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  • In Conversation With: Amtico’s hotel specialist, Sarah Thorpe

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    In Conversation With: Amtico’s hotel specialist, Sarah Thorpe

    Covid-19 has presented everyone with new and difficult challenges, but the hotel and hospitality sectors have been particularly hard hit. Sarah Thorpe, one of Amtico’s hotel specialists, sat down with Hotel Designs to talk about some of the hot topics affecting industry designers and specifiers…

    Hotel Designs: What are some of the long-lasting effects of Covid-19 on hoteliers and the decisions they make?

    Sarah Thrope: Obviously it’s been a tough 12 months for the hotel industry globally, both for small, independent hotel owners and international household name operators. Guest experience has always been paramount, and this is only going to become more of a focus in 2021. Despite the uncertainty, we have seen companies and individuals using this time to renovate and refurbish – much like homeowners!

    The decisions owners and operators are having to make are far reaching, with social distancing, hygiene and safety being common topics of conversation. Everything is being reviewed, right down to the choice of surfaces.

    HD: Picking up on surfaces, what changes are you seeing there?

    ST: Soft, tactile fabrics and furnishings have long been the go-to for hotel designers, as they complement hard surfaces such as marble for a luxurious feel.

    However, some of these just are not practical in a world where you’ve got to be able to sanitise everything on a regular basis. Porous natural materials are at risk of damage from harsh cleaning agents, while soft fibrous materials such as carpet attract dust and particles so can be more difficult to keep clean.

    Hard floors such as LVT (luxury vinyl tile) allow for a quicker, more straightforward clean, and are durable enough to withstand even chemical cleaning. Choosing LVT with advanced antimicrobial technology provides demonstrable hygiene benefits and provides peace of mind for specifiers.

    To help soften the feel, pair LVT with rugs that can easily be moved and sanitised so as not to sacrifice that reassuring home from home feel – after all, no-one wants to stay in a clinical environment!

    HD: A visit to a hotel can be seen as a source of escapism, and the various lockdowns mean that long-anticipated stays away will mean so much more to guests. Just how important are interior schemes to enhancing that guest experience?

    ST: Whether it’s a business trip, a well-earned weekend break without the kids, or your annual fortnight away, the experience starts from the moment you open that brochure or visit the website. Walking through the doors for the first time and into a homely reception or grand lobby, sets the tone for the stay – those first impressions count!

    It’s all about the senses and how they’re stimulated – colour, texture and smell all play their part. Designers are constantly being challenged to come up with new, innovative designs, but these don’t need to break the bank.

    Speak to manufacturers and suppliers with in-house teams who can provide support. Amtico has design and CAD specialists who will help with everything from moodboards through to bespoke colours, motifs and layouts. Or try our Designers’ Choice collection of laying patterns which can easily be customised to suit your scheme.

    Since you’re here, why not read Amtico’s industry insight on how you can elevate the guest experience with flooring?

    HD: Safety in all public spaces is a hot topic. How can flooring choice contribute to achieving safety standards?

    ST: Most people associate safety floors with utilitarian back-of-house sheet or rubber flooring and wouldn’t dream of specifying a safety floor for customer-facing areas. The new generation of safety LVT means that means safety doesn’t automatically have to mean sheet. Natural and authentic looking woods and stones allow designers and specifiers to enjoy the best of both worlds – aesthetics and performance.

    Amtico’s 36+ safety LVT colourways look just like their standard Signature and Spacia counterparts, so they can easily be used together in schemes. Amtico 36+ provides sustainable slip resistance for the life of the floor, and can even be specified in Parquet, making, it an obvious choice for higher traffic or slip-risk areas such as lobbies, corridors and bathrooms.

    HD: What about acoustics?

    ST: There’s nothing like waking up refreshed after a great night’s sleep. Yes, a great bed has a lot to do with it, but so does not hearing the guests in the room above you.

    By choosing flooring with sound reducing properties, transference between floors can be reduced by anything from 15-20 dB, perfect for bedrooms, corridors and communal areas. Amtico’s integrated acoustic backing allows specifiers to combine ease of cleaning and maintenance with sound reduction properties in a single product. 

    HD: Is sustainability still a primary concern for specifiers and hoteliers? How can suppliers help?

    ST: Commitment to sustainable practices has been a long-term trend in the hotel industry, and despite the challenges of Covid, continues to be a key consideration.

    Transparency about supply chain, product journey and corporate commitments to sustainability are something that specifiers are increasingly looking for. By working with a British manufacturer like Amtico, these questions are easily answered. There are other benefits to ‘Made in Britain’ as well as traceable supply chains. Not least low carbon footprint, short lead times and commitment to manufacturing excellence.

    Main image credit: Amtico

    Hamish Kilburn / 05.08.2021

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