casa alitalia Roma

Airport Lounges: Traveling with Style

When talking about Contract Furniture, let us not forget airport lounges: hospitality facilities that can be found in the main international airports sponsored by airline companies. The customers who are allowed access to the lounges are offered comfortable and exclusive areas provided with all services and amenities that one can desire in hectic places like airports.

casa alitalia Roma

Credits: www.studiomarcopiva.com

The very first airport lounge was realized in 1939 in La Guardia airport (New York, USA) by American Airlines as a promotional tool. Since then, the number of airport lounges has boomed: nowadays, the airline company with more lounges is British Airways – with more than 60 facilities all over the world – followed by China Southern Airlines and United Airlines – both offering around 50 lounges. Alitalia has only 9 “Casa Alitalia” lounges, plus all the facilities offered by the company’s partners.

Lately, travelers have become increasingly more demanding. Therefore, airport lounges too have to be adjusted to the users’ needs and expectations.

Clearly, not all lounges are equal. Some of them – more essential but still very much appreciated – offer basic services for travelers such as comfortable sittings, quiet and relaxing rooms, food corners, free internet access and media entertainment.

Premium lounges, on the other side, focus more on customers’ wellness and offer all sorts of comfort such as hairdresser, fitness center, spa and even private bedrooms. As businessmen are among the most frequent flyers, a special attention is given to business facilities: work stations, computers, high speed Wi-Fi, and even meeting rooms are often available in these lounges.

The main national companies are basically competing against each other in order to show that they’re able to offer to their selected customers more exclusive services and experiences than their competitors as well as luxury environments with a modern and refined design.

According to a performance ranking published by the British Company Skytrax, the airline company most appreciated by its customers for the comfort and the service quality is Emirates. Runner-up is Qatar Airways, followed by Singapore Airlines.

So here you are some of our favourite VIP airport lounges offered by these reknown airline companies:

The luxury 650 square meters first class lounge offered by Emirates Airlines at the Dubai International Airport. The lounge has even won the Apex Passenger Choice Awards and it offers first class treats: wellness areas, shower spa and superior restaurants are just some of the available pleasantries.

Emirates-First-Class-Lounge-Dubai-sleeping-room

Credits: www.emirates.com

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The Al Mourjan Business lounge realized by Qatar Airways at the Hamad International airport in Doha. A 10,000 square meters area that combines traditional Middle-Eastern style and architecture elements with an elegant and contemporary design. Refined restaurants, wellness areas and business areas are just some of the services you can take advantage of in the lounge.

qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business lounge

Credits: www.qatarairways.com

The  KrisFlyer Gold Lounge realized by Singapore Airlines at the Singapore airport: Singapore Airlines aims to offer to its customers a “home away from home”. A modern and elegant area which – through its style and furniture – succeeds in conveying  the company’s values and identity together with the hospitality culture typical of the Southeast Asia. The lounge includes a refined restaurant as well as private and comfortable work stations.

Singapore Airlines airport lounge

Credits: www.singaporeair.com

Alitalia – Italian main airline company – is also committed to offering to its passengers elegant, comfortable and familiar spaces. In collaboration with the design and architecture firm Studio Marco Piva, Alitalia has started the project Casa AlitaliaIn these lounges the passengers can experience a true italian home – from the style to the food and wine.

casa alitalia airport lounge

Credits: www.studiomarcopiva.com

Professionals working in the hospitality industry – therefore – should keep in mind that cooperating with airlines for the construction or requalification of airport lounges could bring a lot of added value in terms of  revenue. Indeed, to implement these high-profile and complex projects airline companies need to identify suppliers for all sorts of contract products and services. Not only – as one would think – sittings and food services, but all kind of indoor and outdoor furniture, bedding, gaming products, products for fitness centres and wellness, and much more.

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Are you a contract professional wishing to learn more about the main tradeshows and events for your industry? Are you an architect or designer looking for an Italian qualified partner for your next projects? Are you interested in discovering the newest hospitality trends?  Feel free to reach out to us e-mailing communication@ic4hd.com and follow us!

Capsule hotels

Capsule hotels: when hospitality meets businessmen

When hospitality meets businessmen the result is the growth of capsule hotels.

The so-called capsule hotels are the new trend as regards hospitality for businessmen and travelers with little time and demands. The concept is quite simple: minimal solutions whose  strengths are accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to satisfy basic needs such as a good sleep or a relaxing bath. Moreover, capsule hotels are usually built in strategic locations, such as airports or train stations. On the contrary, less importance is given to services, personalization and personal spaces: the traditional hotel room turns to a small prefab – usually a couple of meters wide – with modern, compact and functional design and furnishing.

The very first capsule hotel – the Osaka Capsule Inn – was designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in 1979. Since the 1980s, this trend spread in the whole Asia and more recently it started to be a big success in Europe too. The first hotel chain offering capsule hotels in Europe has been Yotel, whose facilities – small in the dimension but luxury and appealing in the furnishing – can be found in London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol airports. If – for whatever reason – you’re stuck at the airport for awhile you don’t have to wait on uncomfortable and overcrowded chairs anymore: you can book a cabin just for a few hours and have your own bed just a few meters away from the check-in desk.

When it comes to fashion and trends, Italy – of course – doesn’t want to be left behind. And that’s why Capsule Hotel Orio al Seriocapsule hotels have recently landed in Italy too with zzzleepandgo: low-cost cabins with soundproof walls offering – in just few square meters – a single-bed, unlimited and fast wi-fi, an extractable work desk and even an alarm clock in sync with your flight departure time. All you need if you’ve an early morning flight or an unexpected layover and – on top of that – you’ve got a conference call or you need to check your e-mails.

Of course there are people who stand out from the crowd and don’t want to give up to all the comforts and facilities offered by a traditional hotel room. These more demanding travelers choose instead the so-called compact hotels: cheaper than traditional solutions but more comfortable than capsule hotels, this type of accommodation offers almost all the quick services that a businessman may need in a business trip – when the time is short and the tasks are too many: fast check-in, fast wi-fi, express laundry and every other express service you can think about – besides, obviously, a comfortable bed and all the other necessities (source: business traveller, march 2016).

The hospitality world is always seeking new and innovative solutions that could help the business in making a difference and emerging in such a competitive scenario. The emerging trend of capsule hotels and compact hotels certainly offer new opportunities for professionals operating in the contract and hospitality industry.

Are you a contract professional wishing to learn more about the main tradeshows and events for your industry? Are you an architect or designer looking for an Italian qualified partner for your next projects? Are you interested in discovering the newest hospitality trends?  Feel free to reach out to us e-mailing communication@ic4hd.com and follow us!

Food & Shopping: Emerging Trends in the Hospitality Industry

The traditional trade industry is forced to take on new challenges and renovate itself to keep being competitive in an economy increasingly overawed by technology. Indeed, the e-commerce keeps growing at a fast pace – so much so that in 2015 its B2C market value has reached 1,671 billion dollars worldwide. Online marketplaces are more and more popular – compelling the more traditional retail industry to find new ways to emerge in such a competitive scenario, offering to their potential customers strong and holistic experiences.

 

This is the reason why the food and beverage has started to peek out in stores traditionally not tied to the food industry. In fact, it is more and more common – according to March/April edition of Restaurant development + design magazine – to come across a food service corner in stores mainly selling clothes, shoes, furniture and other products. The purpose is to establish a deeper and personal relationship with the customer, making them feel just like at home and letting them experience the brand before purchasing an item. The well-known US brands TOMS and Urban Outfitters are among those which came to the decision to combine fashion and hospitality.

 

toms2-300x200TOMS has placed inside its stores snack bars and coffee shops, furnished and decorated according to leading edge restaurant design concepts. Urban Outfitters has even bought a group of restaurants. The design of these luxury cafes and restaurants integrated in the stores is usually handled by well-known architects and interior designers. Serious attention is payed to setting up these areas – which have to be considered like a veritable brand extension.

Not only luxury brands, but also mass market ones – such as Macy’s – are aligning to this trend, equipping their stores with food departments.

 

The “food & shopping” trend has originated in the USA but it is rapidly spreading in Europe too. A fascinating example is Tiramisù Delishoes, the very first Fashion Restaurant Dessert Bar in Italy which has recently opened in the Brera District, the heart of Milan. Tiramisù Delishoes – as its owners explain in their website – aims at combining in an original way two realities that seem apart but have actually a lot in common: the food industry and the made in Italy fashion industry. A new exclusive concept. Trend-watcher are already looking forward to find out how this trend will develop both in Europe and worldwide.

TiramisuDelishoes

 

This new trend represents a great opportunity for companies and professionals operating in the hospitality industry.

 

Lanari Associates coordinates a cherry picked selection of the best Italian companies in the hospitality design sector on show at HD Expo – one of the most important fairs in the trade held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas – under the umbrella name ItalianContract4HospitalityDesign (ic4hd). Feel free to reach out to us to learn more: e-mail us at communication@ic4hd.com !

 

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