Home Technology Specialist TECE: “The hotel room of the future must understand the guest – not the other way round”

by | Dec 9, 2017 | Suppliers

Where is interior design in the hotel industry going? That was the theme of the Architektursalon in Munich, to which the Münsterland-based home technology specialist TECE invited numerous guests at the end of September from architecture, planning and the hotel business and which saw the podium packed with top-class speakers. One thing was made clear above all during the conversation held with hotel journalist Maria Pütz – Willems: After years during which corporate concerns had the say when it came to innovations, the changes in society have also given a chance to the small and medium-sized hotels and groups with customer-focused approaches.

In a global world, the guests come from countries all over the world – which turns some target group models upside down. Michael Struck, founder and CEO of the Munich-based Ruby Hotels, has formulated an economic response to more densely packed living spaces in the cities. As trendsetters they promote “lean luxury” – luxury people can afford. This means the rooms are smaller, reducing costs, and the product portfolio is segmented: low-cost entry with the possibility of paid upgrades. The rooms are very compact at 16-18 m² but profitable because space is money in the packed inner cities. And the Ruby rooms are hotly sought after by guests, which translates into a high occupancy rate in the four currently existing Ruby Hotels. Affordable design and concentration on the modern trinity of the well-travelled: freshen up, get connected, sleep.

Hotel labs trial rooms in live operation

Antoine Bourissoux comes from the European market leader Accor – and he took the podium to preach the mantra “Testing beats studying”. Accor Hotels hold hotel labs prior to market launch – that is, laboratories to check interior design and meal offers with the customer before launching them. Here, every sales talk starts with the facts, which underpin emotions. The hygiene factors are notorious: “People don’t complain if they don’t like a rug but they do when there’s no hot water after running it for two minutes.”

There was no ruling consensus on whether the “story telling” brought to the game by Sabine Kober (hotel planner with Kerndesign-Studio) is now indispensable for making a hotel successful in future. Antoine Bourissoux even bemoaned the fact that some story-telling concepts come across somewhat clumsy and the term is overused: “It makes me think of a beer tap in a Munich hotel room during Oktoberfest…” Ruby head Struck also sees the hotel more as a stage on which stories are told – the guests are invited to then carry these as stories.

Story telling – yes, but not contrived

Hotel designer Sabine Kober reported on changes in the expectations of primarily young travellers: The millennials are often looking for communal areas in the hotel – to work and to have social interactions. The room is losing importance as a place to stay so new spaces have to be created that have less relevance for the previous generations of guests.

Robert van der Graaf from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group reminded everyone that a hotel is still a commercial enterprise. In order to work, the hotel must not only satisfy the “expatriated” guests – guests who have travelled a great distance – but as a city hotel must also be integrated into the immediate living environment: “The locals have to come as well so that it functions economically and socially”. When it comes to interior design it’s not always about the architecture, but sometimes also about clearing up: A good example is the hotel room folder with the hotel regulations. This folder embodies an organisational and cost-intensive nightmare that alongside the non-smoking plaque and the wellness offers blocks the place of work. There’s need for reduction here: The login for the internet is the central key to guest satisfaction – and it’s usually hidden somewhere in the documentation.

Mistakes in bathroom planning are unforgivable

TECE Bathroom designAfter the keynote about the hotel bathroom and toilet held at the start by hotel marketing consultant Hanna Kleber and designer Sabine Kober it was universally agreed that the hotel bathroom is the crux of customer satisfaction. Kleber: “When all is said and done, the product is the bed and the bath especially”. That’s not the only reason the bathroom is a critical factor, because planning mistakes here based on the permanently installed fittings are extremely difficult and expensive to correct. And shower toilets in the hotel room? “In Asia and Switzerland the shower toilet is a highly esteemed furnishing detail that enjoys a lot of prestige with guests” – as yet still only too expensive for Germany as Antoine Bourissoux reported from his experiences with Accor.

 

Everything – but uncomplicated

And nothing, not even the toilet, is allowed to be too complicated, everything has to be intuitive to operate. The experts on the podium are unanimous in declaring that “Alexa” and “Siri”, the bots from the computer world that respond to spoken commands, have a promising future in hotels. If it works, helpers like these will reduce costs and save on information and staff. Antoine Bourissoux: “We can’t have staff turning out to explain to the guest that the remote control controls the air conditioning and not the television.” That’s where the good old 1-2-3 dial for the climate control is most definitely the better choice. Michael Struck got right to the point: “The hotel room of the future must understand the guest – not the other way round”.

The hotel of the future – the podium proposals:

  • The room product is the bed and the bath especially.- Core uses are: to freshen up, get connected, sleep.
  • The revenue per room correlates heavily with room size in times of more densely packed urban living space
  • The millennials (Generation Y) like working in hotel lounges (additional space requirement)
  • Happy to accept smaller rooms in exchange
  • No technology in the hotel room and bathroom that isn’t self-explanatory
  • Voice assistants (bots like Alexa) reduce staffing costs
  • The Wi-Fi code and a good website make the disastrous folder in the room unnecessary and make the desk tidy

TECE Bathroom design

The bathroom is essential in the room product because:

  • it’s the first and last thing the guests visits during the day
  • it’s the space where they can move naked and unprotected
  • it’s the space where the guest prepares themselves for the whole day
  • it offers time and space to get inspired for the day
  • it’s the space where the guest can find peace

TECE – Close to you

Driven by curiosity, the sanitary specialists from Emsdetten have been working closely with clients for more than 30 years now – this attitude is captured in the brand claim “close to you”. As a system provider for technology and design, TECE pursues the goal of covering a large number of solutions with a well thought out range. The special competence here lies in the targeted answer to the requirements of architects, designers and fitters: making work easier with practical solutions, reliability in project business and more freedom in design.

TECE began in 1987 as a pioneer in the field of plastic pipe installation systems. Today, these areas of competence include pre-wall, pipe, flushing and toilet technology in addition to drainage and separation technology. TECE is a medium-sized family company that emphasises long-term client relationships with partners in architecture, planning, wholesale and trades. TECE employees 1,500 people and has 22 subsidiaries and sales branches.

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― About the Supplier ―

TECE develops and produces its domestic engineering solutions across Germany and the world on the basis of long-term customer relationships.

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