HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON
Four Story Select Service Hotel
69,851 sq ft
89 Guestrooms: Kings and Double Queens, and Specialty Suites
Hotels in today’s world have transformed into multi-million dollar architectural achievements, offering more and more unique amenities and avenues for entertainment. While the hotel industry has evolved over time, its primary goal has remained the same: make people feel as close to home without actually being there.
Prior to MRP Design Group’s most recent hotel project, Homewood Suites by Hilton in Augusta, we worked closely with the owners of the four-story hotel to understand precisely how they envisioned the quintessential guest experience. Architecture of the past focused on buildings. Now, architects hold a seat in the war room, aligning design plans with the values, beliefs, and expectations of a client’s key audience.
Below are several elements we not only considered, but leveraged when designing, planning, and constructing this Homewood Suites. While far from comprehensive, the items in this list give insight into the strategic role architecture plays when designing hotels capable of competing in some of today’s largest markets.
Location, Location, Location…
In coordination with civil engineers on the Homewood Suites project, MRP Design Group constructed site plans that creatively managed the usage of the property. The master plan maximizes value and profitability for each of 3 hotel concepts on the site through shared parking, dumpster enclosures, detention ponds and more.
Because the hotel was positioned near Fort Gordon’s main entrance and just two miles from Augusta National Masters Course, all parties involved with the project were confident the hotel, when completed, would likely become a hotspot for professional conferences, events, and other corporate trips. With this in mind, a business center and several small meeting facilities were embedded into the building’s floor plans.
Yet, all work and no play isn’t exactly the ideal experience. Outdoor facilities including a basketball court, swimming pool, and other patio/grilling areas were positioned around the exterior to expose patrons to Augusta’s vibrant landscape as well.
Room Designs and Layouts
Only after buyer personas have been developed and defined can architects begin designing the hotel’s suites. While working on Homewood Suites, the original plan dedicated the vast majority of rooms to business travelers. However, the ratio was later adjusted to include twelve double queen studio suites. These larger suites appeal to families traveling on vacation for various events throughout the year (e.g. the Master’s Tournament).
The Unique Experience
Despite being owned by Hilton, the Homewood Suites hotel embodies a custom architectural design coupled with a relatable name. As these attributes attract guests seeking a “unique experience,” the hotel also benefits from association with its trusted parent brand.
Unfortunately, other hotel giants are using this strategy as well. Rather than overloading guests with exclusive features that are likely being offered by competitors, hotel owners must invent subtle yet powerful additions to stay ahead of the pack. Instead of following its competition, Homewood Suites identified benefits that would specifically resonate with its guests. One of these benefits is known as the story corner. This program tasks desk clerks with reading stories to children while their parents attend meetings or business events.
Every business seeks to supply its particular demand. Consolidating business objectives and consumer demands/expectations with location specifications and innovative techniques when planning and designing a hotel is critical to the success of the project.