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Biophilic design strategies enhance guest experiences


PART 1 of 3.

Whether you’re traveling to New York City, Singapore, Los Angeles, or London, your global options for hotel stays are too numerous to count. There are hundreds of travel sites to help you narrow down your search, but what do you look for when trying to book a stay?

Service is important, of course. Price, if you’re on a budget, is relevant. Perhaps the other amenities and views?

This new report, “Human Spaces 2.0: Biophilic Design in Hospitality,” (1) highlights sustainable competitive advantages for your hotel that have the capacity to drive the revenue per available room (RevPar) up up and away!

It’s the hotel design’s connection to nature.loiter-in-style-1@1x-1

We all know rooms with a view can cost more money—and we willingly pony up for that beachfront view! That’s a given.  But what else can a hotel do to include elements of natural design, outside of a valuable vista or secluded retreat to the day spa?

As you’ll see in this breakdown (in three parts), hotels around the world are incorporating nature-inspired and nature-derived elements in a variety of spaces to enhance their guests’ experiences. The industry focus is shifting away from the guest room experience—and trending toward to the common, shared or public spaces—whereby the hotel lobby becomes the neighborhood living room of sorts. This trend is geared around a socially connective guest experience.

Hotel Design StrategyIncreasingly, lobbies are becoming less transitory spaces and more hang-out “dwell time” places. When guests lounge, revenue can increase. In this study, the researchers looked at lobbies with and without biophilic designs and found, not surprisingly, that guests like to spend more time in natural settings… or the closest thing to it in an urban location.

Nature is checking in…

Biophilic design is becoming an important topic in hospitality design. We should embrace this design trend; it is good for reducing stress, improving well-being and hopefully, the success of a hotel. —Bill Browning, Founding Partner of Terrapin Bright Green (2), p. 4


And the biophilic designs? They stand out in the market! As Lorraine Francis, Regional Director of Hospitality Interiors at Gensler (3), states, this type of design can be “very powerful in the hospitality industry.” She says it’s not only cost-effective for brands to enhance guest experience, but it also can “bolster feelings of community while improving well-being and health.” (p. 7) Not to mention the customer retention or lifetime value of the consumer factor. “These principles enable us to […] trigger a deeper affinity to certain brands,” Francis says. “The potential is amazing!”

So, hang out in our virtual lobby for a while.
We’re going to break this review down, answering the questions:

1. Do hotels with biophilic design components really outperform others without? And how much does revenue increase as a result?

2. How can natural design elements enhance the guest experience outside of the view, and how does one market these exciting new factors?

Much of the recent biophilia + benefit research has focused on certain results in the workplace (see our past posts for an example!). But in these next two parts, we’ll dive deeper into this first-of-its-kind study exploring the benefits for the hospitality industry.

Stay tuned!

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Part 2:





4. Other contributor, Interface: