With the current pandemic effectively halting the global hospitality industry, hotels around the world would like nothing more than to return to business as usual. However, as the sector slowly starts reopening, it’s clear that it will be anything but business as usual with many hotels questioning just how they will be able to stay afloat while ensuring their guests’ safety.
With occupancy rates still at a record low, many hotels are using this time to re-evaluate how they can expand their current footprint to accommodate the largest number of guests while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Providing guests with access to more spaces with cleaner and fresher air will play a central role in any strategy moving forward and hotels have already started contemplating new design solutions with more open-air environments. Below are some of the key areas that will benefit from a move outdoors.
One of the main touchpoints affected by the current restrictions will be the food and beverage serving areas. As a result, some hotels have already started looking at alternatives to their usual buffet service, from moving entire dining rooms outdoors to offering “anyplace dining”, allowing guests to eat anywhere in the hotel, whether that’s by the pool or in the garden. Other, more structural solutions, include the introduction of bi-fold doors and windows that can quickly turn any indoor dining room into an outdoor restaurant.
Fitness and health: from indoor gym to open air workouts
Another potential victim of the pandemic will be indoor gym facilities. While hotels will have the option to reconfigure their onsite gyms to create more space between equipment, they should also consider moving their gyms outdoors. Outdoor exercise has become a familiar sight during the pandemic and a trend that is likely to survive the lockdown. Hotels should therefore look at re-purposing some of their outdoor spaces into exercise areas, offering their guests open-air workout alternatives, whether that’s rooftop yoga or patio Pilates. This will also help hotels expand their wellness offering – a trend that is likely to receive a post-pandemic boost with guest welfare becoming paramount.
Outdoor heating for 24-hour comfort
When looking at expanding or re-purposing outdoor environments, it’s important to not neglect guest comfort. Hotels operate 24 hours, so ensuring that guests have access to outdoor spaces at any time of the day or night will be essential. Outdoor heating solutions can help. Quickly and easily installed, they’re a cost-effective solution that ensures guests are comfortable while dining, exercising or when stepping out of their room for some fresh air, whatever the time or season.
Well-designed outdoor spaces will be the key to recovery. Heaters should be positioned in a way that they offer even heat distribution across both the seating and food serving areas. Another point to consider is the nature and direction of prevailing winds. Thoughtful placement of heating in areas most susceptible to ingress of cold air, using wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, suspended or portable heaters, create warm and welcoming spaces where guest can dine and relax comfortably at any time of the year.
Case Study: The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is a 209-room luxury resort within walking distance of California’s scenic North County beaches and the picturesque village of Carlsbad. The resort prides itself in offering guests countless activities and luxuries from a single location, including a spa, golf course, gourmet dining, bars and a convention centre.
One of the resort’s key dining destinations, the Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar, boasts a large outdoor patio, where guests can take in the spectacular views of the Pacific coastline while enjoying some of California’s best locally-sourced cuisine. To further enhance their guests’ dining experience and to ensure patrons are warm and comfortable even during cooler nights, the restaurant installed 15 Bromic Platinum Smart-HeatTM Gas heaters across its 120-seat outdoor patio back in 2008.
“Guests love to sit in this area especially during dinner to view the setting sun over the Pacific Ocean while dining. It can get a bit chilly due to the coastal breezes which makes these heaters very important,” comments Kent Bailey, Complex Director of Engineering at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.
Premium finish and performance
Made from premium-grade stainless-steel, Bromic Platinum Smart-HeatTM Gas heaters were specifically engineered to deliver superior performance and durability for the highest level of investment protection. With their signature ceramic glass fascia, the heaters provide an even heat distribution across a large area, while innovative, patented technology ensures that guests are comfortably warm even in wind speeds of up to 18km/h.
“Many of our patrons say they love the heaters and how they make you feel warm, but are not blazing on top of your head,” adds Kent.
A modular design that’s built to last
After about 12 years of service in a challenging coastal climate the heaters started showing signs of wear and tear and the Sheraton decided it was time to replace the units. When the hotel contacted Bromic to inquire about its options, it became clear that instead of a full replacement, the Sheraton would only need to exchange a few critical parts, saving the resort both valuable time and money.
“Bromic gas heaters have a modular design which means that critical components from the inside of the control module to the ignition wires and burners are interchangeable as they wear out over time,” explains Karl Tschauner, Director of Sales at Bromic Heating. “For the Sheraton this meant that they only needed to replace certain parts instead of having to uninstall and reinstall an entire group of heaters.”
“When we were challenged with having to replace the heaters, we were in a pinch to get them ordered and on to the property, so they could be installed quickly,” remembers Kent. “The team at Bromic were great to work with and did everything in their power to ensure we received the replacement parts as quickly as possible.”
Bromic Heating was a PRODUCT PITCH partner at Hotel Designs LIVE.
Main image credit: Bromic Heating