Given the present coronavirus outbreak, bodily area has develop into more and more essential, whether or not within the context of social distancing or just the shortage of it. As we glance to the long run, our consideration of bodily area and the way we really feel about it as a visitor, but in addition how lodge manufacturers can present it, is prone to develop into more and more vital. On this article, I’ll study bodily area and its relevance to luxurious hospitality that goes past being merely a response to the present scenario.

A number of years in the past, I wrote a collection on “Redefining luxurious in hospitality”. One factor I did not point out then was area. However even earlier than the emergence of Covid-19, I acknowledged that luxurious is about area – bodily area, but in addition the broader idea of area and what it means for individuals – and no extra so than in accommodations and hospitality.
Within the first a part of this three-part collection, I’ll discover the idea of area and the lodge business’s relationship with it lately. Within the second half, I’ll take a look at the definition of area in relation to luxurious accommodations and hospitality, which was impressed by a current journey to Dubai. Lastly, I am going to take a look at the alternatives for hoteliers and the way they could create area – or not less than a way of area – and meet the wants and expectations of their visitors at this time within the context of luxurious.

Peace, tranquility and area, The Wellness Spa Courtyard, One&Solely The Palm, Dubai — courtesy One&Solely
The lodge business’s relationship with area
Traditionally, accommodations had an entire vary of visitor room sizes and kinds. With model standardization, a minimal normal was launched and visitor rooms have been categorized based mostly on dimension. Single rooms have been the smallest and most cost-effective. Room dimension elevated proportionally going from doubles to suites, with varied grades of deluxe rooms that have been all priced accordingly. Suites often included extra rooms. It was all about how a lot bodily area the visitor had.
Standardization of visitor room dimension would possibly nonetheless be the case in some sectors of the business. Nevertheless, the significance of room dimension has modified as our existence and expectations have altered. It could additionally rely upon the aim of the journey, the situation, event or different components, corresponding to who we’re touring with; and even the season – a small cozy room in winter versus a big, gentle and ethereal room in summer time.
Area has additionally develop into extra restricted, notably in some areas. That is due, partly, to rising inhabitants and migration to cities that has put stress on area in city areas, in addition to the specter of local weather change with loss, for instance, of extremely populated low-lying coastal areas. As the worth per sq. metre for constructing has considerably elevated, the area obtainable has develop into all of the extra valuable and premium. Area, in itself, is a luxurious.
The reimagining of lodge area
For financial, life-style and social causes, new ideas have emerged. From visitor rooms to public areas, using lodge area has been redesigned and reconstructed. For instance, there was a rise in communal and social areas, corresponding to use of the foyer space, addition of floor flooring cafés and rooftop bars. Social lodge area could also be designed completely for the lodge visitor, however may be open to the general public attracting the local people and non-resident guests. 5 Palm Jumeirah Dubai, for instance, which is strategically positioned on the entrance to Palm Jumeirah, is understood extra for its nightlife and celebration scene than its lodging. It presents itself as “a celebration and culinary scorching spot” providing “a brand new expertise each day” for visitors, however can also be designed to draw a wider viewers.
Social area in accommodations, corresponding to eating places, cafés and bars which might be open to the general public, could also be appreciated by visitors by offering a extra native expertise, in addition to advantageous for the lodge’s income. Nevertheless, on the extra premium finish of the spectrum, it additionally dangers alienating visitors. Some accommodations have responded to this by creating unique visitor areas that provide extra privateness with quiet locations to chill out, corresponding to guest-only lounges, libraries, quiet rooms or guest-only bars that are inclined to have a extra residential really feel. In line with Katharine Le Quesne, Managing Director of HoCoSo, a hospitality consultancy, “There’s a additional danger that asset managers are so targeted on monetizing each side of the actual property and optimizing funding returns that using area turns into overly manipulated to drive visitor spending – luxurious visitors are notably delicate to this.” So, use of area must be fastidiously thought-about with the visitor in thoughts versus a need to maximise using area to generate earnings.
As a basic development, visitors have began to spend much less and fewer time within the privateness of their very own rooms. Because of this, room dimension has tended to decrease and been redesigned to give attention to areas primarily for sleeping. This has definitely been the case amongst finances to mid-range accommodations, from Moxy and Citizen M to Ian Shrager’s PUBLIC Lodges, the place visitor room dimension is small and rooms are functionally sensible, however this comes with extra social or public area. On the excessive, in relation to room dimension, there are capsule or “pod” accommodations. These originated in Japan as a protected and low-cost place to spend the evening, however the idea has developed and is now being embraced by different sectors of the business with, for instance, eco lodges and luxurious glamping utilizing the pod or capsule lodging format.
It isn’t nearly bodily area
While dimension should still be vital in some sectors of the business, area is not only about dimension. It is also concerning the high quality and really feel of a room, in addition to the expertise it gives. There are some very costly rooms – for instance, in Paris – the place there are comparatively petite rooms or suites which might be fantastically romantic, with a superb terrace and gorgeous views. These rooms nonetheless command high costs regardless of their diminutive dimension. There are additionally rooms which might be uniquely designed, offering a extra artistic or revolutionary area and/or use of area, and a novel or distinctive expertise. Le Quesne agrees, “The best way we take into consideration area [in hotel design] has developed dramatically. Thirty years in the past, the aim was to create separate useful areas inside a lodge asset. This developed to give attention to service supply inside completely different operational areas; and at this time, area has been elevated to a spot of expertise, that ought to contact our unconscious and delight the senses”.
As a part of a development in financial worth, economies seem to have developed from commodities to items, to companies and now to experiences, and the lodge business isn’t any exception. As accommodations give attention to creating experiences – as a lot as and along with offering in a single day lodging – the scale of visitor rooms might develop into much less related. Take Black Tomato’s “Blink”, for instance, a singular experiential idea that respects and makes use of area to create a one-off visitor expertise. The room dimension is immaterial.
Additionally it is about our understanding of area…
In Western society, not less than, our understanding of area is extra associated to an unoccupied, free or steady space in a number of dimensions. It is concerning the relationship between objects or, for instance, a time frame. Within the East, nonetheless, area is said to the connection and interactions with individuals. The Japanese have a number of completely different phrases for area, with every carrying a distinct which means. For instance, wa pertains to “creating concord”; tokoro is about context, which is carefully associated to the situation or place, and in addition in making a “state of being” and “connecting with the world”. A 3rd phrase, ma, pertains to creating moments of “consciousness and quiet” and for reflection.
T. Corridor, in his ebook, The Hidden Dimension, additionally explored the which means of area and the way it impacts human relations. He outlined 4 facets of area from intimate and private to social and public. Corridor’s definition pertains to how we use area, but in addition the way it impacts interactions and creates relationships, which can be completely different throughout cultures. It is also about how we really feel and behave in relation to area obtainable round us. In gentle of the coronavirus outbreak, that is one thing we are able to most likely all personally relate to higher at this time.
This deeper which means of area suits effectively within the context of luxurious and luxurious hospitality. It additionally identifies alternatives for hoteliers to create area – or a way of area – that meets the wants and calls for of luxurious vacationers and visitors at this time. I am going to discover this additional within the second and third elements of this three-part collection.
Corridor, E.T. (1988). The Hidden Dimension. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. Reissue version.