This is the final part in a series on hospitality seating design. Click here for part two: Meetings and seating evolve with technology.
Here are seven tips to help hotels gain an edge through seating design and layout:
1. It can be difficult to tell the quality of a piece in a short time, especially for task furniture, as the important components are hidden within the piece. Little details can serve as clues for the overall quality, however, such as the softness of the upholstery or straightness of the seams.
2. Make sure you sit in a chair before you buy it. “It’s shocking how many people show interest in a chair sample and never sit in it,” said Adam Kubryk, director of sales and marketing for Global Allies. “The design of a chair is important, but clients and guests will be sitting in your banquet chairs for six to eight hours. That could mean thousands of unhappy guests or thousands of comfortable ones.”
3. Though an attractive design is important, comfort is the number one concern for guests.
4. Hotels have been designing their lobbies to act as social meeting rooms, therefore seating in these areas cannot be designed haphazardly. Hotel guests should be able to walk through the room while looking at their phone without tripping, but the layout should also be conducive to keeping guests in, going to the hotel coffee shop or bar because they are comfortable, close places.
5. Thanks to the wireless Internet connections, guests are able to work or relax anywhere using electronic devices. Hotel hallway seating options are now game for guest interaction, as are elevator banks, and rules for good posture design apply there as well.
6. Microfiber fabrics are durable and easy to clean, making them one option for hotels with a large amount of guest traffic.
7. Wood is still the most popular design element for indoor hotel seating, though brass accents are also gaining popularity as they capitalize on the warmth of wood while catching the eye.