The Difference (or Devil) is in the details

Jen Birmingham Jan 12, 2014

What makes the difference between a nice hotel and an exceptional one? It comes down to the details. At Touchstone Manor, I used the motto “The Difference is in the Details.” My staff and I would laugh at what geeks we were, but it was those details that the guests would remember. The glasses or hat placed just so. The quirky bookmarks to save their place. Detail in service and detail in design.

At The Bruce Hotel I have taken this to a whole new level and the best place to see examples of it are in the bathrooms in the guest rooms.

All twenty-five feature a unique mosaic band that runs around the tub and through the shower one foot high and twenty-seven feet long. With 841 mosaic tiles a square foot, each bathroom needed 22,707 ten-millimetre tiles and roughly 30 hours of work just to create. I personally hand placed over 660,000 tiny tiles. In case you want to try this at home, here is how it was done...

First, a picture was taken and manipulated into a band 29 pixels high by 409 pixels wide. Then the picture was uploaded into a cross-stitch program. Each pixel represented a stitch, or in this case, a tile. The pattern was printed with symbols representing each colour tile.

Following the pattern, the 10mm tiles were placed face up in a grid 29 tiles wide by 29 tiles high. When a grid was done, a clear vinyl adhesive sheet was smoothed over it to keep the tiles in place. They were labeled, turned out of the grid, placed on a board, shrink wrapped and then boxed.

The boxes were then handed over to the tile setters who handled the installation. The end result is a beautiful example of the level of detail that can be found throughout the hotel.

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