We all know that the mark of premium hotel design is comfort indoors and out. Guests don’t want to be cooped up in their rooms, and exceptional hotels provide inspiring surroundings for their patrons to explore and relax in, beyond the confines of their four walls. Taking our inspiration from three award-winning hotels, we’ve itemised the factors that take outside spaces from being a design-afterthought to being something truly memorable.
Make it comfortable and inviting
Cocooning visitors from the elements while enabling them to enjoy the atmosphere is essential. The Trafalgar St. James in London has recently renovated its much-loved roof terrace, and now houses a new bar and restaurant, simply called ‘The Rooftop’. SHH architects chose premium flooring materials for the space that provide impressive looks but offer excellent slip resistant properties too, protecting guests from falls in wet conditions. The bar and restaurant also offer visitors a retractable roof, heaters and blankets, to ensure that al fresco diners stay comfortable and happy, even on the rainiest of London days.
Use premium materials
The Rooftop’s contemporary makeover marries traditional luxe materials, such as marble, to beautifully engineered modern materials, including Millboard’s Smoked Oak decking. The result is a luxurious and welcoming space that will retain its stylish clean lines and textures for years to come.
Add unexpected twists
Blake’s Hotel in Kensington is a rococo townhouse that has held the title of London’s first boutique hotel since it opened in 1978. Their recent renovation of their ‘secret’ courtyard was designed by Matthew Williamson, and it includes an Instagram worthy giant gold birdcage flanked by palms, bay trees and buxos. This unexpected fantasy garden in the centre of the capital is an attraction in itself.
Pull it into the branding or theme of your overall hotel concept
The state-of-the-art Southampton Harbour Hotel has been built to resemble a luxury ocean liner and is a scene-stealing addition to the iconic port. HGP Architect’s incredible design includes life-like ‘cruise decks’, and to achieve the authentic boardwalk look, they opted for high-end decking. The decking needed to be able to withstand the waterside location and to look immaculate in all weathers. They opted for Millboard’s Enhanced Grain in Smoked Oak to achieve their durable but glamorous brief.
Once your guests are out there, don’t forget about them
Give your guests the space that they need to unwind but don’t forget about them. Earn painless-customer-service points by providing blankets if the weather turns, and check regularly but unobtrusively whether glasses need refreshing. These are the basic points that some lesser establishments fall-down on. Comfort, inspiration and touches of luxury. It isn’t rocket science but too many hotels assume a square of concrete, roughly furnished with rusting tables and chairs, will do. You can score easy points on the competition by putting some thought and attention into your outside spaces. So, think materials, think brand, and think comfort, to drive your establishment up the rating ranks.