There’s no doubt. First impressions are important. Creating that lasting feeling of quality and taste for the guest is an ongoing, and essential, aim of hoteliers.
The front desk is a key area. Special attention should be given in the display of style and the element of décor.
What is the best approach to take? Should we repaint, install wall covering, or apply a decorative finish? All are advisable. The choice is up to the individual making that decision.
The following considerations may help you decide:
* Design the area to complement the surrounding design elements of the lobby – as well as the hotel’s overall design and theme.
* Select colors which are neutral, soft tones – and easy on the eye. Exception: Hotel with a kids theme.
* For a contemporary feel, utilize textures. Use custom, hand-applied wall textures, such as “Venetian plaster.” Or, use various types of multi-patterned wallcoverings.
* Construct a wood paneled wall system, decorated in dark rich wood tones. Note: This installation involves more planning, fitting, installing, and finishing.
* Apply a wood veneer to the surface. This can be finished in your choice of color and sheen finish.
Note: Even many professionals overlook this application.
A given: There is a wide variation in cost, preparation, and finishing time.
With some applications, the results can be extraordinary. “No one can resist complementing it,” said a Miami Beach hotel’s retiring front desk manager.
It’s also a great boost to the morale of the staff, or employees. “Fantastic!” was the response of the front desk manager of a South Orlando hotel.
In front reception areas, the same options apply, as above. Here, it would be in the best interest of the management to ensure that these areas are designed, based on the public’s perspective.
THREE RELATED EXAMPLES:
1. The new “Concierge” area of the Chicago Hilton & Towers set adjacent to the main lobby and front desk. To give the space – and job – a distinctive identity, a unique combination of colors, textures and wood were used. Each of the elements alone, and in combination, complemented the lobby’s overall design and color scheme in an inviting and classy way!
2. In May of 2012, a hotel guest told me that he was the front desk manager for a Fairmont Hotel. He’d come to Kissimmee to attend his son’s wedding. He described the Fairmont’s front desk and lobby area as a “refined representation of the hotel’s upper crust clientele.” He described the area as small, and decorated in elegant paint colors and custom-designed textured wallcoverings. And, it was furnished in antiques from Europe.
He called his suite at our hotel: “comfortable and unpretentious.” He called our front desk and reception area “touristy and utilitarian.” He was right. Many Central Florida hotel lobbies, at that time, were still limited in the diversity of guest services and amenities offered in that area.
3. A family friend owns a cluster of upscale, trendy vacation villas in Jamaica. (They are full-sized homes.) When he visits family there, he stays at a hotel. He enjoys the hotel atmosphere and amenities, and ability “to meet someone new.”
He’s said that he prefers the more subdued décor of the hotels around Central Florida, where he resides. His business enables him to go in and out of hotel lobbies, meeting rooms and conference centers on a frequent basis. He possesses a keen understanding of hotel guest preferences. Including front desks and reception and concierge areas.
His best friend is the GM at a large Disney area hotel. He lets the GM friend know, for example, how his hotel front area services compare to those offered by others.
As a painter and decorator, I like to visit different hotels, spas, resorts, and inns. It’s a great way to pass an hour – say, between appointments in the same neighborhood. More important, it’s a way to see a hotel’s amenities, from a guest’s or visitor’s view.
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“A hotel’s front desk and reception area, and the persons that serve there, tend to paint a clear view of the importance of people there.”
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”