Bedroom Pods are Suite in the air

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The World Travel Market never ceases to fascinate me. National costumes in abundance, people dressed as penguins, kangaroos and of course ‘the suits’, male and female, throng the busy aisles. With Excel bursting to capacity and some exhibitors bemoaning the lack of space they have, their inability to expand their presence, this is obviously a very popular annual show. Over 50,000 trade visitors predominantly come from the travel industry. Although hotel groups populate it in part, for a designer it has limited value except by way of increasing the understanding to be gained of the competitive environment for hotels, and of what is popular now.Some of the prognostications that emerge should be taken with a large pinch of salt – such as the prediction that Iraq will be the next growth area for tourism (want a holiday that goes with a bang?).

    Occasionally one does stumble across indicators as to changes in the market. For me it was the arrival of Suites in A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft from operators like Etihad. Making an interesting companion with nite nite or Yotel, the luxury flat bed accommodation being put in first class cabins shows how compact the design of a bedroom can be.

    The Etihad seat is manufactured in a burr walnut veneer and has a large flat screen TV at one end, a good size work area with task lamp and the ability for close it off totally for privacy. There is even a wardrobe and a minibar to complement the fine leather and veneers. Whilst the layout does not vary enormously from airline to airline, the luxury notes struck here make an interesting comparison with BA’s more austere business class cabin, and put Virgin’s upper class in the shade.

    © Patrick Goff/HotelDesign 2010

    Daniel Fountain / 19.11.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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