Traditional bathrooms with tiled floors and shower curtains are so 2013. Industry experts are declaring 2014 as “The Year of the Bathroom,” and a growing number of hoteliers nationwide are remodeling or all together reconstructing their bathroom spaces.
“The bed was reinvented 12 years ago by Westin. Now people are focusing on the bathroom,” says Mike Suomi, principal and director of design at Stonehill and Taylor. “We have a number of clients who not only want us to renovate the bathroom but also reinvent the bathroom.”
Anne Flaherty, senior project designer at Gettys, has noticed the same trend. Bathrooms are no longer considered needs-only spaces, and provide terrific places to capitalize on the message of a given hotel property with signature branded elements, amenities, and accoutrements, she says.
“We are receiving requests from simple renovation techniques, such as updating a finish package, converting tubs to showers, improving lighting, and creating a more impactful art experience, to larger-scales projects that fully deconstruct the idea of the rigid bathroom to open into the guest room complete with extravagant fixture upgrades,” she says.
Bathroom makeovers are, in part, fueled by guests now expecting and wanting bathrooms to be comfortable, peaceful sanctuaries, whether they are at home or at a hotel, Suomi says. “Guests want to have a personalized experience,” he says. “They’re looking for something different and beautiful, and they want a Zen, spa-like, relaxing space.”
Flaherty agrees. “Guests respond positively to bathroom environments that look and feel fresh and new. The bathroom is such a tactile area, and guests seem to really focus on the details of a bath package,” she says.
In addition, an influx in sleek-and-stylish products, such as faucets, tubs, sinks, shower heads, above-the-sink shelving, lighting systems, and illuminated mirrors with blue tooth capabilities that are functional and aesthetically appealing, are boosting bathroom design.
“This year, look for windows in bathrooms, finishes extending in and out of the space, or the extreme [look] of relocating a tub feature out into the guest room itself,” Flaherty says.
Stonehill and Taylor renovated the bathrooms at The NoMad Hotel in New York last year and separated the space into three distinct components, including an elegant clawfoot tub that projects into the bedroom suite, Suomi says. The other components include a private vanity and walk-in shower behind a screen, and a separate room with a door where the sink and toilet are located, he says.
Among those trends getting flushed this year include shower curtains, sconces, overhead lights, and tiles on the shower wall or bathroom floor, Suomi says.
“At the Novotel in Times Square, we installed glass door systems on the tubs and created a uniform, neutral palette,” he says, adding hotels are getting rid of grout lines because they are hard to maintain and can become unsightly. “Clients are trying to get rid of the traditional shower curtain, and they’re going toward glass-paneled doors, which can often make bathrooms feel twice as big,”