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Reimagining Design for the New Normal: Hotels

Hotels may be down right now, but they are not out. While the country waits for virus rates and travel restrictions to go down, hotels should take the time to consider how to redesign their experience for this new age. With a focus on cleanliness and flexibility, take a look at what’s coming down the pipe for hotel design:

Guest Rooms

  • Materials
    Hotels will need to reconsider the materials used in guest suites. Expect a focus on non-porous, easy to clean surfaces and antimicrobial materials in future room design – less wall-to-wall carpeting, more hardwood floors. But be careful not to make it too austere at the same time – people still want to feel like they’re away.
  • In-room services & tech
    Hotel gym facilities might become a thing of the past, as guests may opt to stay in more than they used to. Hotels will want to optimize in-room services and connectivity, particularly for business people wanting to get in on Zoom meetings. In addition, maximizing on touch-free and voice-activation tech where possible will make it easier on guests and cleaning staff to stay safe.
  • Sanitation & Ventilation
    Cleanliness is a big factor for the guest experience right now, and is expected to continue to be in the future. Guests need to feel clean and protected in their accommodations. For this, some hotels are including UV sanitation devices in rooms for easy cleaning and a sense of control on the guests’ part.

    Hotels should also take a look at their ventilation systems to make sure guests aren’t sharing air across rooms. This might mean a focus on radiant heat systems and bringing in fresh air where possible.

Lobbies, Meeting Rooms and Public Areas

  • Contactless check-in
    Adoption of digital check-in options, whether by mobile or website, has only sped up in the wake of the pandemic. Hotels that haven’t already gotten onboard with should consider doing so, as it will decrease unnecessary contact between staff and guests as well as prevent crowding in lobbies.
  • Intimate, But Not Shut-In
    While social distancing is a must right now, that doesn’t mean guests have to lose out on company and scenery. Hotels should focus on creating more intimate settings in meeting rooms and other public spaces that still allow for ambiance and connection – see-through screens, well-designed partitions and outside views can help in this arena.
  • Branded signs and graphics
    While COVID signage is required to direct guests on proper procedure, hotels should take the opportunity to integrate their own branding and flare into sign design, to make it less invasive to the hotel experience.
  • Sanitation stations
    As in many other arenas, dispersing sanitation stations throughout hotel lobbies and other public areas is a necessity that will help guests feel safer upon check-in.

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Reimagining Design for the New Normal: A Look Inside Each Industry.

Covid-19 has had an impact across every industry. With the need for low-touch and 6-feet of distance, high-tech, futuristic design may be coming faster than we anticipated. From spatial choreography to antimicrobial materials, there are many standard and unique ways that each industry will approach the new normal. With insights from experts in design, construction, and the building code, we have curated articles for many of the major industries on how to approach the new normal with safety and aesthetics in mind. This series will dive into restaurants, airports, healthcare, hotels, offices, residential, retail, theater, and museums. Do you have a topic that you would like Decoder to cover? Just ask the experts.