This month Hotel News ME asks some of the industry’s leading bathroom suppliers about the shifting trends in design, the need for larger spaces and why we are seeing bathrooms creep into bedroom space.
Andreas Dornbracht, managing director and CEO, Dornbracht Group.
Lina Varytimidou, director PR and head of GROHE SPA, East Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa.
Dirk Schilmoeller, managing director, Hansgrohe SE
Sophay Young, senior project design consultant, Sanipex Group
Thorsten Bies, area manager, Africa, India, Middle East and South East Europe, Villeroy and Boch
Toni El Kadi, head of projects – Middle East, Duravit
What are some of the latest design trends being seen in the hotel bathroom?
Schilmoeller: There is a definite trend for transparency in the bathroom – unmasking what is usually concealed. Moreover, technology which was previously concealed is now permitted to protrude in an aesthetic manner. This penchant for open design particularly benefits the shower area, which is an increasingly prominent feature in luxury bathrooms. Hansgrohe has observed that there is a trend towards clarity, the appearance of tranquility and the use of glass. Contemporary shower areas are becoming more spacious, but without being too obtrusive.
Young: Metal has been a major design trend for the last year and it looks like it won’t be falling out of favour anytime soon. When it comes to brassware we are seeing graceful statement pieces that show an instinctive appreciation of beauty. Brassware in warm tones such as polished copper and gold or exotic and daring black and anthracite is proving to be very trendy at the top end of the market.
Dornbracht: Among the most significant trends we see in hotel
bathroom design is the changing, or rather, transition of the environment towards a space one can enjoy for relaxation purposes as opposed to a space used primarily to cleanse and groom. In this transitioning space, we are beginning to see solid dividing walls being broken down, removed altogether, or replaced by glass or other transparent material. In some more interesting projects we’ve seen hotels opt to move elements of the bathroom into the bedroom to create a new, luxurious and relaxing focal point.
Varytimidou: New forms of wellness are being incorporated and guestrooms are being designed so that bathrooms are becoming at one with the room and visual space is borrowed between the bedroom and the bathroom. Tubs are often being replaced by rain showers and toilets are being concealed in clever ways. Bathrooms are no longer perceived as auxiliary rooms, spaces to be minimised. A resort bathroom with spa-like features is an open invite to relaxation and a sure-proof method of alluring guests through the promise of ephemeral luxury. Think en-suite bedrooms, waterfall showers, over-sized bathtubs, his and hers sinks, giant towels, candles, beauty items and plenty of space.
Bies: In 2016, individualisation, hygiene, and comfort are all topics that Villeroy and Boch is focusing on with regards to the design of a bathroom.
Previously, the bathroom was once a purely functional space for personal care. Today, it represents wellness, comfort and relaxation, which we see more as people begin to place more emphasis on design and quality elements for their bathroom.
El Kadi: We are seeing the use of more natural products with an emphasis on the aesthetics and quality with much more attention to detail. Today, a modern hotel bathroom combines comfortable additions such as state of the art technology alongside a memorable design that makes an impression on the guest.
What elements of a bathroom should be regularly updated and why?
Schilmoeller: It is important to know the difference between redecorating and remodeling. You can make very different decisions when you’re primarily looking at giving the bathroom a face lift. Redecorating tasks might include adding some colour, wood trim, or replacing a vanity with one that’s taller. These are all updates that do not require re-plumbing, wiring or lighting. By contrast, a remodel is all or nothing, and you can count on throwing out almost everything in the room. Today the emphasis is on luxury and relaxation, so to achieve that one has to make a dramatic overhaul.
Bies: The washing area is usually the place of the bathroom where the design is most significant. Many different styles of furniture can be combined with unique washbasins. And a change here has a strong effect on the overall appearance of the bathroom.
Young: By changing the brassware and accessories in a hotel you can update the old and tired white goods. By adding in a feature wall of interesting shaped tiles will also instantly transform an outdated bathroom.
Varytimidou: The days of a strictly functional bathroom are over. There are some main components of a hotel bathroom that should always be updated such as the lighting, shower, towels and sink.
El Kadi: Nowadays, bathrooms have to be adaptable, as trends are constantly shifting and they need to fill different requirements for people of different ages and styles. So I would say with the initial fit out of a bathroom the concept of change should be kept in mind with all aspects of the bathroom having the capacity to be enlarged or modified.
What factors should hotels consider when designing and fitting out bathrooms?
Dornbracht: Consumers want showering experiences that will balance, energise and de-stress them. Dornbracht is able to do this through precise engineering and technology, be it a big sensory sky, creating different types of rain, fog, light and fragrances or pre-programmed water choreographies.
By shifting the focus from individual products to their functions: from cleansing to cosmetic applications and even prevention against ill
health, we have created a personal care and beauty centre in the bathroom.
Schilmoeller: A good bathroom design is more than just aesthetics – accessibility, functionality and space are incredibly important too. Guests these days are looking for an area of relaxation, a place to both clean the body and also unwind and contemplate. Hotels must look at implementing the latest technology when fitting bathroom products to meet this new discerning clientele. Fire safety, ease of installation of products, acoustics, and product quality should all be considered when designing a bathroom.
Bies: A well designed hotel bathroom should always reflect a unique experience for the guest. Luxury, comfort and individual design are therefore essential. The designer should consider products that stand out from the masses. Colours, delicate shapes and intelligent comfort-functions are therefore all very important.
Varytimidou: When hotels design a bathroom a key consideration should be counter space — is there enough space for a toiletry bag? A rain shower head is also fast becoming standard. Hotels are moving more and more towards the “essentials-only” mode, the bedrooms are getting smaller and more efficient, whereas the bathrooms are becoming more like spas.
Young: A resort bathroom with spa-like features is an open invitation to relaxation and a sure-proof method of alluring guests through the promise of luxury and en-suite bedrooms over-sized bathtubs, and plenty of space are all elements to be considered.
What are some of the hottest products on the market?
Dornbracht: Our CL.1 is a new range of bathroom fittings that consistently combines straight lines and soft curves as it stretches upwards. Special features of CL.1 include its new textured handles and flow pattern which boasts efficient water consumption. Secondly our Comfort Shower enhances the spa range with a seated shower experience. Different outlets and flow modes form engaging scenarios at the touch of a button, while the seated posture encourages deep relaxation. The Leg Shower is an optional extra feature for the Comfort Shower – a function that immerses the legs with invigorating bursts of water at the touch of a button.
Varytimidou: Thanks to state-of-the art digital technologies, more functions in the bathroom can be controlled via remote control or apps without the user being anywhere near the device or having to lift a finger. GROHE’s latest innovative product is Sensia Arena, the new design-oriented shower WC, which offers a combination of features currently available in shower WCs. The refreshing power of water can be remotely controlled for superior comfort, cleanliness and hygiene.
Schilmoeller: Axor and Hansgrohe products. With the Axor One, Axor Starck V and Axor Citterio E. For Hansgrohe, the Rainmaker Overhead Shower and Talis S with the Select technology.
Bies: One of our hottest Products is the Artis. The Artis bathroom sink series is available in four shapes: round, oval, rectangular and square. This year we developed a new colour concept for Artis with the German-Danish designer Gesa Hansen. Inspired by nature, the seasons and the special lifestyle and atmosphere in Paris, Gesa Hansen has created harmonious colour schemes from green, yellow, rose and blue, in three shades respectively. In addition, there will be a neutral series with colours in the black-grey spectrum. The Artis colours provide the customer with numerous new configuration options for exclusive washplaces especially in semi-public areas.
El Kadi: Our range ME by Starck – has the capacity to be individualised for hotel collections and private bathrooms. The P3 Comforts bathroom range by Phoenix Design is also very popular with its simple geometric forms.
What new technological innovations have you introduced?
Dornbracht: We have introduced the SMART WATER vision by Dornbracht and through Dornbracht’s Smart Tools, Smart Water works
as an intelligent system that networks the components in the bathroom and kitchen with one another, while conveniently simplifying and individualising the applications involved. Operating the Smart Tools are easy. There are no complicated menus, instead it uses an intuitive and understandable touch logic application in keeping with the Smart Water message: ‘Hot, cold, click’. Dornbracht develops the hardware and software itself. This way, the producer can provide the market with software updates and hardware upgrades in the future as well.
Varytimidou: The GROHE SilkMove Technology integrated in all our mixers, allows for smooth handling with precision over long term use. The GROHE SilkMove cartridge delivers gradual and precise control of the water flow and temperature. The GROHE StarLight Technology ensures that the surface of all faucets and fittings have a made-to-last finish. With GROHE Zero, we have substantially reduced the lead content in brass to negligible levels. Lead is replaced by harmless metals like copper, ensuring that potential lead contamination of potable water is at an absolute minimum.
Young: Digital showers in the market with button controls are now starting to feature simple touch screen controls instead. Our new BAGNOSPA digital control steam room has a touchscreen operation to operate a steam app on your smart phone as well as WiFi, lighting, scents, varying water temperatures and pressures.
Bies: Our latest technological innovation in ceramics is TitanCeram. TitanCeram is a material made from clay, quartz, feldspar and titanium oxide, which Villeroy and Boch developed specifically for use in high-quality premium designs. The precise forms with extremely thin walls and sharply drawn edges in bathroom fixtures are only possible with TitanCeram. Our premium bathroom sinks Octagon and Artis are made of this Material.
El Kadi: The Duravit development team makes use of simulation software to optimise flushing technology. Thus, new products can be developed and optimised for water saving solutions. Results of these efforts are the Duravit Rimless technology and the ME urinal. The Rimless technology offers an innovative and effective flushing system that delivers optimum flushing results with small water volumes of only 4.5 litres.