If you’ve read my blog before, you know one of the great pleasures of my job is to visit our properties and associates. It’s something my father loved to do, too. He taught me the importance of being seen in the hotel—being present and having a connection with the people who work there. Over the years, I’ve also come to love the uniqueness of each hotel and its location. In a sea of hotels, I love finding out what makes each hotel different and the people who work there special.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of visiting our Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel in the Dominican Republic. The Renaissance brand prides itself on the unusual, even using the tagline “Business Unusual.” They celebrate innovation and creativity, originality and expression. That commitment is on display not just in the way our associates care for guests, it even comes out in the physical design of each hotel. Renaissance Hotels echo and embrace its community.
The Renaissance in Santo Domingo is a great example of using their space to reflect the neighborhood. They looked to local design talent to help create a new coffee shop. They partnered with design school The Pucamaima University in Santo Domingo to hold a design contest for its students. The winning design includes a bright and modern space with a signature element: wall art representing a young Dominican girl. They named their muse “Ana.” It is a beautiful piece of art by local artist Willy Gomez.
Now the Bo'i+o coffee shop is getting rave reviews from guests and locals who frequent the shop. It’s a win-win… for the Renaissance, for the design students who bolstered their resumes, and for the neighborhood.
I applaud the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua for celebrating the unique opportunities of its community and people. They created an unusual experience with their coffee shop—not just another cookie cutter place for a cup of joe. I hope you’ll visit and try it out for yourself.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.