With the current pandemic effectively halting the global hospitality industry, hotels around the world would like nothing more than to return to business as usual. However, as the sector slowly starts reopening, it’s clear that it will be anything but business as usual with many hotels questioning just how they will be able to stay afloat while ensuring their guests’ safety.
With occupancy rates still at a record low, many hotels are using this time to re-evaluate how they can expand their current footprint to accommodate the largest number of guests while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Providing guests with access to more spaces with cleaner and fresher air will play a central role in any strategy moving forward and hotels have already started contemplating new design solutions with more open-air environments. Below are some of the key areas that will benefit from a move outdoors.
Food & Beverage: From indoor buffet to alfresco dining
One of the main touchpoints affected by the current restrictions will be the food and beverage serving areas. As a result, some hotels have already started looking at alternatives to their usual buffet service, from moving entire dining rooms outdoors to offering “anyplace dining”, allowing guests to eat anywhere in the hotel, whether that’s by the pool or in the garden.[i] Other, more structural solutions, include the introduction of bi-fold doors and windows that can quickly turn any indoor dining room into an outdoor restaurant.
Fitness & Health: From indoor gym to open air workouts
Another potential victim of the pandemic will be indoor gym facilities. While hotels will have the option to reconfigure their onsite gyms to create more space between equipment, they should also consider moving their gyms outdoors. Outdoor exercise has become a familiar sight during the pandemic and a trend that is likely to survive the lockdown. Hotels should therefore look at re-purposing some of their outdoor spaces into exercise areas, offering their guests open-air workout alternatives, whether that’s rooftop yoga or patio Pilates. This will also help hotels expand their wellness offering – a trend that is likely to receive a post-pandemic boost with guest welfare becoming paramount.
Outdoor heating for 24-hour comfort
When looking at expanding or re-purposing outdoor environments, it’s important to not neglect guest comfort. Hotels operate 24 hours, so ensuring that guests have access to outdoor spaces at any time of the day or night will be essential. Outdoor heating solutions can help. Quickly and easily installed, they’re a cost-effective solution that ensures guests are comfortable while dining, exercising or when stepping out of their room for some fresh air, whatever the time or season.
Well-designed outdoor spaces will be the key to recovery once hotels reopen. Heaters should be positioned in a way that they offer even heat distribution across both the seating and food serving areas. Another point to consider is the nature and direction of prevailing winds. Thoughtful placement of heating in areas most susceptible to ingress of cold air, using wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, suspended or portable heaters, create warm and welcoming spaces where guest can dine and relax comfortably well into the evening.
Finding a specialist with hotel experience
At Bromic we offer a range of high performance, electric, gas and portable heaters to help you maximize the potential of your outdoor space. Having worked with some of the world’s leading hotel groups, our design specialists are experts at designing the most suitable heating configuration to create the ideal atmosphere for your outdoor area. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create safe, open spaces that deliver the ultimate in guest comfort.
- On June 1, 2020