Biophilic Design Can Make a Splash in the Hospitality Industry
Of the following two options, which would a guest likely prefer?
By Holly Welles, Writer
The first hotel adheres to convention, with all the standard amenities a visitor would expect. It's comfortable but commonplace, with nothing out of the ordinary to note and hardly worth the time it takes to leave a review. Its design is safe and typical, with an appeal that's modern but hardly progressive.
For many travelers, the first hotel is the one they're most familiar with. They've grown accustomed to simple accommodations that lack ingenuity or imagination, settling for a room and not an experience. Many are content with a working shower, washed sheets, sliding curtains and a functional lock.
However, it's the responsibility of those in hospitality to innovate. With the implementation of biophilic design into hotels, professionals can provide those under their care with something better. Here's why green elements enhance a guest's stay, and how this trend is gaining ground.
Health and Wellness
Travel can prove stressful for busy businesspeople on a schedule, always rushing to catch the next flight or get to a meeting on time. While it's acceptable to offer them a complimentary cup of coffee before they leave in the morning, that's not the standard most hospitality professionals want to keep.
In much the same way, when that businessperson checks into a hotel, they'll likely have the next day's agenda on their mind. Findings have shown a connection to nature reduces stress and irritability, with a positive impact on an individual's well-being. In other words, biophilia contributes to human health and wellness.
Biophilic design can manifest as an illustrated tree on a wallcovering or an actual tree on the premises. Even the suggestion of nature has the potential to improve the condition of a guest. Regardless of budget, a small hotel can usually find the money and space for a simple change.
Novelty and Escape
Those who travel often can prove difficult to satisfy. They've seen everything there is to see and sampled everything a basic hotel has to offer. To extract a positive review from these worldly individuals, the hotel has to separate itself from its competition in a unique and memorable way.
Interior designer Clodagh, at Clodagh Design, approached this challenge with creativity and vision. When asked where people felt happiness, they told her their garden was a great source of joy. Therefore, she incorporated small and large indoor gardens into her projects, working toward recreating that sensation.
These additions and others like them significantly increase guest satisfaction. That satisfaction, in turn, leads to repeat business and even an attachment to the property. People wanted to return to a place where they could find momentary peace from their plans, an escape from the pressing issues of the day.
Space and Freedom
Many hotels are proximal to natural beauty, but few of them fully capture it. The forests, lakes, plains and meadows that surround a property lend it value, and with planning and restructuring, they can add to its overall appeal. Mentioning these features in promotional material will likely draw greater attention.
Biophilic design can make extensive use of a property, improving the aesthetic guests enjoy at a hotel. Professionals in the hospitality industry should take meticulous care to maintain their grounds by tending to grass and weeds, shrubbery and trees. Water features like ponds or lakes also require regular care to maintain water quality and environmental health. Increasingly, guests are looking for natural and sustainable solutions in all aspects of real estate.
The first stepping stone on the path of bioliphic design is to acknowledge the resources that are readily available. With regular landscaping and brush removal, a hotel can open up its space to new possibilities. From there, a designer that specializes in the field can lead management in the right direction.
Peace and Comfort
Guests have a 36 percent higher dwell rate in hotel lobbies that integrate biophilic features. What draws them to linger in not only the lobby but also in bars and restaurants on the property? The concept behind their peace and comfort is easy to understand.
Humans are part of the natural world, as much as any other creature out there. As much as people distance themselves from their animal counterparts, they still appreciate an environment that respects nature.
The numbers show that biophilic design has lasting appeal. If your hotel can draw a nice sense of harmony between industrial and environmental, guests will be drawn to the sense of peace and comfort your lobby design can trigger.
There's Always Room to Grow
Those in hospitality management should take that simple statement to heart. Through the implementation of some small bioliphic design choices, professionals may see a significant increase in guest satisfaction. These changes can only help and rarely hurt, and those who are interested should do further research.
After all, green never goes out of style.
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