The bathroom indulgence
Bathrooms reflect our lifestyle. For hotels and resorts, luxury bathrooms are the order of the day. Hoteliers are concentrating on designing bathrooms with indulgent tones for an immersive feel. Guests prefer a spa-like experience in the bathroom that pampers them. architect Sandeep Shikre says, “The current trend in hotels is to create an ambience that enables the guest to indulge more. Thanks to a plethora of materials available, combined with the evolution of design, it is possible to create chic and trendy full-service bathrooms inclusive of vanity, bath tubs, shower area, water closet and other essentially luxury amenities.”
On the other hand, designs are also governed by what the guest expects. It is been proven that a guest spends the longest time on a bed followed by the bathroom — hence designing a perfect bathroom is essential. Bathrooms are now merging with the room to create a large-space feel and for a comprehensive experience.
In today’s health conscious environment a lot of stress-relieving requirements like steam, shower cubicle and whirlpool are a part of regular facility in the luxury segment. Architect Khozema Chitalwalla shares, “Bathroom design has moved ahead, using technology to create various hydrotherapies, moods by syncing light and music to create a perfect ambience for a very important part of every guest room.” Technologies like mirror TV, channel music are also used to create the right setting. Due to the very high awareness of environment-friendly bathrooms among guests, lot of time is invested in research and engineering to conserve water used in each of the bathroom functions, he informs.
Any luxury bathroom design needs adequate space standards, ventilation strategy to enhance indoor air quality, segregation of wet and dry areas, ambience, aesthetically harmonious fixtures and finishes. Shikre adds, “Bathrooms are no longer perceived as spaces only to bathe but are also treated as live-in spaces. The viral spread of internet has shrunk the globe into a village. Thus, going with international trends, some luxurious hotels provide a couch and a television for a relaxed experience.”
Technology has changed demographics of the industry and has had a tremendous impact in designing contemporary luxurious bathrooms. With the onset of technology, it is now possible to appeal to all senses of a guest.
In hospitality bathrooms, everything is gradually moving to simplicity. Both design and functionality are consumer centric, creating products for the end-user with the ease of operation. “Hansgrohe is one of the leaders in terms of technology in bath fittings. In our entire designer concept bathroom, we offer Hansgrohe Proven technology like EcoSmart and AirPower, along with its individual technological development for each concept bathroom. For instance: AxorStarck Organic offers lowest water flow rate of just 3.5 L/M. AxorBouroullec’s washbasin and bathtub can be drilled to place Basin Mixer or other products as per the choice. AxorUrquiola’s free-standing bath filler comes with a thermostat to control the temperature of water, which is usually not found in other bath fillers. AxorMassaud’s basin mixer comes with a cascade flow, thanks to the technology used and its shelf can also be used to keep other utilities,” shares Anitha Sharma, GM-marketing, Hansgrohe India.
Ravi Nindwani, MD, Delta Faucet Company India Pvt Ltd shares, “Latest innovations are the ones which use modern technology to provide interactivity, durability, easy to maintain and are eco-friendly too.” Delta offers an extensive line of products which incorporate style and innovation for faucets, showers and accessories. Touch2O® and Touch2O.xt technology enable turning a faucet on or off with just a touch anywhere on the handle or spout. Or go completely hands-free. Multi-Flow Technology is where with a simple touch on the toggle, one can switch between stream and spray to instantly increase the flow of water for different tasks. DIAMOND™ Valve which helps the faucet last up to five million uses. “Touch-Clean® provides a shower with soft, rubber nubbins that allow you to easily wipe away calcium and lime build-up with the touch of a finger. H2Okinetic® technology sculpts water into a unique wave pattern and gives you the feeling of more water without using more water,” he continues
Another leading brand, Keuco, has a launched a new bathing/showering concept called meTime_spa that aims at delivering a great water experience within a bath space. Rahul Kher, country manager-Indian Subcontinent, Keuco says, “The concept works on a unique showering technology inside the water and a very high design concept of glass panels integrated with all controls and aluminium shelves on the wall. The consumer can actually play with water and have a rain shower, a waterfall and a unique spa hose to take the water experience to a new high. In one fixture, the glass panels come in two sizes for horizontal and vertical installations and with four unique colours of truffle, petrol, white and anthracite.” The brand has also launched Collection MOLL which is a range of showers and accessories, specifically targeted towards hotels. “These products will take functionality within the bath space to a new level, that too, at a very aggressive price point,” he adds.
Innovative products that perform several functions simultaneously meet complex requirements of modern hotel bathroom users. With one product, the user can take a bath or shower and, at the same time, enjoy the beneficial effects of colours, scents and sounds. “The Nahho flotation tub from Duravit, designed by EOOS, combines the relaxed feeling of weightlessness with music and gentle, indirect lighting. After use, the OpenSpace shower partition serves as a panel that is simply folded back against the wall; in combination with the Nahho and shower, it provides the perfect wellness combination in a space of just 210 x 100 cm,” states Ashutosh Shah, MD, Duravit India Pvt Ltd.
He adds, “Even the toilet today is more than just a standard one: the SensoWash® Starck C shower-toilet seat designed by Philippe Starck features pioneering technology. A stainless steel spray arm with three shower types performs the function of a bidet. Water temperature, water volume and nozzle position can all be individually adjusted. Feeling clean and fresh, the next stage is the warm, drying air. Suitable for business hotels is the Onto range by MatteoThun. The new DuraStyle series, also designed by MatteoThun, serves an intelligent range of impressively coordinated products for every application and all architectural conditions. The key selling points are utility, hygiene, short cleaning times, quick and easy assembly and a price structure that is in line with hotel requirements.”
A lot of designs are not just luxury driven but depend on the ease of operation for the guests. Guests prefer timeless designs to have a great experience as they soak in luxury. “The well-travelled, discerning guest needs contemporary, minimalistic bathrooms in terms of design, high on functionality and ergonomic in terms of usage and, most importantly, a hygienic hassle-free, low on maintenance bathrooms, which deliver every day in the same way. Bigger hotels are willing to make a great investment on products which can last long and also offer uniqueness within their bath space,” shares Kher.
Sharma feels, “One cannot say what kind of bathrooms are in demand as bathroom designs vary from hotel to hotel, based on the category rating of three, four or five Star. Also, the basic purpose of the hotel is crucial. Business hotel bathrooms are different than leisure ones. They are more functional in nature and minimalist in style. Leisure hotels experiment a lot and are more elaborate.”
Hospitality sector has always been the bellwether for the bathroom industry and Delta goes beyond excellent design to incorporate smart thinking that anticipates the industry’s needs and provides thoughtful innovations and inspirational designs that delight. Nindwani elucidates, “The kind of faucet used by a hotel majorly depends on the theme. The design ranges from traditional, transitional to modern. In recent times, there has been a steady increase in the demand for contemporary designs with sleek and clean lines.”
“Every product needs harmony in its design for timeless appeal, which a user can enjoy over a long period of time. Great design has to evoke emotions and also be coupled with great functionality and ergonomics, so that the user has a great experience,” concludes Kher.
Looking at the innovations, one can see that bathroom are not places to cleanse your physical self but are soulrooms meant as a complete rejuvenation package for your inner self.