The BLLA Team sits down with The Gallery at the Vendue, Winner of the Best Boutique Business of the Year Award!
BLLA: What motivated you to build an art gallery in the hotel?
TV: “Each hotel in the Avocet portfolio has its own identity – a core value that defines the hotel as being something more than a beautiful space where guests can book their stay. For The Vendue, our team spent a lot of time trying to determine exactly what that identity should be, and we took its location into consideration. The Vendue sits in the historic French Quarter of Charleston, which is known for its many art galleries. Although we did not at the time have a passion for contemporary art, our team understood that the hotel would thrive as an art-centric space which would differentiate it from other historic hotels in the area. Thus, the idea of a hotel embracing and celebrating all aspects of the arts was born.”
BLLA: How do you incorporate the boutique lifestyle throughout the property?
TV: “For Avocet, a boutique lifestyle hotel is more than just a small hotel with great design. All aspects of the hotel experience should inspire the team members so that they can become a part of the experience themselves. The staff needs to believe in the magic of a boutique hotel in order to deliver that magic to the guests, so we invest time in talking with the team about the hotel’s core values and the purpose behind them. Building an understanding around each aspect of the guest experience and how it fits into our overall vision is more important than just training our team on the standard operating procedure for their specific roles. To create a genuine atmosphere, our team needs to believe in the purpose of the hotel as much as our leadership does in order to treat each interaction with that same passion.”
BLLA: Why do you believe in the boutique movement?
TV: “Avocet believes in the boutique movement because we want to inspire people, both our team members and our guests. We want to do more than just provide a comfortable bed and a hot shower. That’s the easy part. The fun is in creating an experience that makes a guest or team member stop and be present in the moment. We believe travelers want to be inspired and stay in hotels that just simply make them smile. Whether it is a design feature or an unexpected operational touch, their stay is more enjoyable when we work to bring our passion to life and exemplify that wow factor.”
BLLA: Why should hotels adapt multi concept business models?
TV: “We look at each hotel as one concept. For The Vendue, each element, including The Gallery, is a part of the guest experience at the hotel that forms its identity. We view The Vendue as an art gallery, where it just so happens you can spend the night. Every area of the hotel plays into that one central concept that celebrates the arts.”