Hotel architects, ReardonSmith, whose seminal work includes the creation of new resorts and the rejuvenation of luxury hotels across Europe, have designed a guestroom concept to meet the growing demand for a personalised hotel experience. Named Heya, the Japanese word for ‘Room’ which was traditionally a space that served as a living and dining room, and at night, as a bedroom, the space is a room for guests who believe that customisation equates to luxury and for hotel owners, developers and operators seeking to optimise their assets and revenues. Think king-size beds that disappear into the ceiling leaving behind a comfortable lounging area; panelled surfaces that interchange from work-out bench to desk or dining area; voice activated shutters that reveal a kitchenette with personalised amenities; and bathrooms with a customised video wall and smart mirrors, not to mention a TV that is housed within the window.
The core design principles were:
Versatility – The space was designed to accommodate four guest types that were identified as: Leisure, Business, Wellness and Long-stay. A key design feature is a moveable wall that provides ultimate flexibility, allowing the room to be completely opened-up to the adjacent space for social functions. During the low season, the room can be easily transformed into a meeting or co-working facility.
Wellness – Heya is full of natural daylight and benefits from special lighting to enhance wellness, and the latest standards of sustainable and biophilic design have been incorporated. Furniture is high quality and materials are natural, but nothing is opulent and everything has a purpose. In keeping with the wellness theme, a four-sense shower experience with an integrated steam room is included.
Technology – This was fully integrated into the room using an Internet-of-Things approach but is not overtly on display. It delivers the ability to flex the room from party to work to family space at the touch of an app or by voice activation.
Jonny Sin, Director of ReardonSmith, led the design team. He says: “We were very conscious of the lifestyle attitudes of Gen Zers in our thinking about Heya. They are not only global nomads, but they are also identity nomads, enabled by ever-advancing technology to curate the experiences and environments they choose around themselves. By the time many of today’s drawing board hotels are open, the oldest of this cohort will be in their thirties and at a stage in life to fully exercise their choices.”
ReardonSmith collaborated with a highly respected group of hospitality specialists in the creation of Heya. They included HoCoSo, Suited Interiors, Elektra Lighting and Delight Lifestyle Branding Agency. Students from Glion Institute of Higher Education and Hotelschool The Hague – the operators and guests of tomorrow – acted as the client. Heya enjoyed its first airing at Sleep & Eat Virtual towards the end of last year.
Visitors can experience this guestroom of the future, here.
Design, info and images © ReardonSmith