After many months of business closure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the U.S., most businesses are now adapting to the new normal. They are gradually yet cautiously opening their doors with strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety measures. Due to the federal government’s stay-at-home directive, the leisure and hospitality industry, including boutique hotels, remains the most affected, as reported by Statista. Boutique hotels offer a luxurious, comfortable, and quiet experience to customers within a small space that also allows interactions. While this is awesome, the small space is now a potential spreading ground for COVID-19. Here’s a look at how boutique hotels are balancing design and safety.
One of the features that give boutique hotels a competitive edge is their emphasis on personal connection. While the pandemic has greatly sabotaged that, the new design features can still enhance connection without risking your health. To achieve this, design experts now recommend creating personal zones for about two or four people in the public space, which give more room for safety while maintaining personal connections. Additionally, spacing out furniture and installing decorative screens can also come in handy. Other design fixes include, among others:
- Adding indoor plants – Generally, the presence of plants in a hotel indicates a clean environment, which is what every customer needs in a boutique hotel.
- Maximizing outdoor space – For more breathing room, most customers now prefer staying in the outdoor space during interactions. This means that creating a bigger outdoor space is better than having an indoor lobby, which will most likely be unsafe.
- Creating video-conferencing studios – In this era where all meetings take place via video conferencing, your customers can probably be satisfied through such interactions. While this may not be a long-term trend, it can enhance safety during the pandemic.
- Using easy-to-sanitized materials on furniture – Since sanitation is key during the pandemic, having easy to sanitize fabrics is a perfect idea. Furthermore, you should consider moving desks and seats near windows for improved air circulation.
- Dividing tables using sheets – To maintain a personal connection among customers while ensuring safety, experts recommend using HEPA filters and plexiglass dividers on desks to prevent direct contact. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends using HEPA air cleaners in the HVAC system for ventilation purposes.
Apart from the physical design changes, most boutique hotel managements are opting for the online sale of their food and beverages. However, even amid such challenges, hoteliers are optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccine will enable personal interactions again.
These are some of the new changes in the design of boutique hotels that enhance workplace health and safety during COVID-19. These changes, whether temporary or permanent, play an important role in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in an interactive world. For answers to questions about boutique hotel redesign, contact Nikki Fox at Parkwest General Contractors at Nikki@ParkwestCG.com. Our experienced team is ready to guide you toward an innovative hotel construction project.