• A Guide to Hotel Design Pt 18: Reception – Make it a Profit Centre

    The prime rôle of the Reception area is to welcome guests. It can also offer ways of making additional engagement with the local community to the commercial advantage of the hotel. Design can enhance this relationship by making areas around Reception work as almost community spaces.

    Design alone of course cannot make the space activate in this way, it needs operational criteria to fall into place. There are some very good examples of where the two mesh to give an impressive increase in income with very little effort.

    Important in this is of course the design criteria given to the interior designer at the beginning of the project, and a key part of this is knowing the hotel’s local market. If the hotel is on a transport interchange, can it attract waiting passengers into its areas for relaxation and drinks? Can it act as a meeting point for families? Should it mesh with the local business community, and if so in what way? All these considerations can affect the design of the public areas.

    Around Heathrow Airport there are a myriad of hotels, for many hotel groups representing their most profitable properties. In many of these, there is a wide selection of meeting spaces allowing businesses to gather their staff for the day. It can be easy for a person in Munich to meet with colleagues from Sweden and Portugal for a day by flying into Heathrow for a face-to-face meeting in an airport hotel, and flying home again the same day.

    With its network of routes, reaching across the globe, Heathrow is not just a travel terminal but also a node on the global communications Network. With the increasing use of high speed rail it may be that hotels such as the new Renaissance St. Pancras may service the same sort of market