Industry  |  2 May 2021 |  Eva Lacalle

The importance of the hotel curator in the future of hospitality

what is a hotel curator
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A hotel curator is important to the future of hospitality because they help create one-of-a-kind experiences that make the hotel stand out in the minds of its guests. By dynamizing the hotel through events, food experiences, concerts, strategic partnerships and the like, curators can help make the hotel experience unique and set your structure apart from the competition.

So what is this role and how can it help your hotel? In this article we’ll look at the role of the hotel curator, their main tasks and why the role is important to the future of the hospitality sector. 

 

What is a hotel curator and its role?

A hotel curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator referred to someone who took care of the artifacts or tangible objects in a cultural heritage institution such as a gallery, museum, library or archive, but in present times the term has also been applied to the hospitality sector.

The curator in the hospitality sector focuses on the hotel experience and making sure that guests are constantly stimulated throughout their journey at the hotel, whether that be through events, restaurant experiences, the general look and feel of the hotel, art, design, concerts, human interactions and more. 

Think of the curator’s role as concierge 2.0. They help create a portfolio of services and offerings, while at the same time integrating design thinking into the facilities to create a more impactful experience, and offering services that will catapult your structure above and beyond in the mind of the guests. It’s something that Mews Founder Richard Valtr explored in his think-piece about the hotel of the future.

Hoteliers can then use their hotel property management system to get business intelligence and understand how these actions have positively affected revenue streams, as well as see how the structure is performing and how they can improve in order to provide real feedback to the curator. 

 

What are the main tasks of a hotel curator?

Now that we know what this role is and why it’s so important in the hospitality world today, let’s take a look at their main tasks.

 

Design immersive travel experiences

One of the main reasons people travel is to try new things and step out of their comfort zones. The idea of this role is to design immersive travel experiences that give the hotel and the experiences offered a sense of place. 

For example, the elements a guest expects to find in a 5* hotel in Bali aren’t the same as what they would expect to find in a 5* hotel in Paris. For that reason, it is important that the design of the space and installations reflect this immersive feel, and this role is the one that takes it upon themselves to do so. 

 

Implement brand identity

Another important task is to design spaces that encourage guests to feel relaxed, energetic and inspired. When creating these spaces, curators should understand the mindset of the guests to find out what it is they are looking for when it comes to the use of colors, textures and look and feel of the property, so that they can inspire these sensations in the guest. The brand identity will then become synonymous with these characteristics.

 

Give guests the tools to be able to make their experience unique

The curator must understand the needs of the guests in order to help them customize their hotel experience. Are they looking for a local experience? Then they can help them book the right tours and experiences so that they get a feel for the local culture. Are guests looking to stay and just relax? They can design amenities and tailor-made activities such as a wine tasting or a spa day so that the guests feel like their needs are being met. 

 

Create a network of services and professionals

Not all hotels have the bandwidth or the personnel to provide all the experiences and services they wish to provide. This is where the curator steps in. Like a traditional concierge, they can help create a network of services and professionals that offer the services where the hotel falls short. That could be spa services, restaurants, car rentals and tour guides, among other services. This network is key to going one step ahead of the competition.

 

Bring the hotel into the digital age

Never has the hotel’s image been more important and this is something this new figure can help with. Millennials are constantly sucked into their smartphones so let the curator make use of this. By making the hotel ‘Instagrammable’, your property will essentially benefit from free publicity. 

The curator can work with the hotel's installations and create events and dynamize the space so that the hotel can take advantage of these social-media worthy moments to capitalize on the free publicity generated by social media. 

 

Why is a hotel curator important in the future of hospitality?

Curators are important to the future of hospitality because they help make the hotel a special place, not just for guests but even for locals. They essentially take the job of the concierge to the next level by combining experiences, amenities, services and design to make it ‘the place to be’. Furthermore, they can contribute to a space in the local community that serves as a hub for different experiences, local products and local designers.  

Curators can help create important and lasting relationships with partners who can give a new push to the hotel brand in terms of design and creativity. They can create lines of business with other professionals such as glassware, linens, ceramics that can help create a sense of the hotel as a way of life rather than just a place to escape on holiday. 

The curator can create new experiences that would not necessarily fall under the job description of a traditional concierge, such as pop-up markets, pop-up chefs, cooking classes, and exclusive experiences that are only offered to guests. It could be opening up the rooms to be decorated by local designers, or offering different amenities made by local artisans or packages that include a range of experiences.

 

Conclusion

The hotel curator is essentially a hybrid job that serves as a bridge between your everyday concierge, your marketer and designer. It’s about having a versatile person on staff that has a sensibility for design, business development and public relations that can help make your property a dynamic and adaptable space.

They can make decisions about the best ways to promote the hotel’s brand identity so that the amenities, design, and experiences designed reflect the brand in the best way possible. This in turn helps elevate the impression of the hotel in the minds of potential guests, locals and of course, not to be forgotten, the Instagrammers and influencers of the world. 

This role is becoming more and more important to help make your property stand out from the competition. These cultural influencers are responsible for creating a lasting impression in the minds of guests so that retention rates will soar. Furthermore, low season losses can be mitigated by alternative revenue sources such as events, product sales and commissions. So if you’re thinking of bringing on a curator to your staff, it’s without a doubt a no brainer.

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Eva Lacalle
2 May 2021