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Hospitality through the eyes of an architect

Designing a hotel is always a great challenge for any architect. To create a building where a wide range of services provide users with a variety of experiences all in one place, makes the whole process more intense and rewarding.

As a space designed to receive people for short periods of time, it should be developed with the aim of exploring strong, complete and well-being sensations, which in any way leave a mark of reference to the user and the intention of coming back.

The design of the hotel begins long before the architecture and specialty teams sketch some ideas on paper or begin do idealize spaces.

As a first step, it is essential for the investor to make a market analysis at regional and zone levels to define his business model and to define a strategy (define the profile of the clients, typology, category, number of rooms and services).

Based on the economic study, the hotel’s general concept can be deepened, which will have direct influence on the architectural design.

The concept will define the entire design of the complex, the relationship with the surroundings, the way spaces interact and communicate, the organization and distribution of public access areas and technical areas, rooms, support equipment and even the finishes.

The finishes and choice of materials may be related and dependent on the category of the project, which, independently of its aesthetic component, should have characteristics that do not compromise its durability and allow easy maintenance and cleaning.

During design phase, besides the creation of environments and the choice of aesthetic options, it is necessary to think about and integrate solutions that improve the efficiency of the buildings, both from a sustainability and economic point of view.

Due to the high daily number of guests, water and electricity consumption for services and wellbeing is high; however, much of it is associated with waste and misuse in general.

It is challenging to maintain the quality standard in customer care and services with sustainable consumption. However, at the same time, it is an intrinsic part of the process, having a great influence on the economic viability of the enterprise.

To minimize this weight and optimize consumption, it is possible to use passive/intelligent solutions that allow the use of solar energy and other forms of energy production (geothermal, hydro, etc.), as well as the use of active solutions that use technologies that reduce costs and reuse water, as well as improve equipment efficiency and lighting.

The sensations and experiences lived by the users are the final result of how one can conciliate location, architecture and specialties, decoration, services, restoration, support equipment, among others in the general concept of the hotel unit.

With the projection that Portugal has had in international markets and the growing demand that has been felt in recent years, there is also the need to create the supply to meet these requirements. Being so, there is a strong need to innovate and design differentiated products that are more focused on a particular target audience, category or segment, trying to anticipate trends and creating new styles.

From a general point of view, Portugal has its own unique characteristics: mild climate, more than three thousand hours of sunshine per year, 850 km of beaches, an enormous historical heritage and cultural life, a gastronomy rich in flavours and a great diversity of activities (art and culture, outdoor, family, gastronomy and wine, golf, nature, health and wellness, sun and sea, surfing, rural tourism, nautical tourism, religious tourism, among many others). It has all the ingredients and, in a way, the task facilitated to be a perfect destination and offer a complete experience to its visitors.

Portugal is currently a target of investment, with the hotel sector being one of the most sought-after, where investors have great expectations and continue to bet.

Until the end of the year, only in Lisbon area, 13 new units are planned to open!

Bold and differentiating products are emerging as a response to trends, while exploring new themes.

With the rush that we have been experiencing in recent years, some healthy competition has emerged to keep up with the growing demand in the hotel sector, which places all the players of the sector more attentive to their role and alert to improve, evolve and innovate.

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