Hotels aren’t ready to phase out the open concept bathroom design

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Skift grip

A design aesthetic that is easier to maintain and that makes rooms feel more spacious and brighter — but often a view of the restroom — needs to be artfully executed for post-pandemic hotel marketing.

Carley Thornel

Andy Ross will never forget the hotel stay that tested his sense of propriety. The open layout and glass partitions allowed her to see all the way from the bed to the items in progress in the bathroom – and beyond.

“It wasn’t just that you were completely exposed when you were in the bathroom, but you also had floor-to-ceiling windows that looked directly into the office building next door,” he said. “So there was no sense of intimacy and I remember how shocked I was. Then I thought, ‘That’s kind of fun. I can overcome my insecurities and make it work.

The general manager of the Brenton Hotel in Newport, RI, has since seen tweaks — like frosted glass — to the concept not just to “secure modesty,” but to give hotel designers another tool in their belt.

“You can immediately open up what was dark and cavernous and make it look big and bright,” he said.

As hotels emerge from the pandemic, a renewed focus on design and function will be a priority, down to every square inch of the bathroom, as homeowners look to fit and convenience as a new marketing fodder.

Certainly, some potential hotel guests view the minimalist design principle as an epic failure of bodily form and function. The commotion around visible dressers often blows up Facebook groups like Girls love to travel, where a woman gathered the opinions of 1.2 million adventurers to find a romantic property in Amsterdam for her and her boyfriend. His number one request?

“The luxury bathroom should have a toilet that is part of the bathroom and not fully open,” she said. “To the one who had this awful idea of ​​toilets essentially in the bedroom, I prefer a little privacy!”

She and others like her, however, may see such opportunities dwindle as the supply of toilet paper at the start of a pandemic.

Covid-19 has created properties designed with “a modern, minimalist aesthetic likely to prevail in hotel design post-pandemic”, said Kate Mooney of Occa Design in Glasgow.

“It should come as no surprise that cleanliness is at the top of every hotelier’s agenda,” she added.

Occa expects to see more open spaces and rooms with less ornamentation in the future. By considering the right materials, including glass, properties can also reduce their operating and maintenance costs, says supplier Kaldewei. Their enamelled steel fixtures feature a seamless surface, making them easier to clean for commercial properties. These fixtures are usually installed with the Nexsys shower channel system for a perfectly drained floor, combined with showers with transparent glass walls open on one side.

Not having a shower door also cuts down on cleaning time for an average bedroom. At most properties, about a third of the 30 minutes allotted to a room’s upkeep is used to clean the powder room, Kaldewei shares.

Yotel properties are well positioned to thrive, says Neal Ludick, the company’s director of interior design. Most Yotels have an open bathroom concept with at least some visibility from inside the room to the private area.

A guest room at Yotel in Boston. (Yotel)

Although the properties are built with the best interests of guests in mind, their open concept means Yotel can “think hard about how a housekeeping team might flip a room,” Ludick said. “Simple, clean surfaces are not only more aesthetic, but also easier to clean. The Yotel room design is light and airy, and presents few challenges for a housekeeping team.

The washrooms at the new Muir Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia were a bit easier for designers like Alessandro Munge, founder and director of Studio Munge. As the property has more square footage on average in its rooms (and a higher price tag) than others like downtown Yotels, there is more open space between the toilets, large glass windows, sink partitioned and rooms facing the outside of the walls.

Many Muir rooms face the Atlantic, and choosing to incorporate as much glass as possible helps Studio Munge maintain the feeling of openness facing the sea. Using local materials to instill a sense of place was a no-brainer, says Munge: “Halifax and the region were so inspiring that we celebrated the local materiality by using a moving gray granite and adding a soft gradient to the glass partitions reminiscent of the veil of fog. the port.

A guest bathroom at the Muir Hotel in Nova Scotia (Source: Muir Hotel)

If the slopes offer guests shelter from the storm, there is less hope on the horizon for those whose auditory senses are easily offended. Hotels with up-to-date HVAC systems have little background noise to disguise any business for even the quietest of travelers.

“A dedicated quiet exhaust system in the shower provides a premium customer experience with little to no noise levels,” Ludick said. “This integrated design means air circulation and temperature control of our bathroom and room have always been combined, avoiding that annoying whir of the bathroom fan.”

At the Brenton, independent air units for each bedroom meant the property was prepared for the pandemic; these units are complemented by a “very sophisticated filtration system in the bathroom itself”, which eliminates any snoring, says Ross.

One thing is certain – until the rest of the world follows Japan’s lead with noise and smell-cancelling thrones – more reserved travelers should do their due diligence and review the pictures before making a reservation. hotel.

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