The coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately brought a vast number of challenges to the travel and hospitality industries not only in this country, but across the world. In the periods that we were permitted to open, you may have found yourself struggling to alleviate the anxieties of some of your visitors and guests – trying to retain the pleasurable, stress-free experience that they desperately wanted during their stay or visit. So, how can you create a safe, yet welcoming space in your hospitality venue?
Now is an ideal time to reflect on the public spaces of your hotel, or hospitability venue to ensure you’re able to find the right balance. Of course, whilst safety is of paramount importance in current times, it’s still essential to create an environment and atmosphere that doesn’t detract from the guest experience.
A well-designed public space can become a destination in and of itself to day visitors. With the right balance of safety and style, your venue could offer a more reassuring and relaxing place to meet, for work or pleasure.
When a guest walks into your premises, what do they see, hear, smell? As soon as they step through the doors, they will instantly have an expectation about their experience. Is their attention drawn to plastic screens, garish floor stickers and tubs of hand sanitiser?
Bring the outdoors, indoors.
One of my favourite additions to any indoor space is greenery. The use of plants and flowers, fresh air and sunlight will help to enhance this feeling of openness and counteract the presence of additional health and safety measures. More natural features will not only help give the space a more organic look and feel but help to purify the air and create more subtle pathways to direct movement of people.
Seamless additions that belong.
Attractively packaged hand sanitisers can be placed discretely, and look similar to stylish, luxury soap dispensers. This will help your guests to feel more at ease, as they will seamlessly blend into the overall look of your venue, rather than being an eye sore. I highly recommend these products from Connock London, which are not only elegantly packaged but also have the most beautiful scent.
You may also need to consider whether it is necessary to install partitions, particularly if your space is multifunctional. If you offer dining in a public space, it will be necessary to separate different parties. Such partitions needn’t be unattractive and can even be used to enhance the décor and atmosphere. Consider placing beautiful room dividers and sculptural features to create a sense of exclusivity, privacy, and comfort.
Create a natural flow.
How can you reinvent your space so that it caters for adapted, safer working and social activities? I believe that social distancing can be facilitated through thoughtful design and not disruptive enforcement. For example, creating a layout that encourages a circular route so that guests are naturally compelled to move only in one direction. Subtle lighting, strategically positioned furniture and planting can also seamlessly guide your guests around your venue. You may also wish to leave more open space to enable people to distance more easily.
Is now the perfect time for a refurbishment?
The winter months are always quieter for the hospitality sector, compounded now as the nation is currently in the midst of another lockdown. Now is, in fact, the ideal time to undertake a refurbishment when there are no guests about to be disturbed.
Use this time to create a safe environment for when your guests return, so they can set their worries to rest. A refurbishment with added safety measures can still be sleek, sumptuous, and comforting as well as adaptable enough to work for you in the long term too. Try to incorporate design ideas that can be scaled back and eventually removed with minimal effort and inconvenience when restrictions are eventually eased.
A hope for the future.
So many of us have sorely missed the wonderful experiences that the UK travel and hospitality industry has to offer. We have so much to look forward to – from luxurious dining experiences to the warm, inviting freshness of a bed we haven’t had to make ourselves. Once restrictions are lifted, these are the experiences that consumers will desire once again. They will delight in spending time ‘out out’ with great company and great food, experiencing superb customer service in a setting that takes them away from the daily grind.
Now is the opportunity to ensure you are poised to offer that wonderful, alluring escape, and still provide the peace of mind that your guests are safe and protected.
If you would like to discuss a refurbishment for your hotel or hospitality venue, please do get in touch with Yellow Book Interiors today – we’d love to help.