The Difficult Contract Supply Criteria (Part 4)

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    Many hotels use decorators who are ‘names’ but have no experience of designing hotels. A five star hotel in a leading continental city used local celebrities as its decorators for a ‘ladies only floor’. leaving aside the dubious policy of ‘ladies only floors’ the idea that fashion of pop celebrities could create exciting hotel interiors was seen as flawed within a year.
    In the first instance it proved difficult to keep rooms clean as materials chosen soiled easily and were not easy to clean. In a domestic environment maybe the soiling would not have happened, but activities in hotel bedrooms don’t necessarily follow domestic patterns. So furnishing fabrics quickly became soiled or just wore out. Furniture proved too light weight for hotel use too, and electrical kit suffered broken doors and switches.

    The evidence of soiling etc. was made worse by a wrong choice of colour too. Colour can also make life difficult for housekeepers, especially if lighting levels are too low for them to see dirt. There is a well know UK chain who’s hotels are always grubby because lighting levels are too low for housekeepers to see to clean properly.

    carpet specifications too need to be considered in relation to areas the carpet is to be laid in. Seaming of lengths too needs to be understood in relation to traffic pattern. One five star hotel had a kitchen on one side of the corridor and the dining room on the other. Sensor operated kitchen doors opened every time a guest went past, but also the carpet section between the two areas was visibly wearing differently to other areas. The designer needs to think things through carefully. It is no go positioning a smoke detector if it is right outside the kitchen extraction vent.

    ( I was called by an hotel manager on Christmas as their smoke alarm kept going off. When the fire brigade attended for the 4th time in frustration she called me. I was being briefed in reception on the problem when i saw a Christmas pudding on its way into the restaurant being set up for presentation. The waiter stopped, poured over a measure of brandy and lit it. Waiting until it was flaming nicely he carried to cheers into the dining room – and the smoke detector above the dining room doors et off the fire alarms for the 5th time….)

    As with fabrics so with furniture. Specialist contractors understand the constraints that are imposed by contract supply and specification. Their construction methods have been changed over the years in response to the experience they have gained. Specialist understanding of the hospitality market makes those suppliers in our Directory the knowledgeable and dependable for the designer. they are a great resource not just as suppliers but as the knowledge base to assists designers in resolving and understanding issues in hotels.

    Rule 4: Make sure everything is fit for purpose and of contract quality

    Daniel Fountain / 28.02.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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