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                                                                               It’s a rare, jaded and overtired guest
                                                                               who can resist a curious peep into the
                                                                               bathroom on arrival in a new room. This
                                                                               is a split-second opportunity to create
                                                                               a first impression that may outlast
                                                                               even the swishest lobby. Claire Rigby
                                                                               researches the latest innovations.

                                                                            ‘so there’s plenty of room for your razor and your toothpaste
                                                                            and your shaving cream, your colognes and so on; and we’ve
                                                                            also raised the sink so that you’re not hunched over it and
                                                       Philippe Starck’s    feeling uncomfortable as you wash.’
                                                      bathroom for the
                                                    Sanderson, London.
                                                                            The ‘wow factor’
                                                                            ‘You can tell so much about a hotel from its bathrooms,’ says

                   hen it comes to luxury bathrooms, gold taps are          Francois Bertrand, the designer responsible for the Manchester
                   probably still considered the gold standard – though     Hilton’s sleek, contemporary bedrooms, and bathrooms for
                   Antonio Citterio has rewritten the standard with his     Jestico + Whiles. ‘It’s like when you go to a restaurant: if
       platinum fittings for Hansgrohe. But with hot-tubs on balconies      the toilets are clean and orderly, you feel you are in a nice
       overlooking snowy mountain peaks, outdoor showers with               environment.’ From basic conundrums like finding beautiful
       to-die-for views of tropical panoramas, private gardens and          materials capable of delivering ultra-cleanliness and durability,
       dedicated soundtracks piped in from complimentary MP3                to the quest for enhanced functionality – fast, abundant water
       players, deluxe hotels are finding ceaselessly inventive ways to
       amaze and delight their guests in the bathroom, and ramping          ‘NO MATTER HOW GLITZY THE
       up the haute-design factor with the help and influence of
       superstar practitioners like Philippe Starck, Ron Arad and
                                                                            BATHROOM IS, YOU LET YOURSELF
       Marcel Wanders.                                                      DOWN IF YOU USE CHEAP SUPPLIES.’
          Height-of-comfort amenities like powerful massage                 Iain McGuigan, Leeds Park Plaza
       showerheads, underfloor heating and TV while you wash are
       becoming more common, and hoteliers are turning to inventive         in showers; quick drain-away in sinks; considerate lighting that
       design and use of space – oversized bathrooms, showers that          makes grooming a pleasure – if you can then inject a touch of
       jut into rooms, baths set alongside beds – to suggest superior       ‘wow factor’, explains Bertrand, then you’ll have a bathroom
       luxury. One of the most recent trends is for bathrooms to emulate    that guests can use with pleasure.
       the spas that high-end hotel guests have come to expect, with           ‘We try to create a bathroom that is a bit different from what
       spa baths fitted with relaxing bubbles and warm jets, and fine       people have at home,’ he says. ‘There will be more fittings,
       beauty products replacing mass-produced mini-toiletries.             for a start, and a feel of luxury that perhaps they don’t have
          Typical of the latter is Starwood Hotels’ aloft chain, in which   in their own bathrooms – the way the bathroom is dressed,
       ultra-chic ‘bliss’ spa products are not only placed in guest         how the towel is arranged. We might design boxes in which
       bathrooms, but appear in an eco-friendly, fashion-forward            the towels or bath products are displayed a bit like they might
       guise in refillable containers instead of fussy little packets.      be in a shop.’ Heightening the luxury becomes an even more
       And with ample counter space another key to good bathroom            pressing matter when a bathroom is part of a presidential suite
       design, the refillable units have the added benefit of removing      or penthouse, as in Bertrand’s deluxe Hilton bathrooms, in
       clutter from the bathroom, says Brian McGuinness, aloft’s            which slick black marble walls contrast with the bright white
       vice-president. ‘We’ve done an oversized vanity unit,’ he adds,      dazzle of a pear-shaped stone bath.

60 hotel management international                                                           
                                                                                             Letting light in
                                                                                             At aloft, targeting the business traveller, they’ve done away with
                                      PLATE MATE                            ™                baths altogether, but compensate for this with a generous 3’ by
                                                                                             5’ area complete with a radio and overhead power shower. ‘The
                                                                                             shower is also very bright,’ says McGuinness, ‘because we put
                                      Do you have a space                                    a clear glass door on the shower and installed recessed lighting
                                      problem in your kitchen?                               lightisalmostalwaysatapremiuminhotelbathroomsastheyare

                                                                                                                                                   Francois Bertrand-
                                                                                                                                                   bathrooms for
                                                                                                                                                   Jestico & Whiles
                                                                                                                                                   in the Hotel Riva,
                                                                                                                                                   Hvar, Croatia.

                              PLATE MATE™
                              has the solution.

                                                                                                Philippe Starck was one of the first to open the lines of sight
                                                                                             must in glass bathrooms for obvious reasons; but partitioning the
             The PLATE MATE™                              The space, labour,                 allowstwopeopletoabluteincompanionablecomfort.
               Plate/Tray Rack                         time and money saver.
                   system                              It speeds service, too!               Remember the basics
                                                                                             Innovative bathroom design may wow the guests, but, says Iain
           From 6 up to 168 plates or bowls of any shape or size.                            McGuigan,GMattheLeedsParkPlazahotel,UK,there’slittlepoint

                                                                  in going to great expense in pursuit of the wow factor when you
                                    Corporate Headquarters:                                     ‘I’m always surprised at how many hotel chains put cheap
                                    H O R E N A Tr a d i n g H o l l a n d B V               toilet paper in their bathrooms,’ he says. ‘No matter how glitzy
                                    Plate Mate, plate rack systems                           thebathroomis,youletyourselfdownifyouusecheapsupplies.
                                    Engelenburgstraat 23                                     Customersdon’tbuythatqualityforthemselvesathome,andit’s
                                    7391 AM TWELLO, The Netherlands
                                    Phone: +31 (0) 571 275 558
                                    Fa x : + 3 1 ( 0 ) 5 7 1 2 7 5 2 5 9                     youstartthinkingaboutamazingtheguestswiththedetailsthatgo
                                    Email:                              towardsmakingabathroomlookreallyfantastic.’hmi

HMI030_024.indd 1 hotel   management international                       15/3/07 15:19:23                            

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