Hoteliers have plenty on their plate.
Managing the needs of guests with a never-ending list of administrative errands means that the little touches can easily fall by the wayside.
And yet it's precisely these touches - the neatly folded towel, the topped-up soap dispenser, the greeting at the door - which can make or break a hotel.
Often, the seemingly decorative is, in fact, of decisive importance.
One such ostensibly decorative 'weapon' in the modern hotelier's arsenal is art. Far from being merely ornamental, art has the ability to elevate and enrichen the guest experience. Whether it's in the lobby, the guestroom, or weaved throughout the entire hotel, good art can make a real, measurable difference, one that justifies its own expense.
Cordis Auckland recently launched a collaboration with local artist Kelly Thompson. Specialising in botanical and beauty illustration, Thompson creates her original artworks using a combination of hand-drawn line and Photoshop colouring. Her delicate, intricate, feminine work is paired with bold and energetic colouring.
Alex Blanco is Cordis Auckland's director of marketing. He spoke passionately to Hotel Magazine about the importance of art, beyond the commercial value it brings. "Art is a brand pillar throughout all Cordis hotels and it's important to us that our guests have a multi-sensory experience when they stay with us; having interesting visuals in our hotels is an important aspect of this."
Any collaboration between a commercial entity like a hotel and an artist used to being relatively unrestricted requires some careful negotiation from both parties. The Cordis team briefed Thompson at the outset of the collaboration back in July, and after working on her pieces she returned with some general ideas of what the illustrations might be. "We discussed these further and narrowed them down to five topics that would form the basis of a series."
The resulting pieces - one floral, one depicting New Zealand birds, another depicting ferns, and two urban pieces - were then crafted by Thompson from beginning to end, who initially drafted sketches before providing a more refined black and white illustration. "The last step was to apply colour," Blanco explained. "It was very interesting to see each piece develop from a concept to a finished piece."
Thompson's work, created with the assistance of Cordis's 'Artist in Residence' program, combines verdant natural imagery with the Auckland's metropolitan backdrop. Partly a homage to the hotel's location just off the iconic Karangahape Road, the artworks are available for guests to purchase as a set of five packaged postcards, another example of the value brought to a hotel by the inclusion of artworks.
"We saw this art collaboration as an opportunity to help guests cherish the memories they made during their time in New Zealand with something they could physically take home with them and enjoy for years to come," said Blanco. "This collaboration also allowed us to showcase some of the amazing talent that we have in New Zealand. We aim to always support our local communities and saw this as another opportunity to do so."