Boutique Hotel Design: The Do's & Don'ts
Boutique hotels are all about being individual and luxurious, and therefore their interior design is what will either make or break them. Being an oasis of relaxation in a bustling tourist hub of a city, you want to invite your customers in with detail, quality, intimacy and, to a certain extent, eccentricity.
Boutique hotels need to ultimately be individual so that they can distinguish themselves from larger hotel chains. There may be many a hotel for sale but it is the design that ultimately defines the site. Whether it is a 'story' of the hotel's history, or a Disney-inspired concept piece, they will enable you to place your own stamp on the business, as long as you do it correctly.
One of the major problems that property owners face when they want to go into the boutique hotel business is using their heart over their head when it comes to design principles.You should never use your own personal taste palate as a basis, and instead put yourself in the mentality of what the customer would require and desire. By researching into your main customer base, formulate a design brief to suit them and not yourself.
This design brief is particularly important as, like any business plan, it will ensure that the design process of your hotel will run smoothly. The brief must cover everything such as general style, themes, concepts, individual room types and any requirements in bedrooms. By spending your time early on planning ahead, you can save a lot of money and time in the future, as you will not be tempted to go off tangent from the core values of your business.
The final tip to consider is that you should try and not cut costs for the sake of it. Many owners will try and avoid investing money into lighting or furniture, but these are the aspects which will create the perfect ambiance for your customers. Remember, you do not just want to attract customers, you want them to then come back. Furthermore, using cheap furnishings will only mean that you have to replace them in two to three years' time.
Taking your customers on a journey
When formulating your design brief, it is important to consider the 'journey' your customers will go on while staying. As soon as your guests have arrived, the reception desk needs to be a prime focus with first impressions being everything. Whether it is good lighting or suitable seating for those who are waiting, the reception area is key.
The next part of the journey will be the corridors and lifts, both of which need to be spacious and feature sufficient signage. Corridors need to particularly be robust so that they can handle the daily dragging of suitcases and customers, so adopt top-quality carpets and fabric-backed wall covering.
Then naturally comes the importance of the bedroom itself. These days, these rooms are not just where someone sleeps but also a place where they may dine, relax and work. Comfortable beds ensure a good night's rest, and guests expect a 'spa experience' in the bathroom, so consider baths with a view or an eternal shower.
Consider all of these principles and you may soon see a flock of customers waiting to get into your hotel!
September 25th, 2013