By Andres Osorio
According to a recent study, 66% of us spend 30 to 60 minutes a day in the bathroom. Which means that it’s even more popular than the gym these days.
Hotels have taken notice and are investing heavily in bathrooms, which also happen to be one of the most expensive rooms to design. To contour this, keeping the overall guestroom cost down, designers have resorted to quality cost-efficient materials, as well as optimum space integration without sacrificing quality and the feeling of luxury. Actually, in many instances; the comfort, function, and luxury have increased, while reducing the cost footprint.
Some say bathrooms will get bigger, while others forecast that they will get smaller. Whatever the majority outcome, guestrooms themselves will become smaller and more cost-efficient. Hotel revenues are way behind what they used to be, so developers and hoteliers are finding ways to cut costs, while maintaining or increasing service quality. A strong measure of quality is precisely the bathroom, since most guests primarily use a hotel for sleep and rest, which puts a strong focus on the bed and the bathroom, where they can start the day fresh or wind down after a hard day’s work or a full vacation day. All in all, spa-like bathrooms are being adopted, with rain shower heads, beautiful views, and even custom lighting and music.
To maximize space, there are various examples of how to blend the bathroom into the room seamlessly, without the need for a traditional division. These range from convenient sliding doors joining/separating the space, linking stairways with half-floors, to simply having a bathtub right next to your bed. Just be careful not to fall into the tub while asleep. That could be too wet of an affair. Some guest rooms even include a small fridge next to the tub, so you can grab a cool drink, while you quite literally soak in the skyline from your window view.
Having bathroom elements or a full bathroom as an integral part of the guestroom, instead of as a section, has become especially popular due to developer’s needs for maximizing the allocated guestroom area while still providing all the amenities expected of a 4 or 5-star hotel. And if you’re worried about privacy, retractable screens are a great way to solve the issue.
Personally, when working on the St. Regis Bermuda, our design aimed to integrate the guestroom with an “open bathroom”, while still experiencing the expansive outdoor terraces, blending the bathroom experience with the exterior views. For example, you could be relaxing in the tub or using the vanities while enjoying the beautiful vistas. It also enhanced the feeling of space, making everything seem more spacious. Although there were sections that always remained private, including the toilet and shower, which had more limited views. All this together played to the resort environment, which is expansive in nature.
The “bathroom in the room” trend can be a win-win for hotels and guests alike, saving in costs for the former and allowing for greater convenience and feeling of space for the later. Just mind your step and don’t trip over the tub.