“The first function of a fire pit is as a meeting place for outdoor areas,” said Antonio Navarro, creative director for Kettal, a designer of outdoor seating and furniture. “There is a lot of tradition in central Europe and other countries centering around fire and fire pits. It is a great fixture to capitalize on, but in hotels, they can be difficult to manage as the hotel needs to control the fire and watch for the safety of guests.”
Barbara Keller, trade liaison for Outdoor Elegance, recommends using materials such as metals—designed to imitate wood—around a fire pit to keep a natural tone. “Use materials that are not too heavy but also not easily chipped,” Keller said. “Furniture falls over frequently outside, and hotels don’t want the furniture to damage itself by naturally falling.”
Tom Healy, co-founder and GM of Spark Modern Fires, said that all hotels should have a contingency in place for windy or rainy days so that guests can still be comfortable regardless of weather. Another concern from Healy’s standpoint: when hotels do not properly research the location of their intended fire pits. If badly measured, a fire pit may be placed too far away from seating and there will be no heat delivered to the guest; likewise, if the pit is situated too close to the guest, it will repel them. “You won’t get anyone to sit in a place that is too hot, with sparks flying at them,” Healy said.