One of the greatest challenges for hotels with social distancing concerns is filling up vacancies with less people. This goal can be achieved through redesigning property layouts to fit the needs of travelers during the pandemic. Here are some of the key points to know about the right approach for hotels with socially distant design remodeling plans.
Rearranging Space for Movement
One of the most important variables for achieving socially distant designed hotels is allowing for safe traffic flow that meets the guidelines of the CDC. Hotels are accordingly moving furnishings to account for typical movement patterns and touch points at a lodging facility. Hoteliers have been redesigning layouts of hotel rooms to include back-to-back furniture with guests facing outward. This arrangement makes seating density more efficient for social distancing.
Safety and Comfort
Two concepts that have been raised in the minds of travelers because of the pandemic are safety and comfort. Travelers are putting a higher priority now on cleanliness. Although hard surfaces are easy to clean, hotel experts warn that hard and cold surfaces can seem discomforting to guests. Nevertheless, many hotels are planning on layouts with less carpeting and more wood floors.
Some hotels are using stickers on floors and elevators to remind guests about social distancing. Others have added plexiglass dividers in hotel areas where guests gather such as lobbies and restaurants. Sometimes furniture is relocated to discourage gathering in lobbies. Another common social distancing plan is to separate occupied rooms so that there are vacant rooms in between.
Hotels need to be flexible enough to balance between customer satisfaction and social distancing measures. Placing private pods in a public space is a consideration for the future. Another idea is to create guest rooms with fewer touch points and more modern technology for communicating with the front desk.
Gather Guest Feedback
A major key for hotels with social distancing redesign plans is to collect as much guest feedback as possible to make sure the hotel is creating satisfaction. Travelers have always expected hotel rooms to be a home away from home, but during the pandemic expectations are even higher for safety and comfort.
Hotels need to make surveys quick and easy for guests to complete, either with hardcopy or digital versions. Simple questionnaires or instructions for giving online feedback should be available in guest rooms.
Follow Trusted Sources
Hoteliers must stay informed with trusted experts to learn about how evidence-based decisions of designs are helping the industry. One of the most informative hotel trade industry publications is Lodging, issued by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The publication regularly offers operational, design and financial insights from industry thought leaders.
Following industry leaders will help guide hoteliers toward recovery, as a covid vaccine is expected in 2021 and travel returns to earlier norms. In the future hotels will need to embrace sustainability in its designs to get the most return on its investments. It’s crucial for hotel operators to begin shifting to more sustainable designs to be more prepared when another health crisis occurs.
The concept of hotels with a socially distant design is becoming increasingly more relevant to the hospitality industry. Accommodating less people to provide more space is fundamental to this issue. Contact Nikki Fox, Nikki@ParkwestGC.com, at Parkwest General Contractors to upgrade your hotel.