Bath with a view: the new trend in luxury hotels

If you have stayed in a luxury hotel in the last couple of years, there are good possibilities that you may have come across one of the most discussed recent trends in interior design.
It seems that the architects of many of the most famous hotel chains have thought of placing the sleeping area and washing facilities in the same space.
Washbasins and showers now in good view, between the bed and the armchair, at most shielded by transparent glass walls and often visible from the street, are a solution at the very least risky and which break down the last barrier of privacy: washing in the same space where you sleep no longer seems to be the convenient solution of floors adapted to home or cheap hotels, but on the contrary a distinctive feature of the most exclusive hotels.
Bathrooms have always been considered important indicators of a hotel's rating, a sort of extension of its identity.

You hope that it is a bit ambitious, better than what you have at home. A bit of fun!

That’s what said Drew Shepard, senior director of Consumer Insights for Marriott, who interviews thousands of guests in the chain every year for work.
According to Zeev Sharon, founder of Hotelied, a hotel reservation site that offers discounts to users based on their social media presence, market research in recent years also show that the bathroom is increasingly a criterion for evaluating the entire room. He is convinced that we will see bathrooms become bigger and bigger - unlike the room, which would be smaller and minimal, although increasingly automated.
"Much attention has recently been paid to making the bathroom as spa-like as possible. With the right proportions, it also happens for three-star hotels.”

The new requirements of the luxury bathroom

TrustYou, a rating management company that analyzes hundreds of thousands of reviews from over 250 websites such as TripAdvisor, Twitter and Yelp and then shares this information with hotels and other hospitality companies, reports that most of the online comments on hotel bathrooms are about size or cleanliness. And how one of the most common complaints over the years has been the often insufficient lighting in the bathrooms.
On the other hand, it seems that the need for greater luminosity is precisely one of the main reasons why doors and walls have been demolished in an area that was supposed to be equipped with keys and locks. The installation of glass walls and showers allows natural light to spread into the space, making the room look larger and airy and giving the room a spa appeal, but it forces you to feel a certain amount of confidence with your travel companions, something that you can't take for granted.
This becomes far from the times when Joan Collins identified the key to a long and happy marriage as having separate bathrooms, and when it was generally thought that a little mystery would strengthen intimacy, Standard hotels in New York, especially the High Line and East Village locations, are now known for their all-glass walls, which give views onto the street.

Michael Attenborough, head of interior design for Radisson Edwardian hotels, installed in 2009 Philippe Starck's freestanding bathtubs at the Bloomsbury site, and installed glass-walled bathrooms at the Leicester Square hotel.

He was so proud of the innovative interior solution that he proposed it again in his private home: "Yes, it cost me three times as much as a normal wall would cost me," he said about the glass wall that divides the bedroom from the bathroom, where a sensationally large open plan shower is the protagonist, "but all the friends who see it say - Oh God, it's great! - even though it's not a design that suits everyone". In fact, like many other trends once limited to hotels, also that of the open plan bathroom is spreading in homes, in total disregard of the conventional rule that one’s own ablutions and physiological functions are to be performed in absolute confidentiality, even by the partner.

Hi-tech transparency

The Ecclestone Square Hotel in London, which boasts of being "the most hi-tech" in the capital, is equipped with glass walls that can be "matte" at the touch of a button, but this is not the norm: mostly the transparent walls of the bathrooms remain so, with no possibility of "frost".
Situated in a former World War II prison, the Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy di Amsterdam offers rooms from one to five stars: two-star rooms already include an open-plan bathroom designed to maximize space and light, or a sort of "pull-out" bathroom that acts as a partition and can be "closed" when not in use.
The Hotel Particulier in Montmartre, opened in Paris in 2007, has all the air of a romantic retreat, with a large pool with clawed feet in the middle of the top-floor suite, like a sculpture in itself.
"I think of bathrooms as living rooms," said Morgane Rousseau, designer and artist responsible for the Particulier project.
"The bathroom is sometimes a private place, but it's also good to share it.”
And it is to a sort of multitasking function of the bathtub that many of the passionate supporters of the visible bathroom refer to.

Today's luxury bathtub is a living space.

Trisha Wilson, founder and CEO of Wilson Associates, which brings together interior design, architecture and art consulting firms and in recent years has designed dozens of open plan bathrooms in hotels around the world, from Morocco to China, also specifying that now about half of the room surface is specifically dedicated to the bathroom.

Lifestyle touch

"If they ask me - What did you do on Sunday? - I love to answer - I spent the whole day in the bathtub", says Rousseau, so it is a real luxury to watch television, chat with your partner or just admire the view out the window while relaxing with a nice bath.

And also in Paris, the designer has already proposed and designed several open space solutions for the bathrooms of private apartments, thinking of them as living rooms, with fireplaces, armchairs, tables and ottomans to stretch out your feet and relax.

This trend is therefore not only the natural extension of open plan kitchens, or more generally to open living spaces, but concerns, even more generally, the ease with which we are now used to managing overexposure and the constant erosion of privacy to which more or less we are all subjected. On the contrary: the careless display of one's body and one's natural needs is increasingly associated with a sense of added luxury.
For the most reserved, all that remains is to make sure at the time of booking that there is the possibility of a door that can be locked if necessary.

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