Extended-stay hotel properties are tasked with providing laundry facilities for their guests, a service normally not required for the average transient traveler. As such, these hotels must find ways to keep all of their machines easily accessible to both guests and maintenance workers to fix inevitable issues, while maintaining an aesthetic appeal consistent with the rest of the property. However, utility comes foremost in these rooms’ architecture, with hotel designers emphasizing convenience, comfort and concealment first.
“The laundry rooms are designed with convenience in mind, and should also appear welcoming,” said Peter Rudewicz, Sr. director of focused service architecture & construction for Hilton Worldwide. “This can be achieved by providing soft seating or folding counters. The choices made in that space will be a direct result of the opportunities we provide for the guest, which is unique.”
To maintain an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere to a room typically full of machinery, hoteliers can hide utilities within the walls, floors and ceilings. Designers also must take safety issues into account when approaching laundry room design, as washers should be placed on a floor-mounted waterproof laundry tray to retain potential overflows or leaks.
“In a new-build construction, membrane or fluid-applied water proofing can be built directly into the floor system,” said Juliane Workley, corporate director of architecture and construction design for Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company. “This can be used to prevent incidental water from penetrating the floor system and entering into the rooms below without having to install a laundry tray first.”
The positioning of the laundry machines themselves can be simplified through the installation of a washer box, which holds the hot, cold and drain lines for the washing machines in a central source. “When coordinated early in the hotel’s design phase, the points of connection can be concealed,” Rudewicz said.
Simple visual tricks can also be used to provide obstructed views to internal laundry machine components. “There is a strategic placement that should take place for support gas lines and electrical, plumbing and venting equipment,” Rudewicz said. “Obstructing the primary view of these parts of the facility behind a wall of some kind or within the equipment, just so guests don’t see them immediately as they walk into the area, is enough to vastly improve the atmosphere of the room.”