Floors are basic in some ways, merely a part of a hotel’s, or any room’s four dimensions. But as design becomes more minimalist and accents turn low key, wall coverings and flooring reflect a hotel’s personality or brand DNA.
The rules of thumb for selecting a flooring solution for a hotel are of course, that it should be aesthetic, must match the procurement team’s budget and offer value-for-money.
Then there’s the look-and-feel angle. In a stone building with wooden interiors, a carpet or rug on the floor enhances the look of a room, and can bring in a burst of colour, or even a hint of local culture through its print and workmanship.
But bring in a housekeeper and there’s a host of factors to add to that list. Jitender Rawat, executive housekeeper at Ranbanka Palace in Jodhpur, says, “The flooring solution should be easy to maintain, otherwise recurring costs will be high. It should also be relevant to the location’s climatic conditions. For instance, rainy or humid climatic conditions will deteriorate wooden and carpeted flooring, so it is better to use laminated or stone floorings in such conditions.”
Yann Gillet, general manager at the newly-opened Park Hyatt Chennai, says that his hotel is truly a reflection of the city, explaining that every component of design is aimed at showcasing Chennai’s culture and heritage. Every guestroom comes fitted with rich travertine marble floors and plush hand-tufted rugs, along with polished marble bathrooms. Public areas have minimal yet sweeping designs on glossy floors.
Another new arrival on the block in Chennai, the ITC Chola, has used marble flooring in most of its public areas to match its opulent Chola Dynasty-inspired design. Traditional Indian carpets are thrown in at lounges and dining areas, for a warm, ethnic look.
Marble is seen as a mainstay for heritage, or heritage-inspired hotels, as are rugs. “Flooring in the palace wing of our hotel is patterned marble, with rugs thrown in to give the look and feel of bygone era. Both go a long way in complementing the architecture, furniture and furnishings,” says Rawat.
But for a more modern look, the trend veers towards wooden floors, he adds: “Flooring in the new Jodhana Wing is laminated wooden tiles, which was used keeping in mind recent industry trends.”
Where luxury hotels pack in the marble, it is evident that it is more advisable for mid-segment and budget hotels to stick to the much more practical and cost-effective tiles. For instance, the newly launched Peppermint in Tirupathi has used simple white glossy-finish tiles in its guestrooms, for a squeaky-clean look.