The hotel sector is dynamic and booming. And, with it, guests’ expectations are ever rising. It wasn’t too long ago that Westin’s Heavenly Bed propelled the industry to provide guests with an exceptional night’s sleep. Now, guests are demanding fresh and more imaginative elements to provide an exceptional experience. To do this, every hotel space must be well designed with care given to choose materials that enhance and support the guest experience. Hotels are employing biophilic design more and more as feeling good in the various hotel spaces is as important as looking great. Reclaimed wood can be one of the materials to elicit good feelings.
Why Use Reclaimed Wood in Hotels?
Reclaimed wood is eye-catching in appearance but also has numerous wellness benefits. Since contemporary hotels aim to be havens for both the body and mind, the use of reclaimed wood is ideal. The presence of wood in the built environment provides many physical and mental benefits from stress reduction to increased social interaction. These benefits span the range of hospitality situations, so whether you’re designing a soothing lounge area or renovating an event center, using reclaimed wood can make a space even better.
In addition, reclaimed wood contributes to the quality of a built environment as it relates to human wellness. Guests directly benefit from a hotel that has a high indoor environment quality (IEQ). Recently, hotels have been looking to biophilic design in order to improve IEQ and enhance guests’ well-being. Research shows that guests enjoy this connection to nature; Terrapin Bright Green found that 36% more hotel guests spend time in lobbies with biophilic elements. Their findings also suggested that biophilic designed rooms can support a higher room rate. Overall, when working to design an environment that bolsters wellness, the usage of green building materials like reclaimed wood is of utmost importance.
When hotels take initiative to be more environmentally friendly, using reclaimed wood will fit right into their branding. Many hotels work to be greener (and encourage their patrons to do so as well). Using sustainable products is a perfect complement to these efforts. They not only further encourage guests to be mindful but also reduce a hotel’s overall footprint since the sourcing of reclaimed wood is particularly energy efficient.
Last but not least, reclaimed wood can serve as a brand ambassador and communicate to the public how a hotel cares about its impact on the environment. Adding natural materials like reclaimed wood will augment steps taken to improve other indoor elements like air quality and exposure to natural light. Luckily, reclaimed wood is extremely versatile and can have a place in the rooms, cafés or outdoor lounges. Here are a few of my favorite use cases of reclaimed wood in hotels.
Using Reclaimed Wood in Hotel Rooms
When it comes to implementing reclaimed wood in hotel rooms, there are many possibilities. Guests indicate they want all the comforts of home but I would argue that guests want to feel as comfortable as they do when they are home so they can truly let down to focus on work or recoup from a day of travel. The presence of wood can allow for deeper rest or concentration depending on the circumstances. Reclaimed wood allows your brand aesthetic to really shine, but is also a tool to provide a more restful room conducive to sleep or to prep for the next day’s meetings. Reclaimed wood as flooring, paneling or tables can serve as an organic foundation that unifies a room.
From Condé Nast Traveler: Reclaimed wood ceilings at Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel lend a rustic, authentic mood to its rooms
When paired with a view, reclaimed wood can be especially powerful. According to Terrapin Bright Green, hotel rooms with a view of nature are priced 11%–18% higher than rooms that lack a view. Reclaimed wood that’s partnered with a view creates a compounding effect and enhances the biophilia of the room, making guests even happier and more relaxed. Even small implementations of wood can noticeably amplify the extent to which guests enjoy their rooms. Combine a view of nature, reclaimed wood, and other biophilic elements like plants, and you’ve got a winning combination on your hands.
Using Reclaimed Wood in Lounge Installations
A lounge provides one of the most visually stunning ways to use reclaimed wood in hotels. It works well in those seating areas that flow from the inside to the outside or, when design needs to take it to the next level, try placing reclaimed wood adjacent to a striking living wall.
When used in lounge areas, reclaimed wood is often a prominent part of the space, which ensures that guests will be enjoying all of the positive effects that wood brings. It’s also especially advantageous when partnered with other natural elements, like plants or a fire feature. These elements help guests to feel more at ease and contribute to a tranquil atmosphere.
Using Reclaimed Wood in Hotel Lobbies
The lobby is the first space your guests will encounter, so it’s critical that it reflects the hotel’s brand and values. Lobby design has many effects on customer perception and satisfaction. I mentioned earlier that reclaimed wood can act as a brand ambassador, and that’s especially true when it comes to lobbies. Green building materials working hand in hand with branded design will create a stellar first impression. In addition, many guests will use the lobby as a place to meet, socialize, or do work, so design that takes those needs into consideration will show your guests that the hotel is passionate about catering to them.
From Condé Nast Traveler: Reclaimed wood in this lobby works with the industrial design to make a memorable first impression
Using Reclaimed Wood in Hotel Office Spaces
Guests aren’t going to see a hotel’s offices and workspaces, but worker well-being and productivity will benefit if the entire building is seamlessly designed. Workers will feel and perform better, and the hotel’s brand will be even more cohesive. Reclaimed wood can play an important part in improving employee productivity. On a larger scale, reclaimed wood can be part of your employee-first design. Consideration for workers’ physical and mental wellness is ideal for any kind of workspace.
Using Reclaimed Wood in Hotel Restaurants
You’ve undoubtedly noticed the unique ambiance that reclaimed wood can instill in a space. That’s precisely why it’s a favorite choice for hotel restaurants. It suits a wide range of restaurant types from casual cafés to high-end eateries. In more relaxed or upscale restaurants, wood leverages its biophilic power to give a sense of restfulness, and in a lively more hip establishment, reclaimed wood brings a real authenticity to the setting.
Reclaimed wood isn’t just excellent for dining areas; it’s also right at home in a bar setting. Bar tops, stools, and tables that feature reclaimed wood will instantly win patrons over, encourage social interaction, and cultivate a welcoming environment. Many bars utilize darker woods to add the kind of warmth typically associated with high-end bar establishments.
The importance of biophilic design in hotels cannot be understated. This concentration on designing for health has been a staple in hotel spas for a while, but it’s just as crucial to implement wellness-first design in every room of a hotel. In addition to using ample light and greenery, reclaimed wood is an easy and effective method of creating spaces that prioritize human well-being. It adds a sense of comfort, flair, and delivers the unique, memorable, and personalized experience your guests are seeking.