Travel is often associated with the hustle and bustle of catching the right train or finding a rental car. Travelers often spend hours on crowded transportation and carrying their luggage through unfamiliar cities, with technology bombarding them all along the way. Guestrooms provide a respite to weary hotel guests, but sometimes the space doesn’t satisfy the needs of everyone in the hotel.
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland has created a silent sanctuary for visitors who need a small, private space to get away from the noise and stresses of the day. “We were getting a lot of requests for guests to have a safe, private place that wasn’t handled by an available guestroom, meeting space, business center, or workout facility,” says General Manager Robert Hannigan. “There are spaces that are fine for a quick change of clothing if you’re about to jump on a plane, but nowhere really accommodated needs for privacy, attending to your family, addressing a personal need, or restoring some core element of yourself—whether that’s physical like yoga, mental like meditation, or spiritual like prayer.”
Although the space is only 7-by-10 feet, the Quiet Room has been carefully designed to serve multiple purposes. The hotel consulted a wide variety of potential users in order to come up with the final design and furniture available in the space. “To make sure we were on the right track, we layered in the use of it by piloting it with our own staff and getting feedback, whether they were using it for prayer or for nursing,” explains Hannigan.
“Getting feedback from nursing moms gave us specific notes that changed what furniture we put in there, an ottoman to make yourself comfortable—to prop up your knees and that sort of thing. That was invaluable for us.” Additionally, one of the heads of the Muslim community in Portland visited the room to make sure it was conducive to prayer, and local yoga instructors gave the space their stamp of approval when they were able to complete the 26 standard moves that are in most yoga sequences.
“We took all of that feedback and built out the room and that was the fun part about it —just knowing that we were able to hit several different buckets, because we really put it out to a variety of audiences,” Hannigan says. Since the Quiet Room has become a part of the property’s offerings for guests, staff, and other visitors, it has been used multiple times a day for all different reasons. Hannigan says the whole experience has been very rewarding. “To us, it’s a pleasure to be able to provide guests with something that not everybody has considered.’”