This is part three in a series on breakfast space design. Click here for part two: Grab-and-go vs. buffet design.
In May, La Quinta opened its first Del Sol prototype hotel in College Station, Texas. The prototype will become the de facto design for all La Quinta hotels with more than 90 rooms going forward. Designed to make the most of limited space, the Del Sol prototype has a “Great Room” rather than a lobby that serves as a breakfast space in the morning. Guests can walk through a pantry just off the larger room to pick up both hot and cold breakfast items, and then return through another door back into the Great Room (preventing congestion and easing traffic flow).
“By incorporating the breakfast space into the Great Room, we created an area that would work well for our guests during breakfast where they could sit and dine and work just as well as a social gathering space for the remaining 20 hours each day,” said Murry Cathlina, EVP design & construction at L.Q. Management.
Functionality and aesthetics, he continued, were the top considerations the team used when creating the prototype, including the breakfast space. “The breakfast serving area is large enough so that it flows well during peak breakfast hours,” he noted, adding that the proximity of the pantry to the serving area lets the breakfast attendant refill the food offerings without affecting the flow of traffic.
Cathlina designed the serving area with large sliding pockets doors to allow the area to be completely closed off from the seating area. When these doors are closed, all breakfast equipment and serving items are no longer visible to guests, and the dining area becomes a seating area.
Cathlina selected a variety of different seating choices. “Some people prefer to sit at the counter-height communal table, which allows them to use a laptop or tablet device while seated,” he said. “Others prefer lounge seating for a more relaxed breakfast.”
Breakfast areas, he added, have evolved from being an afterthought where diner-style tables and chairs were lined up like a cafeteria to a more comfortable, relaxed space where guests can eat, socialize, work or rest any time of the day.