Hotel FF&E: What's Hot & What's Not
By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | May 06, 2010
High tech, high touch, and high energy continue to characterize the hotel industry - owners are designing and furnishing their properties to keep guests comfortable, efficient, and coming back.
Let's look at what this means for your furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) decisions as you plan new construction and renovation projects in 2008.
Things To Remember
The hotel is a destination - it's a place that travelers go to seal a business deal, to attend a grand social event or great conference, or to find love. Visitors want to escape from the ordinary, while being reminded of the familiar. For hoteliers, this means delivering a balance of exotic luxury and "down home" comfort. Public space and guest rooms must at the same time be intimate and inspiring, cozy and elegant, personal and connected to the world.
Emotional connections lead to loyalty - and loyalty leads to increased profitability. Hoteliers have been enhancing guest rooms for years with high-end bed linens and high-tech gadgets, however, now they're reaching out to touch guests in lobbies and hallways with dramatic artwork, piped in music, and even subtle scents. Examples of an emotionally-connected environment include:
- "romantic" which can be achieved with water features such as lighted ponds or fountains, while soft lighting simulates sunset or moonlight
- "the outdoors" which can be evoked with rustic materials such as brick, stone, wood, leather, or copper, while further accenting the mood with the texture of draperies, upholstery fabrics, and carpeting
- "the future" which can be created through the use of curved spaces in which the floor blends seamlessly into built-in furniture and into the ceiling, while using elegant modern materials such as marble, tile, and glass
- "mysterious" which can be evoked by with hidden courtyards and niches plus with creative use of corners, light, and shadow
- "adventurous" which can be achieved with glass elevators, a dramatic two-story lobby, a sweeping stairway with multiple landings, or a large courtyard that's inviting without being intimidating
- "historical" which can be achieved by using arches, columns, sculpture, grand wall murals, and other architectural enhancements