HD Talks

10 Ways to Dazzle Guests: the Guestroom Bathroom

Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Projects | 7 comments

Here is the fourth installment of HKS Hill Glazier Studio's blog "Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests." This month, the focus is on guestroom bathroom design, with thoughts from Steve Doyle, Felix Howard, and Natalie Smith.

From your first waking moment to lights out, the guestroom bathroom plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for a phenomenal guest experience. This integral, multi-use space is the true hotel chameleon, serving as both mood-setter and pure function: a private, spa-like sanctuary and place to decompress, or a highly serviceable, get-in, get-out necessity. 

Top 10 Tips for Guestroom Bathroom Design

  • Close Quarters. With tight spaces, create a comfortable and open connection between the guestroom and its bathroom for a feeling of greater spaciousness.
  • Can We Vent?  Bathroom ventilation is critical to guest comfort, in the bathroom as well as the guestroom itself. Introduce natural light and air whenever possible, and in resort settings, private outdoor showers will leave guests feeling exhilarated, refreshed, and relaxed.
  • Tea for Two. Create a focal point with the tub—use one that accommodates two people—allowing guests to soak up the atmosphere and peaceful surroundings.
  • Back-to-Back and Stack. Design guestroom bathrooms back-to-back, and stack them in multi-floor configurations, for both cost and plumbing economies. Your client will love you for it.
  • Practically Pretty. Provide spaces for standard amenities, from a make-up mirror to an outlet or robe hook. Practicality counts in vanity-space planning—smart storage spaces for personal items minimize vanity top clutter and show off the hardware, making it aesthetically pleasing and easier on housekeeping staff.
  • Lighten Up. Bathroom lighting should be functional yet tender. Provide adequate lighting to each of the main functional areas for practical matters (shaving and make-up), and make it mood-setting by the tub and view windows.
  • Got Space? Accommodating up to five fixtures in the bathroom turns the ordinary into extraordinary.
  • The Elephant in the Room. Two words: Water closet. Conceal the commode.
  • Finish First. Bathrooms should be infused with elegant, simple finishes that link them visually to guestrooms and the hotel setting. In bathroom spaces, lean toward tones and shades, textures and surfaces that are clean, fresh, and luxurious to project a bright, crisp aesthetic.
  • How Art Thou? Art and decorative objects that reinforce the hotel’s style and location has a subtle place within the bathroom, helping guests feel comfortable and connected to their surroundings.
  • The Toes Know. Adding heated flooring and heated towel racks takes comfort to a lofty level and lessens the shock on a cold winter’s night.

St Regis Punta Mita
St. Regis Punta Mita guest bathroom


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  4. I believe that you have summarised in a nutshell the requirements that visitors in a hotel or guest house would be looking for in the bathroom. In terms of design, it must follow the tips you gave, as its appearance is very important. Another important aspect is cleanliness, not only when the guests enter the room, but also during their stay. Apart from the bed, the bathroom is the second item that tourists comment most about on feedback websites, and if the hotel gets this room wrong, it is in for a long list of negative feedback.