Less than 10 years ago, bathroom design and amenities were at the low end of the top 10 things guests look for in the hotel experience.
Within the last 5 years, this has all changed and expectations have changed dramatically. The hotel bathroom experience is now within the top 3 of what guests look for in a hotel room and it is a lot more than just good water pressure! It has become more than a functional space; it is now seen as a place to relax, a retreat where guests can truly unwind. There is a high level of expectation among guests for an "experience" that is better than what can be found at home.
Hotel designers are responding in several ways, in particular by opening up closed and cluttered bathrooms through increasing the levels of light and space to create the ideal ambience.
The drive to create additional space within existing boundaries has been working in harmony with the opening up of buildings to provide more light. There are several methods being employed to achieve this, none more popular than the increasing trend to remove walls. Wall partitioning within guest rooms diminishes both light and space but has been seen as necessary for bathroom privacy. A number of hotels have responded by installing modesty glass that allows light to pass through while maintaining a level of privacy.
SmartGlass International has further developed this thought with the installation of LC SmartGlass. LC SmartGlass is an electronically switchable surface that changes from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch, which is sometimes known as the “peek-a-boo effect”. This not only lets more light into the hotel bathroom but also gives the impression of more space. It is only when the bathroom is in use that the glass is employed in its opaque and private state.
Designers are also increasing space by combining bathroom products with the bathroom turning into a hybrid area which eliminates clutter. Thus a material like LC SmartGlass combines the functionality of an opaque wall with the style and lighting of clear glass. With glass being inherently thin, designers are turning ever more toward it to save space and inject style. This use of glass ties in with the prevailing trend of hotels pursuing clean, minimalist styles in room design.
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