Home » hospitality design

Tag: hospitality design

Hotel Design Trends We Love

Hotel lobby front desk
Say good-bye to the hotel lobby front desk.

Clunky check-in desks, energy inefficiency, and floor-after-floor of identical rooms are becoming things of the past in today’s hotels. Hospitality design is certainly moving in exciting directions! Here’s a look at some our favorite trends, as well as a round-up of hotels that showcase them.

Going Green/Eco-Friendly

A growing number of people are selecting hotels based on sustainability. While there are a number of hotels enhancing sustainability in creative ways, there are only five in North America to have achieved LEED platinum certification, and they are: Hotel Skyler, Proximity Hotel, Bardessono, College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, and W San Francisco.

Emphasizing the Past

Many people are drawn to properties that have an interesting history. Historic hotels have a charm that’s not homogenized, and according to a study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, nearly 80 percent of American travelers prefer to stay in historic neighborhoods and buildings to experience a sense of authenticity in a destination. The National Trust created the Historic Hotels of America (HHA) program in 1989 originally with 34 member properties. Today, there 236 members representing the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can access the list and even make your reservations here.

Saying Goodbye to the Front Desk

The front desk we’ve always known is on its way out. Say good-bye to the barrier between hotel and guest, as well as tedious check-ins, as more and more hotels are inventing streamlined (and hopefully more enjoyable) check-in processes. At the Andaz West Hollywood, for example, guests relax on comfortable furniture enjoying wine, coffee or soda while roaming hosts with iPads check them in. In the Courtyard by Marriot’s recent lobby redesign, the big imposing front desk has been dumped in favor of “welcome pedestals,” where personnel handle the checkins and check-outs and other guests’ needs, too.

Blending Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Blurring the line between indoors and outside is a design strategy that’s here to stay for several reasons. More and more, people are aspiring to live green with access to fresh air and gardens. It’s also very possibly a backlash to technology since most of us are on computers all day. People want to get back to nature when they’re away from their work and home environments. Many hotels are expanding nature’s soothing embrace to ensure that guests can enjoy beautiful surroundings 24 hours a day. A great example is 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach which was designed to reflect the natural world, with 3,000 feet of living wall wrapping the exterior, made up of 11,000 local tropical plant varieties. Another one is Big Cedar Lodge in the Ozark mountains – an 18,000-square-foot wilderness-inspired spa with aspen trees, river stones and moss flanking the hallway entrance.

Not only does GIO offer the latest in architectural tile and stone, we offer dedicated support – we’re  here to work with you!  Contact us to get our insights on trends in surfacing to enhance your next hospitality design project. 

Photo credit: Courtesy of Prayitno via Flickr Creative Commons. Click Image to view source.

The New Wow Factor in Hotel Design: Hypoallergenic Rooms

hotel room

Hotel rooms can be problematic places for those who suffer from allergies, triggering a slew of reactions ranging from sniffles, sneezes, and itchy eyes to full-blown asthma symptoms. As more hotels try to set themselves apart, a new trend has emerged: the hypoallergenic hotel room – a concept that isn’t aimed just at the allergic, but also at guests who are concerned with what is sometimes referred to as the “ick factor.”

While the creation of super-clean rooms is definitely a way for hotels to gain an edge in an age where luxury has become the norm, it’s no small task. Most of the major chains now have a number of hypoallergenic rooms which have been sterilized, sanitized, and deodorized to the extreme. Medical-grade air purifiers are added to filter out 98% to 100% of viruses and bacteria. Mattresses and pillows are encased in protective hypoallergenic covering to protect against dust mites, and fabrics are scrubbed with special solutions and protected with anti-allergen products.

But the purifying of hotel rooms doesn’t stop with this extreme sanitizing process; hotels are also renovating rooms to make them even healthier for allergy sufferers. Carpets are being ripped out and replaced with hard surfaces, and wood blinds are taking the place of curtains. Large format, porcelain tile panels have recently become an excellent alternative to wallpaper, and some hotels in Europe are experimenting with headboards and platform beds designed with tile.

Hotels do charge a premium (usually 5 to 10%) for these super sanitized rooms, but allergy sufferers say it’s well worth it, and many say they would pay more!

Give your hospitality designs the new wow factor!  GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of beautiful, sanitary and hypoallergenic porcelain tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Turn to us for the latest solutions in architectural surfacing –we’re here to work with you!

Sustainable and Green Design Practices for Hospitality Projects

Jetwing Vil Uyana Resort
Perhaps the ultimate definition of eco-hotel:  a back-to-nature retreat at Jetwing Vil Uyana, an eco-friendly luxury resort in Sri Lanka.

Sustainability is no longer a trend; it has become a way of life for many, including a large percentage of America’s travelers. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, 43 million people in the US alone are eco-conscious travelers who are willing to pay 8.5 percent more to environmentally sensitive travel suppliers. A survey of U.S. travelers found 87 percent would be more likely to stay at “green” properties.

Hoteliers are recognizing the compelling need to adopt sustainable operating practices for the sake of efficiency, cost savings, and green building requirements–-and because their guests are demanding more than just being asked to reuse their towels. Embracing sustainable and green programs can provide a significant competitive advantage to businesses in the hospitality sector.

Here are some eco-friendly design practices specific to hospitality projects.

1. Hospitality interiors are often renovated because they have become outdated. Try to avoid or delay future renovations by employing timeless design.

2. Use durable, premium materials for surfaces and finishes that will last beyond the typical hospitality useful life.

3. Work closely with the mechanical engineer and electrical engineer to specify occupancy sensors and digital thermostats for guestrooms.

4. Recommend occupancy sensors for public restrooms and back-of-house areas.

5. Recommend the use of Energy Star rated refrigerators and televisions in guest rooms.

6. Specify products with low VOC ratings. Look for suppliers that have submitted their products for testing by GreenGuard™ or other reputable testing agencies.

7. Specify fabrics that are sustainable and naturally flame retardant as opposed to fabrics with chemical flame retardants that off gas into the atmosphere. Learn more about specifying eco-fabrics for hospitality design projects here.

8. Specify sustainable wood products that have achieved Chain-of-Custody certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council for the manufacture of products with certified sustainable wood, from the forest to the customer.

9. Specify sustainable window treatments and allow guests to contribute to energy efficiency through management of natural light. For example, equip rooms with motorized switches or roller shades, making it easier to light up a room with sunshine. When combined with smart controls, these treatments automatically close when guests depart for the day, opening upon return.

10. When possible and appropriate, recycle existing materials instead of including them in the construction waste.

11. Recommend the placement of recycle bins with separation compartments in each room.

Why is sustainable hospitality important? The hospitality sector has a significant impact on the environment through energy and water consumption, use of consumable products, and solid and hazardous waste generation. These impacts create costs for hospitality service providers in decreased revenues, increased operating costs, and employee costs. And quite simply, having (and promoting) a sustainable design strategy is good for business.

Green_Squared_Certified_logoYou can depend on GIO for your sustainable design projects because many of our products are Green Squared certified. Green Squared provides all tile producers, foreign and domestic, with a clear benchmark for designing sustainable products which can be accepted by North American green building programs.