Hotels operators get design involved


The Hilton Newark Airport Hotel’s
The Hilton Newark Airport Hotel’s bedside desks have a shape that allows for storage beneath them while allowing the guest easy access to the electrical outlets above.


Patricia Miller, VP, managing director and corporate director of hospitality at Leo A Daly, believes that more hotel operators are becoming involved in the design process, relating to their own travel experiences and using that as inspiration to improve the items going into their properties.

“Hotels understand now to stay away from being trendy,” Miller said. “If a hotel changes flags or the brand does a soft goods renovation, everything must go. But in most cases the casegoods stay, and they are kept anywhere from eight to 12 years.”

According to Michael Suomi, principal and VP, interior design, at Stonehill & Taylor, the safest bet for hotels is to pick a classic design, or something that distances itself from trends while remaining distinctive. 

“Solid wood finishes have always been preferable to laminates for casegoods,” Suomi said. “However, in areas that experience wear and tear, or in the select service segment, laminates have been the standard.”

Suomi also believes it is effective to mix and match woods with laminates, often in the same piece. “Today, laminates can closely mimic natural woods, and for many projects we have been using a mixture of the two,” he said. “We choose a laminate that fits the design of the casegood, and then match a wood to that laminate and use it in those parts of the piece that are unlikely to get damaged.”

“Clients often want their hotel to reflect the local culture, and this is true of casegoods as well,” Miller said.

Miller sees this most often in independent or boutique properties, as well as hotels that are allowed to deviate slightly from their brand.

“The modern look is still in, but many clients are still searching for an eclectic look,” Miller said. “Texture such as basket weaves and moving parts, alternatives to basic knobs catch the eye. Clients today are trying to be more sophisticated, and they want to have what the guest might see at home, but at a higher quality.”

➔  8 to 12 years

The average length of time casegoods are expected to last in a hospitality setting.

Source: Leo A Daly

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