HOTEL GUESTROOMS VS BRAND STANDARDS
HOTEL GUESTROOMS vs BRAND STANDARDS – Brand Standards may be a determining factor when it comes to hotel guestroom design, but a creative designer can incorporate inspirational elements from the surrounding environment and marry those elements with the standards. We need to push the boundaries of the culture and community so that a guests experience reflects the location they have traveled to. Designers need to work with local artisans such as artists, photographers & millworkers to create the experience that reflects the community.
Physical components of brand standards can include the prototype number of keys, the minimum size of the bathroom, minimum ceiling height requirements, minimum number of fixtures and minimum available floor area ratio for the lobby etc. These physical standards are simply physical components, and beyond them the design becomes more subjective. Other components of brand standards are operating standards and these standards affect the day to day operations of the hotel as well as the guest’s experience.
It is the Hotel Owner’s responsibility and Hotel Management agreement to maintain the Brand Standard during their management agreement term. The challenge can be understanding what appropriate strategies are required to approach the consistent Brand Standard. There may be more than one appropriate strategy to achieve the desired result, but the primary focus should always be on the guest’s experience. Branded Hotel Management must be cognisant of the economic aspects of the hotel owner’s commitment and the implementation of modifications must be approved. Operating and Capital Expenses must be addressed in the review of the Brand Standard. One must always stay front and center in the conversations about Brand Standards between a Hotel Owner and Hotel Management.
Brand standards affect the value placed on a hotel by hotel owners, lenders and investors and are a critical component in the equation of design. Brand standards such as writing surfaces, a flat-screen TV, mini bars, and full size beds are factors that need to be incorporated into each design. Finishes need to be stain-resistant durable to withstand daily usage, but beyond those requirements it is a blank canvas for designers to work with, under the guidance of the project manager. The combination of guestroom elements such as fabric, artwork, stone, wood and lighting can be used to describe the ambiance of a space.
For some travellers the guestroom is increasingly being used as on office and therefor workspace and connectivity factors are very important, as well as their functionality. If guests find their rooms appealing, they will spend more time relaxing, working and taking advantage of in-room guest services. Make sure to include in-room services such as dining, entertainment, fitness and massage / spa treatments. Textiles within the room need to be resistant to wear-and-tear, and carpet should have a minimum weight of 36 ounces to maintain durability and acoustics. Millwork and vinyl wall coverings need to be finished to perfection in order to extend the life cycle.
A good designer will create efficient and beautiful spaces even within limited confines. We need to remove clutter and introduce furnishing with multi-functional purposes and maximize natural light where possible. Stylish rooms with spa-like bathrooms, multi-functional furniture as well as the latest in entertainment, fitness and technology will provide a guest with a great experience.
Creative designers create unique experiences but we also need to be aware to today’s realities. Today’s economy and a client’s budget are factors that must be understood and the backbone of our design. Competition drives brands; therefore we as designers need to assist brands to stay current and ahead of the curve. Classic styling can be more everlasting, but extravagant room designs can also be timeless.