3 things wrong with public space design

Photo credit: supernitram//Getty Images

We’ve made it through the first month of 2018, but it’s never too late to make some new year’s resolutions, especially when it comes to your hotel's design. If you’re building a new property, renovating or starting a soft refurb, here are some promises you should make for your hotel's public spaces.

In 2018, resolve to get rid of...

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1. Worn-Out Flooring

Yes, your guests are judging your carpeting and your hardwood floors and everything about what’s under their feet. Luxury Vinyl Tile is ubiquitous these days, and it can look like hardwood planks or stone or whatever you need it to be.  “LVT allows operators to avoid the more frequent replacement and maintenance costs of carpet, ceramic tile and hardwood alternatives,” said Paul Eanes, VP of sales for Metroflor. “LVT maintenance is easier, and it wears better over time in heavy traffic areas.” Waxes, strippers and sealers are not required for LVT floors, which results in lower water consumption and fewer chemicals for cleaning. In the long run, the reduction of chemicals and water means the area’s groundwater is less likely to be contaminated.

This isn't what you want your hotel carpet to look like.
Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / joshuaraineyphotography
Carpet tiles lets hoteliers swap out old pieces for fresh ones easily.
Photo credit: Bentley

Carpet tiles have also increased in quality (and decreased in price), and make it easy to swap out worn-down sections for fresh ones as needed. (Replace worn-out or damaged tiles with pieces from the edge of a room, and putting the new tile on the perimeter where it’s less noticeable.) They are also less  

If you prefer broadloom, make sure you choose materials that are stain-resistant and easy to clean. Your ballroom may be high-tech and versatile, but coffee stains on the carpet can make the whole space look grimy, and can be a deal-breaker for plenty of event planners.

2. Awful Lighting

You have no excuse for using fluorescent lights these days. No one wants to arrive at a hotel after a long journey and be greeted by the flickering, unforgiving glare of ugly bluish lighting. Seriously, who uses fluorescents anymore?

“LED lighting offers hoteliers a significantly more efficient model over incandescent and fluorescent lighting, including a greener profile and lower maintenance and electricity costs in addition to immense versatility for customizing guests’ experiences through lighting,” said lighting designer Robert Sonneman. 

No. Just...no.
Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / kschulze

LEDs are affordable and adaptable (many can be retrofitted into older units) and they save lots of money in the long run. Best of all, LEDs come in every kind of shape and size. You want an elegant chandelier for the ballroom? No problem. Want something post-modern and funky? Lots of options. Want a nice table lamp or floor lamp for mood lighting in the evenings? Got you covered. If you’re not using LEDs at this point, you’re behind the times—and it’s costing you money.

Much cooler.
Photo credit: Meyda Custom Lighting

3. Limited Charging Options

It is a truth universally acknowledged that millennials prefer to hang out in public spaces, and they travel with lots of electronic devices. (A safe estimate is three per person.) Those devices need to be charged, and guests won’t want to wait in their guestrooms to get a full battery.

Any kind of renovation or remodeling of your public spaces should include increasing the number of outlets and USB ports. Communal tables can have charging stations right in the middle, and side tables in lounges can have ports embedded in the middle or the side.

Meeting rooms at the Borgata's Water Club in Atlantic City have charging stations in the tables.

This isn’t just convenient for guests—it will help your bottom line. When guests can charge their devices in the lobby or lounge, they’re more likely to get something to eat from the grab-and-go station or order a drink from the bar. Better yet, the more time they spend in the lobby, the more likely they are to post photos and tag your hotel. Since millennials are also more likely to book hotels based on where their friends have stayed, this publicity can be invaluable.