Let There Be Light!
With the New Year come budgets for renovations, re-designing rooms and public spaces throughout a number of properties. Smart hoteliers have taken the opportunity the last few years, with reduced demand, to undertake projects that had been long overdue. This trend is welcome and the outcome is a wonderful stock of properties worldwide with augmented facilities. Many showcase the latest trends in design with the “WOW” factor, others reflect a more subdued elegance.
There is one trend, however, that seems to be quite prevalent … and it needs to stop.
Maybe I’m getting too old, but I like well lit rooms. Mood lighting is all good and well, and I do like to be able to control the level of light in my room. But lately it seems that, everywhere I go, there is deficient lighting in hotel rooms. Unless it is daytime, and I can draw back the curtains to let the sunshine in, I often find it difficult to see clearly to work or even put on my makeup!
I was recently in a hotel in a major urban location where the suite had been recently renovated and was really nicely designed. In the evening, with a glass of wine, the ambiance was wonderful. But trying to work during the day with my colleague was a nightmare, because of the dense high-rises around the property, there wasn’t any sunlight to be found even with the curtains fully opened. The dark gray walls and ceiling offered the floor lamp nowhere to reflect the light … there was only one other source of light in the sitting room which was a desk lamp.
So I wonder –
What are designers thinking?
What are hoteliers thinking when approving the model rooms?
Are women involved in the design of these rooms?
Is there a hidden motive? (saving on electric bills or ‘hiding’ flaws and stains?)
I propose to hoteliers undergoing a renovation – plan to stay in the model rooms for a few days before approving the final plan for the entire property. Try to work there. Try putting on makeup (include a woman in your test!). Make sure there is enough storage space and electric outlets. Test the water pressure. Use this opportunity to make appropriate adjustments in the plan – offer enough lighting options, offer dimmer switches. If you use energy efficient lights, make sure the front desk tells people that it may take a while for the light to fully illuminate (my hotel used those in the bathroom and the first impression was dim lighting).
I’d love to hear both guest and hotelier perspectives about their perception of lighting in hotel rooms. All you hoteliers out there who have addressed lighting concerns – tell us about best practices to achieve the ideal guest lighting levels.