At LHDI, great design is all about vision, collaboration, exploration, and translation. When we visit a site, we envision a place that brings the location to life with every detail. We engage clients and other specialists as we refine that vision, from drafting the sketches to selecting the finishes. Our team explores every nuance of the site, from its topography to its traditions, its animal life to its native culture, all to discover the land’s true essence. Finally, we translate that essence into a design concept, creating a destination that fills visitors with wonder from the very first step.
LHDI launched in 2000 as an architectural services firm on a one-year contract with Bouygues-Batiment International. It was an exciting start, and we poured our passion into designing several hospitality projects. Our next opportunity would push our talents even further. In 2005, the Government of Jamaica asked LHDI to establish a ‘MASTER VISION’ for a large and beautiful parcel of land along the country’s North Coast. Our role eventually evolved to encompass full master planning, logo development, product branding, and assistance in securing project financing and selecting potential hotel operators. After this pivotal project, our firm evolved as well, expanding our focus from architectural design to full-service Destination Development.
At LHDI, we are architects and visionaries. Designers and dreamers. Consultants and creators. Service providers and memory makers. Our expertise spans the entire range of development, including development consulting, master planning, architectural design, and all the other steps needed to transform a vision sketched on paper into a destination that takes your breath away. We typically establish satellite offices near each project site to engage talented partners from the local area throughout development, from drafting the first concept to delivering full construction documents. LHDI also works closely with TLDI, Turism & Leisure International, a globally recognized expert in project management, turnkey construction and development management services. And while our destinations continue to dazzle the global hospitality market, our firm has left its mark on other projects beyond the realm of leisure and hospitality.
Our team’s global experience has taught us that every place, every corner of the world has a unique story to tell. And as a recognized leader in full-service Destination Development, it’s our job to tell it. Combining fresh and innovative concepts with skillful craft and dynamic vision, we transform a remote location –a stretch of desolate coastline in Jamaica, a patch of rainforest in the heart of Africa – into a magnet for guests and investment opportunities. Together, with our partners at TLDI, we maintain a commitment to doing whatever it takes to maximize the property’s value in accordance with the highest international quality standards. Starting with just our unique vision, we’ve designed and developed successful destinations time and time again. LHDI’s proven track record is a testament to our team’s unparalleled passion, skill and drive.
We think of our clients as partners, engaging them in the design and development process as much as possible. When a client first comes to LHDI, we begin with an intense brainstorming session, giving everyone the opportunity to sketch out their thoughts and voice their vision. We then ask the client to ‘take the pen’, allowing them to show us exactly what their expectations are. By continuing to collaborate closely as the project progresses, we can go far beyond those expectations. Our client relationships are built on mutual trust and respect, and the results speak for themselves.
Leisure & Hospitality Design International was founded in 2000 by Ken Shannon with the goal of re-inventing the design and construction process in the hospitality industry. By blending 25 years of American resort design experience with the speed of European operators and constructors, the design/ build process could be vastly streamlined, cutting time in half and budgets by more than a third. When LHDI was formed, there was virtually no competition, and the firm grew rapidly. Over that time, LHDI has successfully designed, constructed and assisted in the development of more than 40 major leisure and hospitality projects around the world, including multiple developments in the Caribbean, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, and West Africa.
While there have been a number of highlights during Ken's leadership at LHDI, his partnership with the respected industry leading Bouygues Construction tops the list. A 14 years ongoing services agreement has resulted in the design and construction of several high dollar signature resort, retail, and commercial projects worldwide.
In autumn 2004, The Government of Jamaica retained LHDI to master plan and design Harmony Cove, Jamaica's signature resort colony on the north coast. Encompassing over 1,500 acres in all, Harmony Cove's master planning included 5 resort hotels, 2 golf courses, a marina village, and dozens of ultra luxury vacation residences. LHDI's scope evolved to include architectural design and product branding, while LHDI was then retained to design several collateral projects in Kingston, St. Ann, and Falmouth.
In late 2006, Playa Hotels & Resorts retained LHDI to design and help construct multiple all-inclusive resorts in Dominican Republic and Mexico.
In 2011 The Government of Gabon invited LHDI and partner firm TLDI to Gabon to discuss the potential for tourism in the country. Today, the face of Gabon is being transformed by Ken's design mastery in creating a brand new destination development.
By 2013, Playa Hotels & Resorts had grown and now included multiple Hyatt brands in their resort portfolio offering, and LHDI was commissioned to design and help construct these 4 new resort projects in Jamaica and Mexico, the final two scheduled to open in late 2015.