Hotels have changed dramatically in recent years. In addition to brands trying to keep ahead of the competition by introducing new in-room gadgets & luxury spas; the design of everything in hotels — down to the doorknobs — has moved with the times as hotels in the region have responded to the demands of a new demographic of guests.
Staying ‘on trend’ and ensuring a hotel doesn’t look outdated is an important and valid concern for hoteliers in a market where competition is ever-increasing — there is always a new kid on the block.
The introduction of new technology and gadgets in hotel rooms is indicative of design development as a whole, as hotels are now aiming their designs at the people who have the money — and this is something that has changed massively in the ME region in the past few years. Hotels will always want to appeal to the people who are most likely to stay there, and the demographic of people who stay in hotels — particularly businessmen — has changed a lot recently, meaning that hotels have changed their designs.
Ten years ago, a businessman staying in a hotel was likely to be much older than he is now, so designs catered to that; there was more of a traditional feel in hotel rooms in the region — darker wood, drapes, old-fashioned prints and deeper colours. Now, there are a younger generation of business people using hotels, so you can see an increase in the amount of in-room technology provided as well as changes in design to ensure that hotel rooms appeal to younger people.
They don’t necessarily want to stay somewhere that has a ‘heavy’ atmosphere with dark colours, so now we have hotels asking for lighter wood, funky prints and designs, and even in bathrooms there has been a shift, with frosted glass and modern tiles featuring in new designs.
Today designers and architects are looking to the hotel bathroom as the new frontier of the guestroom, turning what has long been a mostly functional space into a haven and means of escape.
Bathrooms are playing an ever more crucial role in the customer experience. Interior designers are responding in several ways, in particular by opening up closed and cluttered bathrooms through increasing the levels of light and space.
Matteo Thun, designer and world renowned architect shares this belief, “Bathrooms in hotels are not getting bigger, they remain small spaces. If you want to integrate them into the living or sleeping area, you simply have to take down the walls”
Light & Space
The drive to create additional space within existing boundaries has been working in harmony with the opening up of buildings to provide more light. There are several methods being employed to achieve this, none more popular than the increasing trend to remove walls. Wall partitioning within guest rooms diminishes both light and space but has been seen as necessary for bathroom privacy.
Switchable Privacy Smartglass is the ideal solution for creating a bright open space as it not only lets more light into the bathroom but also gives the impression of increased space throughout the entire room. Thun states, “Every bathroom should have natural light – and nothing but indirect light sources”.
Thun also believes that hygeine and cleanliness are of fundamental importance and that the surfaces within this area are designed to allow for this. Privacy Smartglass offers the ideal solution to this design consideration due to its easy clean low maintenance surface while also delivering privacy on demand for this personal space.