HD Talks


Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Projects | 1 comment

Here is the sixth installment of HKS Hill Glazier Studio's blog "Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests." This month, the focus is on pool design, with thoughts from Regan Holt, Ryan Doone, and Mike Menefee. 

Whether on a tropical island, urban rooftop, or basement floor, the hotel pool is one hospitality design niche where it definitely pays to know your audience. Everyone knows that pools and poolscapes are costly to build and maintain; understanding how much this amenity will be used and enjoyed by guests is fundamental to the design concept. An unforgettable pool experience is a given at resorts and family vacation hotels; on the flip side, at an airport hotel frequented by business travelers, perhaps an exercise-oriented pool is just right. Always consider the hotel setting and guest profile before diving in. 

  • Scene and Be Seen. Get creative and deliver the “wow”—make it a cool, hip, and unique environment. An inspired poolside scene where people want to hang out not only makes the vacation highlight reel, a cool pool can become a property’s star amenity.
  • Outta Sight. Incorporate day-use cabanas in the pool deck design. Cabanas should have power and Internet connectivity and, to go the extra mile, plumbing for showering. Make sure to provide a suitable level of privacy around cabanas and chaise lounge areas.      
  • To Infinity and Beyond? If the location and setting allow, an infinity or negative edge pool takes views from amazing to dramatic—but not every pool needs an infinity edge. If there’s no horizon line to match, skip it and focus on integrating the pool and its shape with the surroundings, setting, views, landscape, and other complementary qualities. 
  • Child’s Play. Incorporate shallow or beach areas within the pool or as a stand-alone offering, which is great for lounging in the sun while the kids play.
  • Put the “Fun” in Function. The pool area should function as a multi-purpose venue for parties, celebrations, fun, and relaxation.   
  • Let’s Cut to the Chaise. Different hotel operators have varying chaise lounge suppliers and requirements. Be sure to know your operator’s prerequisites for space-planning purposes.
  • At Your Service. Ensure pool areas are well-connected to food and beverage venues and service.  Provide dedicated restrooms for pool guests, as well as towel dispensaries at convenient and visible positions on the way from the hotel to the pool.
  • Just Go With The Flow. Perimeter-overflow pools, also known as wet edge pools, create a sleek, disappearing edge sitting level with the pool deck, unifying deck and water in one smooth, unbroken surface. Besides crafting a beautifully modern statement, overflow channels allow quicker spillover of surface water than do skimming systems, creating better water quality through faster filtration and removal of contaminants and pathogens, which can be harmful to guests’ health. 
  • Sky High. Rooftop pools offer your guests an unbelievable experience at any given height.  Seclusion, vistas, and exclusivity are all elements that provide a memorable rooftop pool experience. If you go topside, take the time to invest in the proper research into waterproofing, providing redundant systems and understanding the mechanical systems required. Make sure to mitigate the acoustic impact to guestrooms and hotel functions beneath the pool’s structure.
  • Saline Solution. We’ve all experienced the burning sensation and red-rimmed eyes or unpleasant odors associated with chloramines, the irritant commonly associated with chlorine pools. Some owners and operators are choosing saltwater pools to accommodate guests with chlorine sensitivities. Because saltwater systems produce chlorine naturally, they don’t need additional, traditional pool chemicals, such as stabilizers or algaecides. The chlorine levels in saltwater pools are lower, reducing the occurrence of chlorine-sensitive allergies. Before you jump in, make sure to check the local pool building regulations—due to salinization issues, saltwater pool systems have been outlawed in some areas in the U.S. and around the globe. 


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