Far from being purely functional, the bathroom has developed into one of the most design-led and luxurious spaces of a hotel, offering guests the ultimate in indulgence and relaxation. John Horner, managing director at Farmiloe, explores the latest trends in bathroom design for the hotel sector.
In recent years, the role of the hotel bathroom has undergone a radical transformation, with guests expecting an ever-more personalised bathing experience and hotel bathrooms having to be better and more comfortable than the bathrooms guests have at home.
Some hoteliers are responding to these expectations and recognising the importance of bathrooms in drawing and luring customers in. By investing in the bathroom space and providing a luxury experience for guests they can ensure they stand out from the competition – the bathroom is now an essential part of a hotel’s brand identity.
Far too often, however, bathrooms are still overlooked, even though research shows that many travellers now spend most of their awake time in this space. Bathrooms now play a crucial role in the overall customer experience, and this evolution has transformed the hotel bathroom from a practical and necessary space in every guest room to a key selling point for a hotel.
“The bathroom is now an essential part of a hotel’s brand identity”
From a design point of view, designers are creating special bathroom spaces that act more as a personal sanctuary designed to promote the guest’s relaxation and well-being, rather than simply a functional space dedicated to washing. Guest room size has significantly decreased in recent years to allow for the size of the bathroom to expand. The barriers between bedroom and bathroom are being broken up with options such as open-plan bathrooms, glass walls and sliding doors.
In recent years, the hotel bathroom has started to resemble a mini-spa – going beyond the complimentary shower gel and offering luxurious amenities such as spa benches in the shower and designer toiletries. Leading Italian manufacturer, Zucchetti Kos, offers shower cubicles with body jets, a steam setting and room to sit inside.
Another trend in hotel bathroom design is to create the impression of space in smaller hotel bathrooms by removing the bath and replacing it with a shower, which is more functional, hygienic, safe and easier to clean.
“Guest room size has significantly decreased in recent years to allow for the size of the bathroom to expand”
German bathroom manufacturer, Bette, says there are a lot of good reasons for the showering trend – convenience and comfort, time-saving, effectiveness and, above all, being able to enjoy some undisturbed moments of well-being and time out from the hectic everyday. Bette says that the showering experience should be effortless – a flush-to-floor shower area is preferable for this reason, as it prevents any stumbling – and combines maximum functionality with optimum hygiene and timeless design.
Other simple and innovative design solutions can provide a first-class guest room experience, even on a smaller budget. Free-standing vanity units, for instance, or mirrors and space-saving solutions – such as shelving above the sink – can create a simple and timeless design and provide extra space that further enhances the luxury experience.
Ultimately, attention to detail and customisation is what makes the biggest difference. Through the use of a range of products and simple design solutions, a harmonious finish can be achieved to create the ultimate customer experience.
Ogee74 is part of the Farmiloe Group, and was created to offer dedicated services and specification support for architects, interior designers and developers. Ogee74 has formed partnerships with a number of high-quality European bathroom manufacturers, including Zucchetti Kos, Bette, Catalano, Gessi, Hewi and Viega.