Hotels: New paradigm for Geneva?
When I set up my business in Geneva, I mainly offered customized upholstery fabrics for hotels. As soon as I arrived, end 2019, exceptional opportunities presented themselves: working on large-scale projects with emblematic 5* hotels.
Why did this happen? What did they need?
My proposal came at just the right time. At the right time, in the right place. And to tell the truth, my contacts didn’t know who to turn to, because the projects in progress were taking place outside the context of a global renovation with experienced architects. There was a gap. My timing was perfect.
1/ An imperative need to modernize soft furnishings.
In prestigious establishments, low-end fabric curtains, 15 years old and sometimes in poor condition, were not meeting the expectations of customers in this range of hotels. The same applied to terrace furnishings, which were virtually non-existent.
2/ Patterns and designs.
My customers wanted patterned fabrics that would stand the test of time (stains in particular). So they most often expressed a need for printed or woven fabrics, embellished with a lining for a high-end finish.
The demanding customer must not find the same fabric in a shop around the corner. Exclusivity was paramount, with designs specifically conceived for the location, contributing to its identity.
4/ Color harmony.
Tailor-made colors which perfectly match the carpet, furniture and style of each hotel. The aim was not to reinvent everything, but to improve without overturning, optimizing the existing and renewing the identity.
5/ Genevan standards.
A fabric that complies with the canton’s “anti-fire” standards (which vary between Geneva and Vaud), a major obstacle in the choice of fabrics. a real challenge when choosing materials. Understanding the authorities’ expectations and obtaining their approval for materials proved to be a crucial step.
My last exchanges on these projects date back to February 2020, a period marked by the historic cancellation of the Salon de L’Auto, with the sudden arrival of Covid. This had a profound impact on the industry for years to come, particularly in Geneva, where business travel had long been a major source of revenue. Unfortunately, some hotels were forced to close.
What’s next? The 2022 hotel industry statistics are very encouraging. Geneva will always be an attractive destination, thanks to its geographical location, its breathtaking views and its worldwide renown. The modernization of the tourism offering, necessary in 2019, is still topical, with the added need to target new customer segments. The hotel sector can and must embody this renewal.
This is my conviction and the very reason why Nathalie Chapuis Design exists.