HORECA Magazine issue 11

Interior architect, Davina Preca completed the International Baccalaureate in Oxford, then graduated with a BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture & Design from Nottingham Trent University UK in 2001, after a few years she founded her own studio. A deeply rooted family business in the hotel and restaurant industry led an evolution towards specializing in hospitality and restaurant design.

Series part 1 of 4 – What’s your story?

In recent months local studies and interviews have clearly indicated a saturation across the hospitality front. It is therefore a possibility that an oversupply of both restaurants and hotel beds may result in the quality of these establishments to deteriorate over time.

Interior design cannot undoubtedly resolve this problem however design is indeed about asking the right questions, challenging what exists and seeking alternative solutions. So, how can interior designers respond to this challenge to aid the thoughtful, responsible and adaptive design to positively contribute towards producing an interior that is both of quality and relevance?

“What is your hotel story and its aspirations?”

Design needs to go beyond a pretty picture and should be rooted in substance. This applies to all sizes of establishments, from big box hotels to small lifestyle boutique hotels.

Whether your hotel business is in its inception stages or is due a refurbishment, the question remains the same. What is your hotel story and its aspirations? Why should a potential visitor select your accommodation over any other? Of course there are the bare basic reasons such as location, cost, availability and facilities. But how about the less tangible reasons, beyond just a place for the basic bed and breakfast?

“The most vital role of a story is to trigger an emotional response”

Think about the concept in terms of a story book, as a reference guide whenever a decision or selection is to be made. So the choice is in line with the concept, making it a clear, straight forward decision. For instance a big screen showing the football league may sell more drinks on the day, but if sport has no connection with your story it will only hinder your story in the long term. The most vital role of a story is to trigger an emotional response with the user. If carried out successfully the outcome is beneficial on a multitude of levels. Firstly it creates a sense of loyalty for returning visitors, it also prompts a decrease in price sensitivity when making a selection. Moreover it is long lasting and can be enriched and evolve over time.

If done correctly it also generates a talk point to create interest and promote the hotel. Generating engaging content for social media platforms is a challenge for any establishment, a design story feeds you content.

Identifying the potential target audience is one of the essential steps in creating a successful design concept. The interior environment is then curated, considering the needs and requirements of the target customer. Other than that the existing or potential location, the staff, the size and the growth outlook should all be determining factors in creating your story board.


Project highlight: The Skyroom – Cocktail Bar & Grill

Completion: 2019
Indoor Floor Area: 200 Sq m
Outdoor Floor Area: 150 Sq m
Client: Preluna Hotel Ltd.
Design: Davina Preca
Location: Tower Road, Sliema, Malta