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Life Stylists

(May 2017) posted on Fri May 05, 2017

Move over, Instagram. Today’s guests want a 360-degree lifestyle experience. Find out how three innovators are crafting hotels that feel as good as they look.


By Oriana Lerner

click an image below to view slideshow

Like the band, he’s a total showman who’s brazenly forged his meteoric success on the strength of both hard work—the entrepreneur started out as a brewer and logged a lot of his own hours creating those brews and manning the taps—and just a little shock-rock attitude. His hoppin’ career started with a beer kit bought in high school that Zislis told his parents was a school project. But even after dozens of restaurants under his own flags, such as Rock n’ Fish and Brewco, and that of Rock & Brews, Rock & Brews’ first casino and two Shade Hotels, he’s still big on the basics. His preferred method of consumer research is spending time in his hotels and restaurants to get real-time client feedback. Here’s what’s top of mind for Zislis.

WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
Zislis: The bottom line counts. Design is not successful unless it is financially successful. I look for designers who understand the environment and nuances of our coastal locations, as well as recognize the key elements of the brand. I invest in timeless design features that complement the needs and ambiance of the community that I’m building in.

Zislis
Michael Zislis. Photo: Courtesy of Shade Hotels

HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT COST-CONSCIOUS DESIGN DOESN’T BECOME FEATURELESS?
Zislis: A bulletproof design doesn’t have to be bland, it just needs to endure in high-volume spaces. So, you can’t have plaster corners or easily damaged bathroom walls; surfaces need to be tile or stone. You can still have some crazy ideas, too—tubs on guest room patios or in the middle of a room.



WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A DESIGNER AND HOW DO YOU WANT THEM TO SERVE UP THAT CONCEPT?
Zislis: We like to see mood boards and 3D models when looking for a designer. I’m open to new ideas and suggestions, but I want a designer who understands the vision and can grasp the experience I want to provide our guests.

Shade
Built-ins make for an efficient layout and reduce maintenance time per room. Photo: Courtesy of Shade Hotels

WHAT’S THE SECRET SAUCE TO MAKING GUESTS FEEL LIKE THEIR STAY IS TRULY PERSONALIZED?
Zislis: Make the whole hotel work for each guest! The Shade Hotel brand builds upon a modular system knowing that we can reconfigure our spaces to meet our customers’ needs. We include complete flexibility in our design to easily accommodate what our guests want, such as converting meeting rooms into private dining rooms or transforming the pool deck to a beautiful outdoor event space.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Zislis: More Shade Hotels in California and the continued expansion of the Rock & Brews franchise. We have 10 more Rock & Brews opening this year.


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