinese touch is formatted into all areas, accurately representing and reflecting the unique aspects of local culture, demonstrating our commitment to emotional hospitality, local sensitivity and global sensibility. Buildings are designed with passive architectural strategies to maximise natural light penetration. The architecture is rooted in a tropical Balinese style where the use of indigenous materials combined with the artistry and craftsmanship of its people, imbibe a strong sense of place.

Carlos MonterdeFairmont Jakarta
Nowadays, design is key to the success of a hotel - or of any other buildings like office towers for that matter. As a five star hotel, it’s not only a matter of having a grand and flashy design, but it has to be both functional and have the capacity to motivate and inspire its guests - to make them feel comfortable. A hotel can make people feel good and confident from the moment they enter; and this is achieved by having a good and suitable design.

Stepping inside Fairmont Jakarta brings guests a sense of modern luxury, a tranquil refinement from the frenetic environment of Jakarta. Guests will be spoilt with the amount of space within the hotel. From the voluminous Lobby, Grand Ballroom to the generous individual guestroom, each part of the hotel was conscientiously designed with a unique ambience in mind, layered with details and features, reinforcing the Fairmont Hotel’s reputation for creating a memorable experience.

Design is one of the variables that affect our well-being. The importance of design in any product is growing. It still has a massive capacity for growth as we are now discovering how our mind works and how external factors like design is affecting our well-being. Many have been working on design intuitively, like an art. Knowing how impactful it is to how a human feels, in the near future we will grow the combination of the art with the science to create designs that will suit its purpose perfectly.

Pierre LangAlila Seminyak, Bali
Design is an important part to a hotel’s success, especially for Alila Seminyak. As our hotel was built with sustainability in mind, Alila Seminyak’s layout was designed to maximise the use of natural cooling, shading and daylight to reduce energy use, taking advantage of natural sea breezes, with no air conditioning in public areas.

In terms of design, the suites are expressed in a contemporary style and are designed to maximise the ocean views, allowing guests to fully embrace the light and airiness. In addition, unique details such as Balinese design touches can also be found in Alila Seminyak’s furnishing. Furthermore, the resort is built around an ancient Balinese temple that has stood on the site for generations. This temple is an integral aspect of the resort’s design, being a central point for the property, as well as still allowing locals to present their daily offerings and giving guests a glimpse of Balinese tradition.

By combining a contemporary design with innovation and sustainability, this is how Alila Seminyak delivers a “surprisingly different” experience to the guests.

Peter Simson – Hilton Bali Resort
The design of a hotel plays an important role in helping us leave great first impressions on our guests. All the guest rooms and suites at the Hilton Bali Resort have been completely restyled by Singapore’s James Park Associates to exude a timeless and contemporary look with touches of the local Indonesian culture within the interior design. Each room features a fresh look and unique personality which presents a warm welcome to guests staying at the resort.

Since embarking on our journey to refresh elements of Hilton Bali Resort, the newly refurbished guest rooms have been amongst the most highly anticipated. It is my absolute delight to announce the completion of the 401 revamped guest rooms and suites in South Wing, Cliff Tower, and North Wing as well as the new all day dining restaurant, Grain as part of our efforts to continue delivering world-class service and memorable experiences to all our guests – as today’s discerning travellers deserve.

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