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Jeffrey Ornstein Briefs Mid East Hotel Leaders

Hotel trendsetter says 2010 begins the decade of the guest

eTN Staff Writer  Apr 02, 2010

Jeffrey Ornstein, CEO of J/Brice Design International, emphasized to Middle Eastern hotel developers, owners, and managers, "Location, location, location used to be the hotel industry mantra. But in the 2010 decade of the guest, the mantra is compare, compare, compare, as even the most wealthy and sophisticated travelers check the Internet to create their own personal experience and value proposition. Successful operators who deliver on their brand and reign in costs will boost their bottom line in the 2010 decade.

"Fashion now drives hotel concepts and design, and the memorable hotels of the 2010 decade will be regarded for sexy sophistication, daring interiors, and mood-evoking colors."

Ornstein is influencing hotel interiors worldwide - especially in the Arabian Peninsula where he has persuaded developers to shed their me-too European modernist image and create their own brand identity. As the keynote speaker at target="_blank">Concepts Middle East 2010 Congress in Doha, Qatar, Ornstein urged hotel industry leaders: "Ban the term hotel design and replace it with hotel fashion. Design is too much about buildings. Fashion places all the focus on the guests and their social and cultural imperatives. Fashion creates guest experiences that resonate with today's traveler. The great hotels of our decade will be created by fashion savvy cultural spies who can read the waves of change."

J/Brice Design (, founded in 1989, has offices and studios in Boston, the USA, and Dammam, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The firm is establishing a unique brand identity for the luxury hotel sector in the Middle East with projects that include the Hotel Halifax in Doha and the Al-Khoper Hotel and Towers in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia. The firm is also designing the interior of a 52,000-square-foot (4.800 m2) summer palace and a 120-villa residential community. Recent signature engagements in North America include the fabled HMS Queen Mary - the 1934 luxury ocean liner, and The Helmsmen Hotel - an urban landmark in New York City.

For high-resolution photos and a visual presentation of "Hospitality Mega trends for the 20-10 Decade," by Jeffrey Ornstein visit: (
"The Hotel Halifax in Doha (to be opened this year), the Burj Halifax in Dubai, and the Hotel Missoni in Kuwait [are] winners in the fashion-driven hotel world of the 2010 decade," according to Ornstein.

At the naseba-organized ( symposium, Ornstein noted, "Color trends to watch: bold reds and pure yellows, moss greens and lavender - especially in upholstery. For contrast, expect to see more charcoal gray. Textures will create excitement, and fabrics as delicate as lingerie will be juxtaposed with metallics - including steel to excite the guests' senses."

For traditionalists, "There will be some new interpretations of time-honored patterns - comfort food for the eyes," he said.

Hotel, travel, and tourism industry attendees from the Arab world Europe and Asia heard Ornstein say, "People are traveling lighter and for shorter durations. They demand the technology to keep in touch. That means reliable and free Wi-Fi and a panoply on satellite channels - if they cannot get World Cup soccer from Soweto starting June 11, your property will be remembered - badly."

Dramatic fixtures are still in but not at the expense of light quality and variability. Smart owners and designers are turning to more energy-saving LED lamps. "On all fronts, the latest green technology counts more than ever before in this decade. You cannot get by on stingy flow restrictors and low-flow toilets, when new eco-friendly plumbing technology exists to deliver guest comfort and conservation. Incorporate green technology into the environment, and the guests will reward you by coming back."

Ornstein urged, "Everywhere you go, ask yourself, 'how can I apply this technology or that technology to my properly?' For example, flat screen TVs are so thin they can be incorporated into the vanity mirror. It adds 'wow' factor and encourages the guest to own the experience."

The big no-nos of the 2010 decade said Ornstein: "Say goodbye to pock marked ceilings - treat the ceiling as you would any other design surface. There is no excuse for ugly utilitarian grab bars and other universal design elements either. Sophisticated alternatives abound as baby boomers grow older and the spa-as-sanctuary trend expands."

J/Brice Design International has designed hotel, office tower and large-scale residential project interiors developed by the Al-Othman Holding Company of Saudi Arabia and the Al Thani Family in Doha, Qatar. Additional international engagements have been in Dubai, India, Bahrain, and Zanzibar. J/Brice has won commissions by the world's leading hotel groups including Marriott International, Hilton Hotel Corp., Starwood Hotels, Trump International, Intercontinental, Hyatt, and TAJ Hotels, among others.

Ornstein, whose firm ranks among the three largest in the New York-New England market, has received numerous accolades. He was named one of Boston's 12 Most Influential People by Scene Boston magazine and received the InterContinental Hotel Group Renovation-of-the-Year award for the Chicago Mart Plaza in 2009.

Hotel trendsetter says 2010 begins the decade of the guest
Jeffrey Ornstein / Image via

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