The bath factor
Hotel bathrooms now provide opportunities to showcase imaginative designs and are new-age style sanctuaries, replete with refinement and luxury
by Rashmi Naicker
Hotel bathrooms combine efficiency with opulence, right from energising and invigorating shower experiences to basins teamed with handsome faucets. Minute detailing can go a long way to ensuring a lasting positive and comfortable impression of a hotel.
High-quality and luxurious bathroom products help create a mark amongst guests by offering them memorable aspects of stay. While it is a fact that the selection of a hotel is done on the basis of quality of services along with amenities, the bathroom comes under the main focus: it needs to always be luxurious.
The expansive marble en-suite bathroom in the presidential suite at the Sheraton Bengaluru at Brigade Gateway portrays an alluring oversized spa tub with Jacuzzi features, along with a 22-inch LCD screen, separate rainforest shower, a dual marble vanity with defogger mirrors, separate WC stall and a relaxation area with shine bath amenities. Opulence is the key word that underlines bathroom experience.
Sleek and functional modern accessories are the preferred fittings in hotels. The luxury bathroom is being viewed as more of a personal retreat designed to pamper guests, rather like a spa. Clean lines, soft colours and lavish materials, partnered with high-quality accessories and amenities, provide for a veritable spa-like experience. What was once a small sterile room with three basic fixtures â€” a basin, a WC, and a tub or shower â€” has now become a powder room, dressing room, even a rejuvenation room, embellished with features such as branded faucets, rainshowers, jacuzzis, saunas, hot tubs, fireplace mantels and entertainment options, etc.
The level of luxury does vary, depending on the star category of the hotel. Products such as vertical spa, a personal digital assistant on which one can set preferred water temperature and volume, an array of shower outlet options â€“ such as body sprays and rain-showers, etc., are some of the vast options hoteliers can choose from.
New additions to luxury bathrooms are the transition from the single shower cubicle to four-fixture bathrooms, from conventional to modern dÃ©cor, all as a worthwhile investment for any hotel luring the well-versed business and leisure traveller. Polished brass fixtures and bathroom hardware add to the ambience of luxury. The built-in features around the vanity counter create an expensive bespoke look. Elegant chandeliers are definitely among the elements that contribute to the feeling of luxury, while freestanding tubs add to the luxe quotient. A luxury bathroom is differentiated from regular ones on the basis of the quality of fittings, their placement, their ease of operation, the comfort level they offer and also their finish. Thus, the overall look of a bathroom depends on a combination of factors.
SUSTAINABILTY IS THE FUTURE
While luxury is important, optimum use of resources has gained equal weight for all brands. Intelligent and sustainable applications are the key for their development. Intelligence in a bathroom is all about smart water consumption. Jaquar offers green products that not only conserve water but also provide unique bathing experiences with cascade showers, air showers and whirlpools, all with advanced technology in user-style interface and water saving capabilities.
Grohe has a unique technology called EcoJoy, which reduces the consumption of water without compromising on the bathing experience. A 100-bedroom hotel would save up to 6.8 million litres of water and 186,000 kW/h of energy per year with this technology. Grohe also has thermostats, dual flush sanitary systems and electronic faucets, which are new products featuring integrated water-saving technologies to restrict flow rates and significantly reduce water consumption without affecting performance or design.
Besides being hi-tech in application, some of the distinguishing features of fittings in bathrooms from the housekeeping point of view should be that of flawless finish, perfect coating, resistance to abrasion and corrosion, pressure resistance, ease of installation and free from any leakage.
Glass and ceramic tiles are largely preferred for shower cubicles and vertical surfaces. The larger the tile, lesser the joints thus makes cleaning easier for the housekeeping department.
From a safety point of view, non-skid finishes are highly preferred, and these include ceramic, marble or granite. The marble and granite are finished with chemical and oil-resistant coating for easier cleaning and longer life.
In the public bathrooms in hotels, sensor technology helps immensely in not only keeping the surfaces clean but also extending the life of the fixtures and fittings. The size and shape of the fitting also determines the ease of cleaning and maintenance. The more elaborate the design and more grooves and spirals will reduce access, thus increasing the difficulty in cleaning. Installation of the fittings should be as close to the wall, ceiling or floor as possible, as this will reduce the chances of sediments accumulating in the gaps. Sweeping changes in the cleanliness techniques and chemical products used by the housekeeping has also encouraged the hotel to use germ-free fixtures that are housekeeping-friendly.
Bathrooms are now spaces where guests can revel in some solitude and enjoy the healing powers of water. It is for this reason that most of them are keen to find bathrooms that meet and surpass their definition of luxury, since this means they can enjoy the time spent in the room and be totally rejuvenated.