Hotel Design: Setting the Stage
By Christian Urbat Senior Vice President, Technical Services, Americas, Carlson Rezidor | June 09, 2013
Hotels are like theaters; they require the perfect stage setup (space planning and design), the appropriate costumes (uniforms), a story to tell (menus and service sequences), and lighting that highlights the product and the experience we are producing.
Within each "theater," the flow of space is vital to the success of the concept and ultimately to the return of our guest. Flow can be seen when a person (our guest) is performing an activity and is fully immersed, energized, and focused on the enjoyment of the activity.
The stage, created by the designer, is comprised of a blend of design and functionality. On this stage, each "act" has its timing - beginning with the guest's arrival experience at the hotel's main entrance and the first greeting by the doorman. This act is followed by stepping into the hotel lobby, checking in at the front desk, viewing the guestroom for the first time, dining in any of the hotels venues, having a drink in the bar or lounge, gathering in the meeting room, and possibly indulging in a spa service (if available).
A successful guest experience is characterized by a guest having a seamless experience in our theater. Creating an environment that a guest can focus on and enjoy represents the ultimate experience. Harnessing and/or creating emotions in the service industry is nothing less than performing art.
Just like a theater, every area in a hotel requires close coordination to achieve the guest's ultimate experience from lighting, music, props, and decoration. Similarly, our success depends on the performance of our people in their roles in both the front and back of the house-including the front office agent, hostess, chef, wait staff, housekeeping, and any other associate who plays a role in contributing to the overall experience and lasting impression.
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