My Phoenix hotel has an interesting way of reminding guests that they are in the desert — as if the near-constant sunshine weren’t enough of a clue. No, the hotel keeps wheeled racks of little barrel cactus plants and other desert flora at hand, ready to wheel out to remind us that we’re in an arid zone.
I like desert plants, so I think it’s pretty cool. In fact, I wish I had one of these gadgets for my office.
What do hotels consider when deciding whether to decorate their elevators — and, if so, what to use for elevator art? You’re talking about a space that every single guest uses multiple times during their stay, when they may be in multiple mindsets: when they first arrive after a day of travel, first thing in the morning when they’re heading down for breakfast, and when they’re heading back up to their room after a long day. How much care and attention goes into the decision of how to decorate that very unique setting?
You could, of course, choose to leave your elevator unadorned, with just standard elevator walls, the basic mirror facing the door so that people entering can check their hair and their tie, and some information about the hotel restaurant and the daily weather forecast by the row of floor buttons. Or, as has been the case with some hotels I’ve visited, you could turn the elevator into a kind of tropical rain forest, with photos of exotic birds and insects and foliage and an accompanying sound track with the gentle patter of raindrops and distant thunder to soothe the jangled nerves of your guests. Or, you could feature compelling photos of noteworthy places to see in the city where the hotel is located, to entice the traveler to leave the hotel premises and explore the city they are visiting.
Or, if you’re the proprietors of the hotel in Phoenix where I’m staying for meetings, you could post this big photo of a reclining woman wearing ripped blue jeans kicking up her heels, with a cowboy hat on her airborne foot.
What message are you sending this this image in an otherwise generic hotel elevator? The cowboy hat signals that we’re in the western United States, for sure, in case the guests had forgotten that fact. But what else? That the friendly folks in Phoenix often lie down and balance their hats on their feet, just for kicks? That, in a world where ripped jeans seem to be everywhere, in Phoenix they are really destroyed?
I’m guessing that the choice of the kicky gal’s legs was the product of a careful process that included some other potential choices. Wouldn’t you like to know what some of the other finalists were?