Fraser Donaldson is the Group Hospitality Director at Vision Support Services. With a background in travel and hospitality, Fraser has worked for a number of hospitality management companies and has worked alongside some of the key players across the main hotel brands.
With a fantastic understanding of the hospitality industry and years of knowledge, Fraser has developed strong working relationships with some of the most prestigious hotel brands and groups – so he knows a thing or two about stylish hotel design.
We had a chat with Fraser to find out his thoughts on the industry and what we’ll expect to see in the near future.
What made you want to be a judge this year?
Having worked in the industry for a number of years, I know how much of an impact a stylish interior can make. The hospitality industry is no longer dominated by identical rooms, clinical lounges and monotonous restaurants – so it’s time to really celebrate interior design and inspire other hoteliers.
What do you think will set an entry apart from the rest?
It’s interesting to see that hotels and restaurants are moving into a brand new phase of design – aimed at the millennial traveller. Social media is now the norm and so the industry knows it has to be ‘Instagrammable’ in order to succeed and, therefore, encourage others to visit. With so much riding on online review sites and word of mouth recommendations, I’ll be looking for the fantastic, the fun and the fearless.
What do you think will be some key design trends over the next 12 months?
Personally, I think due to the influx of the serviced apartment sector and the rise of Airbnb, we’ll be seeing many more hotels trying to compete. New hotels and openings will seriously need to think about their venue location, their amenities and their service.
People choose the likes of Airbnb and Homeaway due to their authenticity – and that’s what hotels will be trying to do. They’ll be really making the most of ‘health and wellness’ and investing in their spa facilities, integrating their hotels in the local communities and blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor space.
Is there anything you think is becoming less stylish and sought after in the world of hospitality?
Grey was definitely the colour of the moment a year or two ago – I think these muted greys are on their way out as hotels get more and more inspired through motifs, murals and bright colours designed to excite their guests.
What do you personally look for when choosing a venue?
I look for something I’ve never seen before. I want it to be unmistakeable and not easily confused with any other venue. Not another anonymous room or building.
To enter your venue in the 2018 Vision Style Awards or to find out more about the prizes and entry requirements, be sure to visit the Vision Style Awards webpage here. Alternatively, why not read our definitive guide on hospitality interiors, our Vision Style Guide here, and your very own venue could be featured next year.