Having gotten under the skin of The Tech Junkie and The Hopeless Romantic in May’s issue, this time we turn our attention to The RSVP and The Escapist. Designing a personalised guest experience for those who want to escape the hubbub of day-to-day life will vary greatly from designing spaces for the people who are just looking for a base. Culminating our year’s focus on the perfect hotel room, we turn to the experts for their tips…
‘The hotel room is my sanctuary. It’s the private place I have been seeking for a while now. I’ve picked a secluded spot, far from the pulls of reality and all the stresses and pressures that come with it and, more importantly, far from anyone who can recognise me. Somewhere I am free to conjure up celestial
BRIAN GREATHEAD DIRECTOR OF MANALO & WHITE
The hotel should become a bubble, somewhere that caters for all the Escapist’s needs, so there is no desire to leave the cocoon. The all-enveloping environment should allow for doing, but also for actively NOT doing. The guest room is the ultimate refuge within the bubble and should offer a carefully considered private world which, ensures that all aspects of the stay will be immersive and enjoyable. The view from the room might be of an idealised internal world, a courtyard or garden – nature untrammelled by the mundane or the everyday. The room should be spacious and well-furnished for reading, writing, thinking and dreaming.
BILLY MAVROPOULOS, FOUNDER/ DIRECTOR, BUREAU DE CHANGE
This hotel room is the visitor’s sanctuary. It is warm and soft and once the door is shut the outside physical world is only a memory. The space is demure, the colours are warm whites and soft greys and the textures are rich. Clever lighting can transform the space according to the mood of the visitor. There are very few objects and pieces of furniture, and they are quite minimal in design.
DR. HARRIET HARRISS (RIBA, PFHEA), READER IN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, RCA
The Escapist suite assures anonymity and offers a space to go off-grid, take stock, reimagine and reinvent. The layout of the room inspires calm and clarity of thinking, blending birch plywood, oak plywood, porcelain white walls and cloudy terrazzos that are punctuated by a series of brightly-coloured ceramic sculptures lacquered with light-reflecting metal oxides. The specification leans towards sustainable but contemporary – a cabin in the woods – but without the obligatory rough-hewn timber clichés. Technology is ubiquitous but remains discreet and offers guests the option to block all signals and simply disappear. The fridge is stocked with macrobiotic delights and the library boasts texts that range from philosophy and meditation to land and ocean maps from across the world.
SIMON MITCHELL, CO-FOUNDER, SAYBARITE ARCHITECTS
For the escapist, the perfect hotel room will have addressed all five senses and will immediately transport you into a peaceful and calm environment, as soon as you cross the threshold. This means not having to worry about the day-to-day concerns of locating keys, pressing buttons and checking in. Instead you would have an app on your phone through which you can check in, and is automated with the lighting, audio and TV so you can create the perfect ambiance. The acoustics also play a crucial part – air conditioning should be silent and noise pollution should be artfully absorbed. Outside space and far-reaching views – ideally of the sea – are a must. A private balcony or terrace with carefully designed, comfortable furniture and accessible from the large bathroom for a lovely inside/outside experience helps anyone to escape the day-to-day.