A key feature of the upcoming Independent Hotel Show will be The Inclusive Hotel Room, an immersive showcase of concepts and materials designed to welcome each and every guest equally. Peter Turner, Managing Director of design studio Cocoon & Bauer, gives us a sneak preview of the room’s design ahead of the show…
The mission statement of The Inclusive Hotel Room at the Independent Hotel Show, conceived and designed by Cocoon & Bauer, is to showcase how thoughtful, intelligent design can prevent sensory overwhelm and create truly welcoming, inclusive and sustainable spaces for guests. Some hoteliers might think that the word inclusivity is at odds with the concept of quality, high-end design – a compromise for the sake of practicality – but Peter Turner argues that designing for neurodiversity in guests employs many of the same subconscious cues used in every aspect of hospitality design.
“Small, barely noticeable touches can make a huge difference to how someone with a condition such as ADHD, Dyspraxia or Autism experiences a space,” explained Turner. “Changing the colour of the floor from the bed to the rest of the room, for example, can help with spatial awareness, while clear partitions between areas of the room can clearly signpost their function, for example a hair-drying station. You can put these ideas in place and drip feed them in and they won’t affect the overall look and feel.”
The Inclusive Hotel Room will demonstrate a number of these deceptively simple concepts, including the use of solid colours to reduce the visual overwhelm of a space and incorporating biophilic design for a natural, calming ambience. The focus on inclusivity ties into the larger trend of wellbeing in the hotel sector, which has been an increasingly important part of hotel design and customer experience following the pandemic. Everything from lighting to materials to sound-scaping to food & drink play a unique role in the guest’s experience of a hotel, and the room is by far the epicentre of the trend.
Like many contemporary design projects, sustainability was a key consideration for the Cocoon & Bauer team as they planned The Inclusive Hotel Room. All of the materials used are either recycled or will be recycled or reused post event and the supplier partners, from F&B to toiletries to bedding to furniture, are businesses that put sustainability concerns front and centre.
To learn more about everything on offer at Independent Hotel Show 2022, head to the IHS website.
Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show