December 1st, 2006 | Peter Schor

Bath Trends: Bold bathroom designs can work guests into a lather

1 Dec, 2006 By: Peter Schor Hotel Design

Peter Schor

Bathroom upgrades are either part of a broad improvement program or new construction designs in the "here and now" as hotels enjoy record rates and occupancy levels. Great baths can justify or speed up the rate increases along with distinguishing a hotel from rivals.

The most important reason for the demand is guests are accustomed to showcase bathrooms at home. Many luxury hotels are making their bathrooms much bigger, replacing bathtubs with walk-in showers, adding over-head rain heads and body sprays to high-powered, code-approved conventional heads. Hilton Hotels Corp., Marriott International and the Renaissance brand have gone to shower-only rooms. Projects include the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Gensler, the architect, has teamed up with HBA/Hirsch-Bedner Associates with Kathleen Dauber as the lead interior designer, to convert 228 (40 percent) of the 570 rooms to shower only. Best Western International took a good look at its 231,000 hotel rooms and approved two Jaclo Industries showerheads for its middle to upscale properties.

Give me steam

Hot tips

Guests want "the experience" of the ocean, lakes and rivers in the privacy of their own shower, thus turning the shower experience into car washes and water slide parks. Steam baths, normally found in the fitness club or spa, are great options for the multiple-shower guest bath. Again, affluent guests want to experience "steam" in their own room, rather than sitting with strange people half-naked in the fitness steam room. These features certainly differentiate one property from another and surely guests will pay the extra cost.


Features that have become a must in hotel, timeshare and resort bathrooms are make-up and shaving magnification mirrors and lights. Guests who usually can afford a four-or five-star hotel have a high regard for being well groomed.

These mirrors come in a wide variety of installed applications—stationary wall mount, single arm and double arm, along with countertop based. The mirrors come in 3x, 5x, 7x, and 9x magnification. I highly recommend providing 3x to 5x magnification along with consulting interior design experts or manufacturers who will know your product application and come up with the best solutions. Be wary of cheap mirrors that distort the face and are very blurry. I highly recommend brands like Kimball and Young, Baci by Remcraft and Ton Jon. One of the best-kept secrets for hoteliers in bath design (and kitchens for timeshare and resorts) is the National Kitchen and Bath Assn. The NKBA has 35,000 members nationwide. You should look for certified bath designers and certified kitchen designers who can consult with deep design expertise to architectural and design firms and hoteliers. The NKBA Web site is:|~


Pro Sun's Sun Shower system uses a balanced UV spectrum to allow for a healthy tan while showering.|~



The Axor Montreux shaving mirror is available in three finishes.|~


Baci by Remcraft's M-12 countertop magnification vanity mirror features spotlight or halo-light options.|~


Kimball and Young offers a double-sided, illuminating wall mirror.|~


Moving Color's Northern Lights product line features glass tiles that change hue when heat is applied.|~


Kohler's WaterTile Rain overhead showering panel provides a soothing soak.|~

The Kimberly and Cubix Deluxe canopy showerheads from Jaclo produce a drenching-rain spray.|~

Peter Schor is a writer, lecturer, trainer and consultant.

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