The hospitality industry’s future direction in the world of well-being
Renowned hotel designer Jean-Michel Gathy was invited by PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards’ platinum sponsor Kohler to unveil his artistry on the concept of the new Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo, and his notion of well-being in hotel design.
As stated by Gathy, in designing the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo, he understood the importance of Japan’s strong traditional values, rituals, and way of life. Meanwhile, he also had to capture the ‘DNA’ of the Four Seasons brand, which is the epitome of elegance and refinement of the hotel industry, while not losing focus on the business aspect of the development. Hence, this ‘equation’ – “a business with a strong DNA, in a country with powerful traditional values” – is exactly what was done in Tokyo.
In incorporating well–being into hotel projects, Gathy emphasises the importance of constructing developments according to the markets and complying with the rules.
“If all is researched and addressed, then the hotel designed will have a positive impact on the places they are built. It becomes a venue for local people, or for foreigners to get to know that local place. It becomes a venue for intellectual meetings, foreign exchange, etc. The impact, if the development is done properly, is positive,” he added.
The well-being of hotel staff is in doubt as important as the well-being of guests. Gathy mentions that 50 percent of the time, designs are catered for the back of the house.
“Even though you, as a guest, are not invited to visit the back of the house, I can guarantee you that the back of the house has been addressed properly and follow the rules, regulations, social matters, health issues, communications, etc.,” he stated. “Hotel management companies are very sensitive to this issue, and I reassure that the back of the house is addressed fairly to the staff.”
It is evident that the well-being trend has become more prominent, leading to questions on how the world of hospitality might be capturing this trend in the future. Gathy mentions that today’s hotels have shifted from a place of convenience to lifestyle venues. People associate themselves with the values of the hotels, so well-being will unquestionably be adopted into hotel design.
Bathrooms are known as a sanctuary of wellbeing, and Kohler has released products that encompass this trend. Bathrooms are now part of a lifestyle, enabling guests to enjoy their time to unwind and relax. Forming a sexy and attractive bathroom is essential to every designer, but sufficient utilities are also necessary and an area that Kohler has never disregarded.
“Now, because of obvious problems, manufacturers have come out with amazing alternative products to make hotels more sustainable. They produce tiles that look so much like wood that people buy them because it looks like wood. It doesn’t destroy forests, it’s cheaper to install, etc. All these are the results of environmental stress. Now, we see health stress. The main manufacturers will come with new products that reduce the risks of propagation of viruses or diseases. Industries will come out with products that automatically help health issues,” said Jean-Michel Gathy.
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