Here is the tenth—and last—installment of HKS Hill Glazier Studio’s blog “Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests.” This month, the focus is on general hotel planning, with thoughts from Kara Hanson, Hilary Jones, and Luciano Mazza.
We hope you’ve gleaned some key design takeaways from our Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests series. There’s a constant theme woven throughout each installment: how design is driven by what the guest wants, feels, sees, touches, hears, and tastes. To avoid repeating ourselves in this final segment, we thought we’d approach it as if a guest wrote it.
- We Can’t Wait! The anticipation of going on vacation is almost as exciting as the getaway itself. The first glimpse of the property and the arrival sequence heightens that intoxicating sensation. Make it a great experience and it’ll be forever etched in our memories.
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind. We know real people work in hotels, but it can feel intrusive unless we need something. We’d rather not see and hear service trucks and loading docks, or have to dodge laundry carts and vehicles when we’re walking around.
- OMG Look at that View! We go to beautiful places to experience them in every way. Exceptional views from all vantage points within the hotel and throughout the property enhance the experience, reminding us, at every opportunity, where we are and how wonderful it feels to be there.
- I Get Around. Even at large resorts or hotels, guestrooms, amenities, and restaurants on property should be easy to find and not take too long to reach. After the first time, I should be able to find my room, the gym, pool, or the spa without my GPS.
- Paved Paradise. Large surface parking lots, at a hotel or anywhere, are just plain ugly. Hide ‘em if you can, and if you can’t, use mounding, landscape, and decorative site walls to make the cars and paving disappear.
- Why’d they put that there? A well-designed guestroom and bathroom makes us happy and comfortable. Power outlets in weird places that can’t reach my laptop or smart device for charging is annoying. Commodes placed behind doors should have enough space for easy maneuvering. Counter space, good lighting, and robe hooks make all the difference between a decent stay and one that makes us long to return.
- Do Not Disturb. We appreciate great acoustics so we don’t hear the hotel’s heating and cooling systems, guests snoring in adjoining rooms, or people yakking out in the corridor when we’re lounging or sleeping.
- Creature Comforts. As a guest on holiday or a guest on business, we still remain wired to our devices. While relaxing in the lobby lounge, library, or bar, we expect to remain connected in these spaces as well as throughout the hotel.
- Load Factor. Please don’t make us wait forever for the elevator. Take into account how many guests are likely to be staying at the hotel, and plan accordingly with the number of elevators and an appropriate cycle to ensure we don’t end up staring at the ground while waiting to head to our room or to dinner.
- Your Car Awaits You. Or do I await my car? Nothing can be more of a rally-killer than a long wait for the valet to bring your car to the entry. Study the parking circulation and means to allow the valet to reach a car in a timely fashion. We don’t want to lose the sense of excitement of the excursion or night out on the town with a prolonged wait for our car.