The last revolution in hotel architecture began in 1967, with the opening of the John Portman–designed Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The hotel’s soaring, 21-story atrium lobby transformed the image of the big convention hotel. The concept was copied in hotels around the world and established Hyatt’s reputation as an innovator. Flash forward to 2010, and Hyatt is once again breaking new ground. There is no front desk at the chain’s luxury Andaz properties, for instance, where “hosts” carrying ...

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