Accor's Alexandra Woop On What It Means To Build A Welcoming Space In The Hospitality Sector
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As the Director of Interior Design at Accor India, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey (IMEAT), Alexandra Woop has no problems in explaining the role design and décor play in ensuring a space’s appeal (and success), especially when it comes to the hospitality domain. “Hotels are like a dream that guests are willing to discover, entering and enjoying the world of crafted and surprising experiences, which we call an augmented reality,” she explains.
“Space decoration is playing essential role in influencing the mood and vibe; functionality and experience mapping designed for surprising the guest, making them feel special, and evocate their feelings.” These are the principles Woop herself has been using in partnership with talented designers from around the world, to create inspiring, innovative concepts for Accor brands like MGallery, Grand Mercure, and Novotel, all of which is meant to draw people in. According to Woop, guests today gravitate toward socially conscious spaces that have a great vibe around it, and as such, hotels, given the variety of functions they serve, be it as, say, an art gallery, or a co-working space, need to be showcased and presented in a manner that suits the occasion they may be being used for.
Grand Mercure Riyadh. Source: Accor
“Efficiency in design is important, because it allows getting most from the property, using every inch of the space as an opportunity to create a meaningful and discovering journey, filled with comfort and artful functionality,” Woop says. “We need to have a strong character reflected in the interior concept and décor, where storytelling is the basis of everything. In a nutshell, storytelling is the connection between ideas, curiosity, and spatial experience through construction methods. This connection is an attempt to create emotional meanings for the guest, while still embracing functionality and visual sensation. Inspired by travel, nature, architecture, fashion, graphic design, literature, and art, the most memorable interiors are created with passion and a fearless expression of fantasy, where materials and color combinations found randomly or by accident can create a fascinating blend. Indeed, to achieve balance, there must be a thoughtful mixology of texture, history, pattern, and color.”
Novotel. Source: Accor
This forms the basis of what can be constituted as Woop’s ethos in her role at Accor. “Good hotel design has no limitations,” she declares. “Every design shall be the craft, with its own story and connection to place, representing strong and diverse concepts of experiences. Every hotel is an invitation to embark on an unexpected and fascinating journey. The new knowledge that you capture and take with you is the important component of the memorable moments that will stay in guests’ souls, and they will share with their friends, telling a story they experienced in this place, and emotions they will never forget.”