Lighting Options For All Genres

Lighting options for hotels have come quite a long way. Everyone has been in the situation where they had to walk around their room and turn on every lamp just to get enough light throughout the space. Sometimes the bedside lamp and the tall lamp on the far corner of the room are not even close to bringing enough light. Fortunately, the hotel design industry has stepped up its game, not only with effectiveness, but with style as well. 

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Hanging Low

The ever changing, exciting hanging lamp— This trend has come in style a few times and we are happy that it’s back. These lamps can have many different looks to them, and the options for design are nearly endless. From the cord, to the type of bulb, to the lamp shade (or no lamp shade), the combinations could go on for days. Add in a dimming option and you’ve added an affordable and stylish lighting alternative. This can be set up anywhere throughout the hotel, but they are most common in the guestroom or hotel restaurant.

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LED Guestroom Lights

It’s not very common to find built-in ceiling lights in a hotel guestroom. Cost-wise, it just makes more sense to add in a couple of lamps here and there to save money on lighting installation. The one place you will find these built-in lights is the bathroom. Nowadays, LED lights are the most common because they are more energy efficient and they give pretty decent lighting for doing makeup, hair, etc. in the bathroom. Guestrooms will most likely not have the LED lights anywhere else throughout the room outside of the bathroom, which makes sense. 

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Bedside Table Lights

Small lamps and reading lights are the perfect addition to a hotel guestroom. Hotel interior designers are great at exploring all the options for this style of lighting. Lamps can be built into the headboard of the bed, hanging (as we mentioned above), the classic table lamp, and more. These are great because they give guests opportunities to have more independence from the main room lights. If one person wants to go to sleep and the other person decides to stay up to read, work, etc. they each have their own options for reducing or increasing the light on their side of the room/bed.

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All the Neon Rage

Neon lighting has always been cool and interesting. It not only is an attention grabber, it brings an awesome style to a space if used correctly. We’re not talking about the neon “open” or “closed” signs, we’re talking about Instagram worthy, eclectic designs that can help bring a hotel brand to life. So many hotels are dabbling into this decor option, and we are fully supportive. If built correctly, neon lights can last anywhere from 5-15 years, so it’s absolutely a solid investment.

Healthy and Environmentally Friendly Hotel Options

One of the hottest topics of 2019 and for the past few years is the environment. Many believe that global warming is not real, but we won’t be discussing that topic today. A lot of hotels, as of late, have been making an incredible effort to work on environmental awareness and we are happy to be a part of it.

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Reclaimed Materials & Upcycling

Materials such as wood and metal piping have to be the most common and easiest materials being reused and reclaimed in the design world. Since many people are caught up and more worried about items being “brand new” rather than being environmentally sustainable, it’s pretty easy to find reclaimed wood, metal, and other items to use for furniture, decor, and more. Hotels are hiring design companies to figure out ways to not only make their space “green”, but also to make it unique and stylish. We have all experienced that feeling of finding out some item of furniture was made out of, for example, an old naval ship’s metal contents. It’s pretty impressive to know the designs were created by upcycling old furniture and other items. 

 

Toxicity & Fire Safety

Another option for staying environmentally friendly is making sure that the furniture around the hotel is fire retardant. This is not as easy as it sounds and does cost a bit more than just buying a chair design in bulk. That being said, the quality of the furniture and decor is going to be better. Low-toxicity is another thing to be aware of. Finishing furniture is an important step in the process of designing, so understand that once a piece is bought, it is not just for looks. Guests and pets will interact with a piece of furniture daily, and if it is emitting substances into the air, or “off-gassing”, it can potentially be harmful. It is important to understand that most things do this no matter what, however the toxicity level will fluctuate depending on the substance used. Stay away from purchasing items treated with synthetic substances.

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Recycle More than Plastics

Solar energy is a huge way to recycle and conserve energy. It is not a new concept, however it is still not as common as it should be. Some hotels have begun implementing solar panels in order to conserve energy. Another, more recent idea to recycle is to give guests the option to reuse the linens from their previous nights. This means that if you choose to keep your linens, the cleaning service will still come in and clean, but they will just leave the linens on the bed for the entirety of your stay as opposed to changing them out daily. This in turn saves energy and water for the hotel.

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Water Conservation

Limiting water waste is a great way to impact the environment in a positive way. Water is a limited resource, so it makes sense to want to conserve it as much as possible. It is one of those commodities that most people do not give a second thought unless they have lived somewhere that went through a drought of some sort. It is also worth saying that the excess use of water increases the chance of sewage backups and contamination of the hotel’s current water supply, so just be aware the next time you want to take a 30-minute shower.

Top 5 Most Unique Hotels

In a world where everything needs to be unique, unusual and weird in order to be appealing, these few hotels absolutely found a special niche.

Photo courtesy of Oyster.com

Photo courtesy of Oyster.com

Crane Hotel Faralda - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pushing engineering to the limits, many people thought that this design hotel would never happen. Fortunately for Amsterdam, the 3-suite project was completed and still continues to blow visitors’ minds. It is named the Crane Hotel because, well it’s a crane! It’s not in walking distance to a lot of places, but the 10-minute free ferry ride makes it seem more convenient. The room designs are extremely gregarious with a touch of mystique. Although there are much more affordable options, it’s a crane. Not to mention, the views are pretty incredible.

Photo courtesy of groupon.com

Photo courtesy of groupon.com

No Man's Fort - Solent, Portsmouth

One of 4 forts built in the mid 1800’s to ward off invasion by Napoleon III, this hotel is situated perfectly in Solent so that any shipping vessels have to sail pass it. Take a boat with a group of friends, family, or colleagues from Portsmouth to have a night in the fort. The style of the rooms throughout this location is a smorgasbord of flavor. Chesterfield sofas and headboards, old English coffee tables, billiard tables, etc. If you’re looking for luxury, the only place to really find it is at the top of the lighthouse filled with white leather chairs and a 360º view. 

Photo courtesy of travelonspot.com

Photo courtesy of travelonspot.com

Hotel Montaña Mágica Lodge - Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile

Looking for a magical experience in South America? Chile’s Hotel Montaña Mágica Lodge is a 4-star stay hidden beneath a waterfall. Can you say dreamy? Hidden away from the rest of the world in the Huilo Huilo Reserve, it may appear that the waterfall is rushing over the entire hotel, but if you take a closer look, the water trickles down in between guest room windows. It is covered in vines and moss and the only way to access the entry way is to cross a swinging rope bridge. Adventure awaits!

Photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels

Photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels

Hotel Marqués De Riscal - La Rioja, Spain

Spain continues to impress. The wine culture in Spain is epic and Hotel Marqués De Riscal seems to have its own Ciudad de Vino (City of Wine). Although Rioja wineries are within a 30-minute drive, guests will want to stick around and experience the hotel’s wine experience. The jaw dropping modern titanium design structure seems to go against the history of Spanish culture, yet you will not be able to stop taking photos of every piece around the hotel. From furniture to decor, the design for this hotel leaves guests in shock and awe. Enjoy your included breakfast and walk freely around the property’s vineyards.

Photo courtesy of El Cosmico

Photo courtesy of El Cosmico

El Cosmico - Marfa, Texas, USA

Bringing it back to the United States, El Cosmico is indeed quite unusual and unique. This “nomadic” hotel is full of eclectic options such as teepees, yurts, trailers, tents, and more. It sits on a 21-acre piece of land in Marfa, Texas and appeals to all types of travelers. Guests can do all types of activities on this property from renting and riding bikes, to hot tubbing, to laying in a hammock grove. The best part is how affordable this impressive bohemian hotel is, starting at $81. What a steal for the culture you experience.

Hotel Patio Furniture

Depending on which area of the world you are in and the season, being outside in the beautiful sunshine is an absolute game-changer. Hotels with consistent year round weather are taking initiatives to create a more fun and attractive patio/deck environment. In turn, this keeps guests on the property longer therefore improving business for the hotel restaurant, coffee shop, gift shop, etc. Along with improving the general atmosphere of the outdoor areas, hotels are putting in some pretty comfortable and interesting furniture options as well.   

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Half Bed Lounging

Anything that contains the word lounging and is done outside, we are in. These half beds are becoming all the rage, especially in areas where pools are. It’s perfect for relaxing and reading a book, working on your laptop, or just laying by the pool while the kiddos are splashing around. Sometimes these beds are awesome opportunities to take a nap and get away from the madness of your business travels, or for simple photo ops.

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Hello Hammocks

Hammocks scream tropical life. This is why many hotels, whether they are in tropical areas or not, will add them to the patio design. They can be out on the patio, out near the pool, or even in the pool. Hammocks are those types of seats that instantly bring a sense of relaxation and sleepiness to your mood. Nevertheless, they have to absolutely be comfortable. Nothing worse than a loose, hard, or broken hammock when all you want to do is lay down and take a nap.

 

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Wicker and Comfort

Hotels are going to make sure to offer a few options when it comes to sitting outside. One thing that they might overlook is the comfort level of these seating options. Wicker furniture with outdoor cushions is probably the most affordable, easy to match, and comfortable pieces of furniture to use in outdoor design. They are typically rainproof and guests seem to be instantly attracted to them. However, hotels have to be careful with this type of patio furniture. If the weather changes and it rains often, then the cushions can become extremely dirty. If the weather gets extremely hot and sunny, then the color of the cushions will fade quickly. Maintenance for this type of cushion requires a little more attention than usual.

 

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Stay Warm

An outdoor fireplace? Yes please! Hotels that are implementing this feature can’t keep guests away. There just doesn’t seem to be enough space or seating areas when there are limited fireplaces. Sometimes hotels even have to keep a reservation book just to make sure people do not try and take over the space, leaving other guests without the chance to experience the fireplace. Crazy, right? People simply love the warmth and feel that a fire gives them, literally. Even in the summer, being around a fire exudes vibes of community and togetherness. There’s nothing better than circling around a fireplace with a group of friends or family and talking the night away.

Hotel Reception Necessities

The hotel experience has many aspects, but the reception and welcome desk is the first place people walk to, check in, and interact with the hotel staff. The hotel itself could be aesthetically impressive, however, if the attentiveness is not on par, the experience is almost instantly tainted. Comfortable, inviting, and relaxing are all feelings that guests want to experience when engaging with the reception desk.

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Toiletries

Guests will absolutely forget things. This is a known fact and most of the time running out to a convenient store is actually not so convenient. This fact alone is why it is important to stock up on the not so typical essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap can be taken care of by the cleaning staff, but the other items need to be kept by the welcome desk. Guests will call down to the desk for any of their needs, so why not have them on hand?

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What the Tourists Do

If your hotel happens to be a destination hotel, these next few items are even more necessary. Most guests come to your hotel because it’s within a certain proximity to attractions and activities they are interested in. With that being said, a lot of visitors do not know about all of the cool spots. Make sure to create a well thought-out lists of attractions and activities to give to guests when they come asking about things to do. Include the typical tourist traps, but also add in a few local places that will give them a better cultural experience. This type of thoughtfulness is appreciated and will absolutely get you repeat customers and referrals.

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Brochures

Especially with travel destinations, hotels usually have an area around the concierge full of all types of brochures. Make sure that when stocking up this area, the staff and the concierge are all knowledgeable about the good, better, and best activities to look into. If a guest says they are scared of heights, please don’t throw out a hot air balloon brochure. It seems pretty obvious, but sometimes the staff is thinking about stuff that they like to do as opposed to appealing to how the guests want their trip to play out.

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Guides of the City

Maps of the city, roadways, and public transportation are CRUCIAL. Think about traveling around a country like France or England and not know which way to go to get to the trains. Once you figure that out, you have to figure out which train to take. It’s the same in New York City. Providing maps of all public transportation and the city in general makes travel and walking around way more approachable and less scary for tourists. It is also important to make sure that the staff knows how the transportation works as well in order to help guests get going.

 

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All Day Reachability

The reception desk needs to have staff available 24/7 at all costs. It does not matter how small the hotel is, it’s important to have someone available at any point of the day/night. This does not mean for food or room service, but there should be someone ready for emergencies, questions, late/early check-ins, etc.

Top 5 Guest Room Must-Haves

Guest rooms are a pinnacle part of hotels. People will decide whether or not they want to stay at a hotel based on the comfort level, cleanliness, convenience, etc. of the hotel guest room, so it must be prepared properly. There are certain necessities that a guest room must have, which means calling down to the reception desk should not have to occur.

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Closet Space

This goes without saying, having a space for guests to hang clothes is important and necessary. Although not every guest will have items to hang up, it is nice to have the option, especially for business travelers who don’t want to walk around with creases in their shirts / blouses. With that being said, please include some hangers. It is pretty rare that guests travel with hangers for their own clothes because of the size and space they consume, so don’t take that chance. People will appreciate having the convenience and ability to hang their items without having to reach out and scrounge up some for the closet.

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Extra Toiletries and Towels

Most guest rooms, even if there are only 1-2 guests staying in the room, should contain at least 4 bath towels. This does not include wash clothes and face towels. Some people are particular with the type of towels they want to use for each activity, so it’s important to include all shapes and sizes. Storing these underneath the sink or on a shelf inside the bathroom somewhere is a great idea. This not only presents convenience to the guests, but keeps the staff members busy with other duties. It makes more sense to have extra stored in the room than to have employees running up and down the elevators to deliver them constantly, right? Same goes with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Most people, especially women will use the entire bottle of shampoo and conditioner in one shower use. They’re tiny bottles, so be sure to include some of those as well.

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Trashcan Please

We’ve all been in that situation where we have needed to throw something away, but could not find a garbage bin. Guests should never have to worry about this. When guests check in and start getting settled, they need a place to toss those baggage tags, tissues, take out boxes, etc. It seems like an obvious addition to a guest room, but sometimes the simplest things get overlooked.

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Tall Mirror

Mirrors are so essential nowadays. Travelers that are in and out of the hotel for business to know how their outfits come together, especially if they are heading to business meetings and conferences. On that same thought, think about all of the bachelorette parties and other events where there are women getting ready to go out on the town. It is simply not enough to just have a bathroom or vanity mirror. Full length mirrors can be placed solo in the room or can be incorporated into the closet door. It just makes sense.

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Ironing Materials

Although it’s a bit more rare these days to need to iron clothes due to new wrinkle-free materials, many people remain old fashioned in this area. It might take up a little bit of space, depending on the size of the board, but it is way more convenient to keep the iron and board in the guest room than having a bellhop bringing up the two items, right? In our opinion, it saves time and if the guest doesn’t need it, then it’s out of the way stored in the closet.

Hotel Seating Mistakes

Sometimes people don’t think about the little things that go into the hotel interior design industry. Things like elevator experience, to convenience of the hotel restaurant, and most commonly seating options. There are so many things to consider when choosing the decor that sometimes mistakes are made in the chair department. From too many, to not enough, hotels have to make sure that these mistakes are not made.

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Not Enough Seats

Ever walked into a place with a group of people and only half of the group can sit down? In most cases, that is quite a design flaw. Of course, there are spaces that do not allow space for an abundant amount of seating options, but that is not the situation we are talking about here. This seems to be a big issue that happens in the lobby/reception area of the hotel. When checking in with a family or group, only one or two people usually actually needs to be at the check-in desk getting the room keys. The others can wander around and explore, but most of the time they want to sit near and wait. If there are not many seating options, guests are automatically inconvenienced. Be aware of this issue.

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Not Enough Variety

Too many of the same height chairs can be a deterrent. Think about the fact that there are people of all heights. From children to pro basketball players, the difference in feet can be extreme. For example, if most to all of your chairs are bar height options, that’s not going to go well with the kiddos. In all actuality, the kids will be fine, but the parents will be constantly worried about them falling and won’t be able to enjoy their time as much. It’s more considerate to have all types of seating options, for those shorter and taller. 

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Overcrowded

This can almost be the worst situation. There are multiple issues with this scenario. One problem is that an overcrowded area can eventually turn into a fire hazard. If the fire alarm goes off and the area is full of guests, getting everyone out in a safe and organized manner might be challenging. Another issue is being ADA-approved. The handicap population needs to have space to get in and out of the space and have the same guest experience as everyone else. If they are having to dodge chairs, it becomes time consuming and extremely inconvenient to say the least.

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Style Over Comfort

This is a big deal. Some new designers and hotels can get caught up in the trends and forget that guests actually want to be comfortable when they sit down. Regardless of how “cool” the chair is, if it’s uncomfortable, then they won’t be sitting for too much longer. We have all been caught up in the whole, “Wow, that’s such a cool chair, take a picture of me in it.” zone, but most of the time those chairs don’t end up being a long term sitting situation. Just remember, style is important, but comfort is more important. Do your best to try and hit two birds with one stone, but if all else fails, choose comfort.

What Hotels are Using to Set The Mood

When you think about “setting the mood”, there are many different things that come to mind. Hotels are now taking it upon themselves to help guests achieve their goals. From lighting, to music, to even the aroma in the air, there are so many things that hotels are doing to make the guest’s life easier. Romantic getaways are extremely common, so why not have multiple options available to help the getaway stay romantic?

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Lighting

Lighting is the number one thing that pops into our minds when we think about setting the mood. From dimming them, to the color, lights can either make or break a moment. Some hotels are starting to give guests a little more control over the lighting in the guest room besides simply turning the lamps on and off. Be on the lookout for a dimming remote. Another way lighting is incorporated is the color. LED lights throughout the hotel can create different vibes and feelings for guests. Colors like green and blue provide feelings of relaxation, comfort, etc. while red and orange can give guests a sense of warmth and love. Which one would you want to be on in the guestroom?

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Blinds

Has it ever been too bright in your room before? That’s kind of a silly question because of course it has. No one wants to be blinded, and on the other hand, no one wants to let others see into their private space. Especially if a couple is trying to have a special night. There’s something powerful about being able to control the blinds when you want to have a bit of privacy. It feels like you’re in your own world and don’t have to worry about judgment or anyone bothering you. Blinds can definitely work some magic when setting the mood.

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Scents

Many hotels are now incorporating relaxing and welcoming scents throughout the hotel lobby and hallways. When it comes to the guest room, some luxury hotels will offer diffusers with option of different essential oils. Popular aromas for setting the mood are rose, nutmeg, and sandalwood, among a few others. These are great for romance and love, which is why hotels have them available for special nights. There’s something about walking into a room, smelling a certain scent, and instantly feeling at ease, relaxed, and happy.

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Music
We mention this because there are many different ways to implement music when it comes to setting the mood. Some hotels will have live jazz bands or dance music for guests to come and be entertained while wining and dining. Another way is adding in a smart phone port and speaker in the guest room for guests to use and play their own music. This is perfect for that special night you have planned and all you need to do is create a playlist.

 

These four items are simple, but effective. Hotels realize that it does not take much to make most guests feel accommodated and valued. 

Hotel Views

Hotel views can mean many different things for everyone. There are hotels all around the world that cater to the guest in search for a breathtaking view experience. Many hotels create these spaces for the simple fact of attracting more guests. It only makes sense to advertise a prime location with a rooftop pool, or a gym with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the mountains. Here are a few ways that hotels are bringing the view game to a new level.

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Poolside Views

There’s nothing better than having the “view from the top” while sunbathing in a pool—especially if the pool is an infinity pool or has glass walls. Based on the photo above, if the hotel has options to view an entire city, go ahead and advertise it as an amenity. Having a pool is already a plus, but add in a view like this and you will have to make sure that it doesn’t fill up over capacity. Add in poolside service and you’ve got yourself a hit.

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Gym Space

Hotels are now expected to have a space or room for guests to work out and exercise. With health being such an important lifestyle choice these days, people want to make sure that they are accommodated appropriately. However, we constantly see hotel gyms located in areas fully enclosed, no views, and almost secluded from the outside world. Why not expose the gym with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the surrounding nature. This especially goes for hotels that are located in tropical destinations. Give guests the luxury of seeing the beach and palm trees when they are getting their fitness on.

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Dining in Style

Yes. Having a view during a meal is the best. It brings guests a sense of joy and contentment. Based on the photo above, we can imagine that having a coffee and breakfast pastry with that view makes for a scene out of a RomCom movie. The best part about having a space like this at a hotel is that it brings in business from outside sources such as tourists and locals that aren’t staying at the hotel. Any hospitality business that can pull this off is doing well.

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Snow Me

For those guests who are enamored with the thought of snow and mountain scenery, most high-end ski resorts and hotels will have you covered. Although it might be a bit chilly, that’s the last thing on your mind when you walk outside with an incredible view of the Alps for example. It only makes sense to make this available to guests, even if it is from inside. Due to the temperature issue, many of these cold climate resorts and hotels will have dining rooms or simple viewing rooms with access to sit and enjoy the outlook.

 

Hotel views can vary, but at the end of the day the whole point is to appease the guest and give them the peace of mind that they are getting the experience they paid for. Worst case scenario is they enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding them.

Choosing a Destination Hotel

There are many stipulations when deciding on where to stay while traveling. Whether you’re craving to stay at a small boutique hotel or a chain, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a destination hotel. Remember to check these off the next time you’re searching for the perfect place to stay on your travels.

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Activities

Decide on the activities you want to do while you are traveling. For example, if traveling to Paris, what sights are on the agenda— The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.? We know that sometimes being spontaneous about choosing a destination is often a factor when booking travel, but having no clue what activities you want to do might affect your experience in the city. Choosing a couple of things will help determine where you want to stay, how much you want to spend, and more.

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Distance

Once you determine which activities to add to the itinerary, the next step is to choose how far you want to be from those items. Distance is a huge factor, especially when you’re traveling somewhere new and want to be near the center of it all. Imagine just booking a place that says “Barcelona” without looking at a map and when you get there, it’s 30 min outside of the center of the city. It’s definitely not a risk one should take when booking a place to stay.

 

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Pricing

Set a budget. Come on people, it’s pretty obvious to make sure something is affordable. You can decide if you would rather be closer to your activities and pay a bit more, or sacrifice the pricing and stay a bit further away. Most of the time, the closer the hotel is in the middle of the tourist attractions, the more pricey it is. Everyone is different, so decide what’s more important to you— convenience or price.

 

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Amenities

This can be a make or break for a trip, especially when traveling internationally. What is important for you? If you’re planning on doing some work while you are there, make sure that the hotel has WiFi. Imagine getting there and not being able to connect to the internet. Most hotels have this amenity, but it’s best to check first. Also, what time are you flying / driving in? If it is night time, or pretty early in the morning, check to see if the hotel has a 24 -hour check in desk / reception. What a pain it would be to arrive and not be able to finally set your stuff down and rest your head.

 

Most of these are common sense, but many people have not traveled too much and forget to check the simple things. That is why we are here. Make the most out of your trip and stay in the best destination hotel that fits all of your needs.

Blurring Boundaries: Landscape and Interior Design

Boundaries are made to be tested, so good thing hotels have been stepping outside of their comfort zones...literally. Many hotels are beginning to incorporate nature, more open spaces in guest rooms, and more. Honestly, we love seeing more blurred boundaries and daring interior designs.

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Private Access

Most high-end luxury hotels, primarily the ones located in tropical destinations, have begun providing an outdoor access to a small private pool from the bedroom door. You could leave the door open all day, walking in and out of the private suit without worry that someone else will be entering your space due to the pool. The amazing privacy guests receive makes it seem like they’re just sitting at home enjoying their own property. That comfort and multipurpose space is what many experienced travelers desire.

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Beachside

There’s nothing better than being able to open up French doors to feel the breeze of the ocean on your face in the morning. Hotels have begun building these doors with access out to a balcony and a walkway down to the sand specifically so guests will feel the luxury and comfort, and continue to come back for more. Imagine waking up and being able to basically remove the “wall” between you and the beach. It’s an incredible feeling just seeing the view.

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Outdoor Showers

This trend is definitely a desired feature in places that have beach access and/or more private room options. Sometimes we all just want to have the freedom to choose whether or not clothes are necessary, right? Okay, well maybe not all of us, but there’s nothing like being able to shower/rinse off before tracking in a ridiculous amount of sand into the space you’ll be hanging out and eating dine in. It not only saves time with cleaning, but also brings in more convenience for families that have small children who might have gotten just a bit carried away with burying themselves in the sand.

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Welcome to the Patio

Patios are generally places that are closed off from the room. Most of the time you can open up a door and step out onto a balcony, but balconies seem to always be a tiny space when it comes to the typical hotel design. Luckily, many high end hotels are exploring blurring those lines as well. Thank goodness because being able to step out onto porch or balcony with a swing and have a cup of coffee or even work remotely helps with keeping the guests occupied and from straying off the hotel grounds to get food, coffee, etc. Spaces like this will have guests never wanting to leave. That means more business for room service, so we suggest making that investment.

 

All in all, there’s still a ways to go when it comes to continuing to blur lines, but the progress we’re seeing so far is impressive. The future of hospitality shows that boundaries are important, but they’re absolutely meant to be blurred...at least when it comes to design.

Renovate to Stay Relevant

Renovation is a huge piece to staying relevant. In a world where trends and interests change every 2-4 years, staying up to date with what’s “in” is the hardest part of the hospitality industry. From the newest technology to the coolest designs, renovating can start to get a bit pricey and sometimes unrealistic. On the bright side, renovating does not always have to be about tearing down and building new spaces. Something as simple of small decor items and updated appliances can give a hotel the improved look it is going for.

 

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Why Renovate?

Renovating has become the new marketing tactic for the hospitality world. Regardless if you are a 5-star hotel in a major city or a boutique establishment in a secondary market, the cost of a renovation has become the new “bragging rights”. Some believe that when sprucing up a place or entirely rebuilding, it has to be a reinvention. Here’s the good news, renovations do not have to mean that your brand and identity have to change, unless that’s the goal. Many hotels want to keep their reputation, just simply implement updates to help with customer convenience and satisfaction. This could mean new ways to open a guest’s hotel room, ordering room service, or even regulating the temperature in a guest’s room. Revitalizing the space can be just the simple breath of fresh air customers need for their visit.

 

Unfortunately, the renovations made to a hotel’s interior architectural look can be considered, after a few short years, outdated or even worse, a bad idea. Is taking the step to redesign admitting defeat or simply the smart option? In our opinion, it’s not only necessary, it’s brave. The bottom line is, no matter what, the guests’ beds have to be comfortable and clean, the water running, and the food has to be good.

 

Social Media Spaces

One part of being relevant is having something interesting to post on social media. People will travel to places solely for a photo. It’s a bit crazy, but it’s true with the world of Instagram. Social media seems to attract a whole different demographic than what hotels are used to targeting, but with travel and remote jobs booming now more than ever, it makes sense to get the hotel out there in the world and attract more people.

 

Operating Costs Reduced

With updated technology and facilities, it helps hotel staff become more efficient in turn lowering the number of employees necessary. Although human interaction can never be replaced by machines and technology, some jobs can. It’s pretty simple and helps reduce the overhead in the long run. Without having to worry about paying multiple people an hourly rate, the technology can begin to pay for itself once the upgrade is paid off. It really just makes more sense to keep up with technology, attract more high-end guests, and get a great reputation in the meantime.

The Synergy Between Hotels and Communities

The synergy between hotels and communities has been a long time relationship that constantly grows. It is truly a give and take coexistence. Synergy is defined as, “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” Basically, one is not as effective on its own as it is when two are combined. It’s pretty amazing what both the community and a hotel can bring to the relationship.

 

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Neighborhood Improvement

We have all been to a place, whether it was a visit or just passing through, where it seemed a little on the lower end. Along with other hospitality businesses added to the area, a nicer hotel thrown into the mix would attract a higher clientele, in turn making the community around the hotel gradually up its game. Of course this does not always happen, but when it does, it’s a slow process. There were plenty of cities in San Diego County that were not safe and desirable that now are highly sought after destinations in the county. It’s important to never give up on a community, such as the city of Detroit. Once a booming metropolis, the city found itself in quite the depression once many of the factories were shut down. Recently more small business and other local shops have been opening back up thanks to some much needed love from a few nicer hotels stepping up their game. There are examples like this all over the globe and it’s such a wonderful sight to see.

 

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Local Businesses

Too often, people don’t realize the effect that hotels have on the local businesses and vice versa. Hotels that are located in the middle of nowhere might get guests passing through, but there’s no way to really rely on consistent, returning guests. Hotels that situation themselves in communities that have at least a few places to eat and shops to explore get much better traction. Imagine this: You have your pick between two hotels. Both are within 5 miles of where you need to be for a work or personal trip. One of the hotels has nothing around it between itself and the destination and the other has a couple restaurants and a general store within walking distance. Which one do you choose? This example is a no-brainer. We know that having those local businesses closer to the hotel brings in more business for the hotel in turn bringing in more for the local businesses. That’s synergy, people!

 

This long term co-dependence between communities and hotels is probably one of the longest and strongest relationships most of us have ever seen. It is crucial to understand that without one, the other suffers and will most likely never be as successful as it would with its counterpart. Remember when staying at a hotel that’s not in the most amazing neighborhood, you might just be helping that community get that much closer to improvement.

Bathroom Sink Designs That Will Melt Your Heart

It’s safe to say that the best hotel bathrooms always feel luxurious. The design is functional and efficient with thoughtful touches that make you feel special, and a convenient layout to place toiletries and other bathroom necessities. On the other hand, we’ve all been in those bathrooms that have close to no sick space in order to set anything down let alone brush your teeth. In our opinion the best bathroom sink designs take all of these things into consideration, allowing the guest to not want for anything.

Photo of Hotel Wiesergut, courtesy of    Archinect   .

Photo of Hotel Wiesergut, courtesy of Archinect.

Stone

Stone sinks are a classy way to incorporate design and functionality. There are many ways to design a stone sink, from using amethyst to small stones placed together, or a modern and sleek stone look (pictured above). Stone seems to be the best way to make each and every bathroom look pristine and upscale. It’s just a clean look that simply helps guests understand that the hotel cares about convenience, care, and functionality.

 

Photo courtesy of    The Beach People   .

Photo courtesy of The Beach People.

Industrial

The industrial, while it might be becoming outdated in the restaurant and other hospitality locations, is still impressive and very much desired for the bathroom. From recycled wood to upcycle metal bars and faucets to handcrafted mirrors and doors, it is an incredible way to stay aware of the sustainability that many guests look for when approaching the hotel industry nowadays.

 

Photo By Hey Love Design

Photo By Hey Love Design

Marble + Metal

Marble, especially within its first 2-3 years, has become increasingly more popular. It gives a classy and upscale feel to the space, creating that luxury vibe all high-end hotels want to emit. The combination of marble and metal seems to be one of those affordable, yet attractive duos. Copper especially is a dominant partner of marble, giving a more vintage and effortless feel. When you have marble countertops with a metal vessel style sink, it almost seems like you’ve been taken back to the Ancient Roman and/or Greek times. The only issue with utilizing a vessel style sink (pictured above) is the cleaning maintenance and the susceptibility to chipping/denting. Besides that, this dreamy look is easy to achieve and well appreciated.

Photo courtesy of    Adore Magazine   . Photo by    Lisa Cohen   .

Photo courtesy of Adore Magazine. Photo by Lisa Cohen.

Concrete

Over the past few years, concrete sinks are among the biggest trends to emerge. When you think about it, it was definitely time for something other than the same old white porcelain sink to make a name for itself. Concrete is durable, versatile, and gives a slight industrial look to a space or a pop of color depending on how you design it. Whether it’s a vessel sink or the entire sink is created from concrete, it’s definitely built to last. Hotels don’t have to worry about kids or anyone for that matter grabbing the sink or dropping something around it and chipping or ruining the color. It’s a wonderful investment that pays it forward to guests.

The 8 Fastest Growing Trends in Hospitality Design

Hospitality is constantly changing and keeping up with it can be tough. From technology to unique experiences, the hotel industry is always on its toes making sure that the design and trends are up to date. If you haven’t already noticed, here are a few of the fastest growing trends in hospitality design.

 

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Voice Activation

The world is becoming a place where convenience is key. Without easy access, most people will give up after trying for about 10-15 sec. Voice activation cuts out the middleman and frees up guests to do other things. “Lights on” or “Volume 4” are quick commands to assure that guests will not be interrupted mid-activity.

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App Service

Apps are taking over the smartphone realm. If your hotel does not have an app, you’re a little late in the game. A huge trend right now is giving guest the reigns a bit more and giving individuals a chance to control their room devices all from their smartphones. Genius!

 

Sustainability

“Going Green” is not enough these days. More and more environmentally friendly travelers are basing their hotel decisions off of the carbon footprint each hotel leaves on the environment. It might sound a little silly, but getting your certifications in this area is going to be crucial in the future of hotel design and success.

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Culture Immersion

Experiences and culture are rated a 8/10 priority when guests are searching for the perfect hotel fit. Look for more hotels to design the rooms and lobbies with local history and cultural layouts. On top of that, you might even notice that tours and happy hours will be put on by destination hotels more so than ever!

 

Open Floor Plans

The days of walled off rooms is over. Back in the day, the over abundance of walls were built because of the desire to keep heat in a specific area. Nowadays it’s pretty easy to keep the heat going in a nice hotel. Not to mention open floor plans are the best for groups to get together, hang out in the lounge, and more.

 

Space Control

Seeing that more travelers are spending more time outside doing activities, that means they’re spending less time in their hotel room. With that in mind, rooms will be a bit smaller and have less unnecessary furniture pieces. Say goodbye to armoires, dressers and closets and hello to foldable desks and chairs along with built in wall hangers.

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Personalization

Personal welcome notes, thank you notes, names listed on room doors, and more. Expect to feel like you are the VIP that everyone wants to know. Hotels will be putting more effort into creating a personalized experience to make everyone feel special.

 

Partnerships

Transportation in different destinations can sometimes feel overwhelming. With that in mind, hotels have started partnering with local transport systems to make travel to and from the hotel seamless. From shuttles, to the metro, and even Uber and Lyft. Look out for discount codes provided by your hotel to make sure you get where you need to go at an affordable rate.

How to Make Sure Millennials Are Booking

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The term “millennial” is now a popular conversation starter. It’s mentioned at least once a day, coming from almost everyone in the United States. Born between the early 80’s and mid 90’s, this generation is the most common demographic in every industry today. It only makes sense to want to appeal to all individuals who identify as millennial.

 

Be Digitally Available

The influx of millennial travelers has spoken to how important being online can be. This generation is an online generation that constantly uses computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. to work, shop, play games, research and even find dates. This reason alone is why marketing and advertising offline is pointless when trying to appeal to millennials. Create a strong and recognizable online presence to engage with them. Start by creating an easy, functional, mobile-friendly website. Follow that up with social media platforms and maintaining a solid following on social media. If you can, create a mobile app as well. All of these options will increase your popularity and push the hotel up to the top of Google’s search engine.

 

Be Authentic

Authenticity is crucial when attempting to reach the millennial generation. These younger travelers are extremely excited about authentic experiences, doing new things, and exploring different cultures. One tip is to show the unique features of the hotel and destination in any marketing campaign and advertisement. Connect to the local area and show the travelers what is special about your location compared to other hotels in the same area. Do you offer tours of the city? Cultural immersion? Incorporate these things and make sure potential guests know what you offer.

 

Be Financially Enticing

Deals speak louder than words. Okay, that’s not really how that statement goes, but it’s just as true. Millennials are always looking out for a good deal and will not hesitate to tell their network about it. A bonus that this generation brings is that last minute group trips are quite common, so take advantage of that. Promo codes, package deals, even group offerings can increase attention and at least make this generation aware of what is available. There’s nothing wrong with planting that seed in their mind. Try annual deals, seasonal offers, or off-season promos.

 

Be Attractive

With the era of Instagram where photos can speak about the entire experience, attractive can mean many things. Millennials is constantly eager to share all of their experiences, especially on social media channels like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. For example: create a geolocation filter for Snapchat to make sure that every time they post, they have the option to let people know where they are. Another way to capture that attraction is to leave little gifts in the guest rooms. This could be a simple as a thank you note with a piece of chocolate. The best thing you can do is to make them feel special because they will absolutely broadcast all of that to the online world.

How to Emphasize Community in New Lobby Design

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Recently, hotels have been focusing on emphasizing community with new lobby design. Bringing people together and helping them feel at home and welcome will invite guests to stay at the hotel longer. This could mean dining at the hotel restaurant and having drink at the hotel bar. The more people stay in, the more business for the hotel!

 

Open Floor Plan

Having an open floor plan is the perfect option for a lobby. Coming into a cold, dim, tiny lobby is not only unwelcoming, but it presents an area that no one should congregate in unless it’s to check in or out. Guests want to enter into a hotel and immediately feel like there are things happening inside that they want to be a part of. Walking into a lobby with an open floor plan sends the vibe that the hotel has nothing to hide and in fact, they want the guests to hang out, relax, and enjoy the common area.

 

Bar/Lounge Combination

Another way that hotels are emphasizing community is through the addition of the bar/lounge combination. We have talked about this in our past blog posts, but it is truly the next step in completing a well functioning hotel lobby. This combo allows guests to get together in a comfortable seating area and have a glass of wine or their favorite craft beer while hanging out with friends and family. Most bars do not allow anyone under the age of 21, but with the addition of the lounge area, families can sit back and relax while parents have a drink without having to separate.

 

Check-in Desk

The check-in desk has always been around and most likely always will be. Nothing can replace human connection, so even if guests can check-in on their own a friendly face will be there for any questions or concerns. The check in desk can have many locations in the lobby, but the most common location is to the right when you walk in the front door. It is a fact that the majority of people turn right when they walk into a building or room, so it makes sense for it to be located there. With a fun, friendly, and informative check-in desk, hotels are creating a sense of comfort and trust with their guests for any needs they might have.

 

Decor

Lastly, decorations. Community can be brought together with many different means, culture and decor being one of them. The way a lobby is decorated can leave a lot to the imagination or build a sense of welcome and togetherness through art, furniture pieces, greenery, and more. We all know the feeling of walking into a building and seeing cool plants, flower wall, etc. This is the exact situation that guests want to be in when they come through the entrance. Trees, plants, flowers, comfortable seating, and intriguing local art can bring individuals together because of that sense of belonging and comfort.