Covid-19 has completely changed many of our lives. Could it also impact the design of hotels going forward? 

One industry hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic has been that of hotels and accommodations. As traveling safely has become trickier, the influx of visitors to new cities has trickled down to a near stand-still. To foster confidence in many would-be tourists or business travelers, some within the architectural industry have begun to rethink modern hotels’ design. According to a white paper from Leo A Daly, a group of architectural experts has proposed their updated hotel construction ideas to keep guests safe from infectious disease transmission. 

Limiting Guest Movement With Hotel Design

How often have you been in a hotel and witness sweaty gym users or soggy pool-goers trudging through the lobby? How often have you had to walk past a large group of less-than-fresh travelers checking in to get to the dining hall? These unnecessary interactions have been observed to be significant transmission zones. 

One culprit in the spread of infectious disease is unnecessary interaction with people or shared objects and surfaces. Many hotels were not designed with limiting the spread of disease in mind. While limiting guest traffic sounds suffocating, plotting the location of different types of guests can limit unnecessary guest-to-guest interaction and thereby lower transmission rates. A key aspect of this updated design includes separating the hotel into different quadrants. 

Key Quadrants for Limiting Guest Intermingling

  • Arrival & Entry Ways
  • Lobbies & Check-in Areas
  • Corridors to Accommodations and Amenities
  • Accommodations
  • Amenities

Spacing out these sections and limiting cross-over traffic can greatly limit the transmission of infectious disease. 

Wellness Confirmation Stations

Before it seemed like something from a dystopian sci-fi movie is now a reality for many high-traffic areas—health screening zones. Hotels have discussed having “wellness concierge” services to capture a handful of health metrics to determine a guest’s wellness before allowing them into the facility—or at the most, direct them to a more appropriate zone. While some hotels may opt to use technology to take care of this job, a health screening area may become as common as a breezeway for maintaining a facility’s temperature. 

Fewer Contact Points

One key health upgrade for hotels and other facilities alike is an increase in touchless technology. From motion-activated sliding doors to voice-activated elevator selection technology, future hotel goers can expect much less of a “hands-on” experience. 

Changes to the Dining Experience

Accommodating the hungry appetites of hotel guests has long been the role of the buffet-style eatery. There is reason to believe that such food delivery systems may fall out of favor with modern hotel designers. Dining rooms may also enjoy more allotted space as social distancing between tables is expected to become the norm. 

Part Room, Part Sanctuary

To increase guest peace of mind as well as actual health, more hotel accommodations are expected to include every anti-microbial feature imaginable. From easily sanitized linens to very easily cleanable surfaces to self-sanitizing features, hotels are expected to be extremely sensitive to guests’ cleanliness needs. Feeding into this is also an abundance of features—either motion or voice-activated—ranging from televisions and lights to faucets, and even smart mirrors. 

Ready to Check-In?

The common thread of these health upgrades within hotels is to a dual one—preserve guest health while inspiring guest confidence. 

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