While the subject of waste management (and the wider sustainability issue) remains a hot topic, despite a mere global pandemic, is the industry really doing enough – or is it merely a box ticking issue?
As the hospitality industry starts to get back on its feet, Buckley Gray Yeoman share some of the key ideas they have been working on to create new and better spaces for returning guests.
14/04/20213 min read
The last 12 months have seen the biggest upheavals in global culture and economy in living memory. The way we work, shop, interact, socialise, eat, drink, travel, holiday, exercise, play, and experience life has been forcibly altered. With hospitality taking an extremely hard hit, we look forward to the reopening of this industry and how we can adapt our thought processes to help it overcome many of the issues thrown up by COVID-19 and lockdown.
Here, Buckley Gray Yeoman‘s interior design team look at some key ideas they are exploring as the hospitality market emerges from lockdown.
Innovative solutions to provide an excellent in-room F&B offer could include pre-packed hampers and picnics, providing fresh and authentic local products. Some solutions already being tried out by brand such as Marriott include hotel kitchens minimising their menus to offer a more focused range of dishes (ordered via an app or QR code) and in-room pantries and creative ‘fill your fridge’ offerings.
Partnering or supporting local restaurants and retailers not only offers guests an authentic and more unique local experience, but is also an opportunity for the hotels to engage with their local neighbourhoods by lending support and showcasing the best of what the area has to offer.
We are also looking at new and fresh takes on concepts such as the ‘automat’. This could be a unique and exciting solution to F&B within hotels, pairing with neighbourhood restaurants and retailers to provide local and delicious food in a controlled and safe manner.
Operators are increasingly seeing the requirement and benefit to combine the functions of guestrooms. Accor have announced a new Hotel Office concept to offer a ‘premium remote working experience’, by renting out its rooms as day offices. Amsterdam-based hotel and coworking provider, Zoku, offers an ‘office-away-from-home-office’ with its loft micro apartments that double up as private workspaces. New York’s NoMo SoHo hotel has launched YourPlace, offering rooms for day-use private workspaces.
We have been looking at rooms from as little as 18 sq m, and redesigning the traditional hotel room layout. One new project sees a more zoned layout, with daylight and generous space given to the work area, and the sleeping area feeling more separated.
With face-to-face conferences, seminars and expos running on digital platforms, the ballrooms and conference facilities that hosted these lucrative events now have to adapt and find ways to utilise these large spaces. Large spaces mean reasonable sized groups can socially distance effectively. Investment into latest technology for video conferencing, VR, green screen and so on could be a major differentiator.
With all sectors embracing wellness, it’s now being recognised as more than just a physical point of view. Wellness must encompass all facets that positively enhance the mind, body and soul.
Some hotel brands have partnered up with companies such as Peloton to offer in-room fitness.These specialist rooms command a higher rate.
Flexible wellbeing suites replace the traditional gym – and can be used for yoga, meditation, weights, as well as talks and events.
An enhanced perception of connection to nature through design – looking at finishes, furnishings, form and lighting.
In the end, it’s all about hospitality…
Ultimately, the responses we make will only be of true value if, alongside them, the essence of hospitality is at the fore. Personal interactions giving reassurance to guests will be the driving force of change. New ways of doing things require explanation and guidance to ensure guests feel comfortable and confident. The new guest journey depends on the formality of traditional hospitality service.