The past two years have proved to be a survival guide for all of us. All the business sectors and industries are faced with the challenge to revamp themselves and the way business is done. The hospitality industry is no different. Some of the major damages have been done to this industry due to travel bans, curfew zones, and an overall shut down of hotels, restaurants, bars.
With the pandemic all along, the times have forced all of us to change and bring in a flexible lifestyle that incorporates well with these challenges.
The architecture industry and interior designers have been looking at various ways to incorporate the fluctuating demands in the hospitality industry. Interior design and curation certainly help with the social distancing norms, contactless delivery and services, flexible and personalised design spaces that cater to a wider audience.
From airports to hotels to restaurants are redefining what the traditional sit and eat pattern of design had inculcated and changed their interiors to serve a safe and more attractive curation. Covid 19 has certainly changed peoples priorities on work and leisure. A shift towards self contains, hygienic and flexible spaces are the story of today’s hospitality sectors.
Here are some of the ways the hospitality sector has changed its interiors with COVID-19:
THE LOCAL TOUCH
Home inspired interiors in hotels are highly demanded
The interiors of the hospitality sector have been shifting toward a more active local neighbourhood operation. The interiors are more driven towards attracting a global and local customer base altogether. With the work from home scenario, hotels have changed their traditional vocational and extravagant interiors into a more home-based and relaxing space. These personalised spaces have facilities ranging from common meeting and conference centres to rooms that resemble the work from home offices that many people are now working from. These changes give an edge to the hospitality industry with 24-hour service and flexible purposeful functionality.
Technology meets functionality during COVID-19
The touch of technology has truly changed the face of the hospitality industry. The newer incorporations with the internet of things have led to massive interior changes in hotels, restaurants, airports and hospitals. From contactless delivery services to remote ordering and social distancing norms the aid of technology has welcomed these alternatives.
Sanitary rooms, illuminated rooms with wayfinding devices, screening and digital modes of functioning like digital payments and flexible check-ins and bookings all these substitutes are all essential for a display of the modern workforce and travellers.
Multifunctional layout lobby plans
Multifunctional spaces mean incorporating different professional activities and centres in a common space that caters to a wider audience. Common lobbies are changing into sanitation centres and automated voice technologies, guiding people. Bedrooms in the hotels have a more flexible and multifunctional space design with work desks and small workout and gym or meditational corners.
Spaces are smartly divided into curating a much better and wider functioning. Changes that have been brought by Covid has led to space plans that are divided, spatial distancing plans, and catering to more diverse customers, local to international. Secure spaces with a wider range of amenities are the new interior design layout.
COVID-19 Norms followed during business hours
The interior designs are predicting the incorporation of technology and sanitation on a much bigger scale. Clean and refined air ventilation and cleaning systems are the new types of machinery that are being demanded. What is luxury has been increasingly redefined. Biophilic designs that give the interiors a breath of freshness and calm designs are popular. Secure and sanitised rooms, heating and cleaning systems, in-room services, wellness centres are being incorporated. Among the benefits offered by new technology are density and opt-in temperature monitoring, self-cleaning surfaces, and independent air conditioning systems for bedrooms and other areas.
TAPPING ON OPEN SPACES
Open space cafes are popular in 2022
Open spaces are being utilised in a business savvy way. Restaurants have incorporated open spaces as open seating plans with the local view and utilisation of natural lighting and themes that attract more customers. Open spaces can very well function with social distancing norms and are a change to our restricted travels and work life.
Open spaces are also the roofing spaces that includes the vertical interiors. Roofing plans are more coherent and diverse, with the use of alternate energy sources like solar panels, open vegetable gardens and herb gardens adding greenery in the building and making a perfect blend of biophilic designs and open spaces. With beautiful terraces and sky lounges, hotels are utilising their open space plans differently. Green roofs can provide aesthetics and functionality altogether.
VIRTUAL ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Virtual Reality tour
Virtual engagement opportunities while there is a ban on travel is a sight for sore eyes. Travellers around the world are tapping into newer opportunities like virtual visits using VR technology and Artificial Intelligence. The hospitality industry is commonly utilising such technologies to promote their destinations and redefine what is known as digital marketing. Virtual engagements are the more futuristic option to travel. with it, the general public can see the art collections and spaces, travel destinations, play and travel all along. Hotels have incorporated such services to their guests and given them virtual tours of augmented reality and 3D space experiences in lieu of sitting at homes.
FLEXIBLE USE OF SPACE
Flexible guest room designs
Flexibility and adaptability are key considerations in hospitality interior design. hotels are being reinvented for “emergency design” interventions, by transforming spaces for medical use and isolation shelter amid COVID-19. Other spaces within hotels, such as lobbies and amenities, should be transformable to accommodate any future threat. Public bathrooms, for example, could be used as “wellness rooms” with showers, nursing areas, cleaning areas, and more.
As we reimagine the future of hotels, guestrooms might be one of the most important spaces to consider. Guestrooms need to be flexible enough to allow people to realize multiple activities within the same space — from working to resting, eating, exercising, or gathering with friends and family. Common spaces will also need to transform to mitigate risks, but still, bring people together. Hotels will continue to be beacons of the community as they engage and welcome back their communities long after the COVID-19 crisis.