Scent, lighting, service: What is actually important for the ambience? Hoteliers and restaurant owners do not have to follow every colour or material trend, ultimately the design of the room should correspond above all to the wishes and needs of the target group.
It is obvious that large caterers face different challenges than small gourmet restaurants. This being the case experts still agree that the right staff makes the biggest contribution to the harmonious ambience. From 20 to 24 February Intergastra 2016 shows how quickly lavender-scented carpets will catch on and what developments the industry is discussing.
“What’s on trend today can quickly be out again tomorrow. It is dangerous to be too trendy”, explains interior designer Susanne Brandherm from Studio Brandherm + Krumrey Interior Architecture.
She recommends combining new impulses with a timeless design, “because accents such as colourful pillows or floor lamps can be better adapted to new trends than structural elements such as flooring or lighting scenarios.”
Spiridon Sarantopoulos, Area General Manager of the Central Region for Steigenberger, also says that hoteliers cannot, and should not, follow all social trends. “It only becomes difficult when a hotel is actually working with historical structures. Investments should be made as long as a concept still works, and not just when it no longer functions.”
Lavender scent and mossy walls: Anything else is visions of the future While decisive changes were already introduced years ago or even decades ago in Asia or Dubai, the hotel scene in Europe was cautious by comparison. Germany is now following suit – after lavender-scented carpets and mossy walls anything else is visions of the future.
The new Cloud No. 7 project in Stuttgart is proof. The project demonstrates that organic elements such as air humidification or green areas play a huge role.
“For instance guests should be encouraged to take the stairs instead of the lift, in general the concept should reflect life”, states Sarantopoulos. Interior designers, hoteliers and large caterers all agree that as well as the right concept of acoustics, lighting, design and haptic elements, the right service is required in order to turn a dining room into a harmonious guest room.
“Ambience is always a perceived quality. More important than a new table concept with trendy high chairs is the staff. The staff convey a sense of well-being to the guests – or not”, states Sarantopoulos.
As a result, the most detailed design concept cannot work without the right employees.
Eva-Maria Rühle from the Schwäbische Alb Health Centre also confirms this for the care area: “Half of the things that constitute ambience do not depend on measurable things. The problem with many clinics is that they do not manage to turn medical staff into service providers, this is why I rely on employees with hotel experience.”
As only a few clinics invest a great deal in the ambience, German facilities can regularly be found among the lower end of European rankings.
According to Rühle, who regularly replaces interior furnishings and fittings so that the patients are comfortable in their rooms and the environment, this is mainly due to the numerous restrictions and the function-oriented mindset: “In other countries getting better can be fun, in Germany it is painful. A paradox: In a rehab clinic there are up to 95 percent of people who can achieve a higher or quicker health outcome with a good ambience.”
The trend topic of regionality can also influence the ambience and furnishings and fittings: “I would obtain local resources in manpower, because with materials it is generally difficult to implement. Regionality has to do with identification.
But that does not necessarily mean that I have to make a classic Alpine hotel in the Alps”, states Brandherm.
It is generally often more effective to highlight individual producers or manufacturers, such as a neighbouring potato grower, who works with disabled people, adds Rühle.
Intergastra 2016 creates various points of contact for these issues at the special area Fokus Hotel with a focus on architecture, and offers high added value for hoteliers, architects and planners with diverse exhibitors from the product and services area and fascinating best practice models.
The world of hospitality – This is the claim of Intergastra, one of the most important European trade fairs for gastronomy, hotels and dedicated hosts. In 2014, the comprehensive offer on over 100,000 square metres of floor space brought together almost 90,000 visitors and around 1,300 exhibitors from Germany and abroad.
The event thus meets the high expectations, and regularly receives top marks from the exhibiting companies and specialist visitors alike.
Kitchen technology and food, ambience and equipment, services, handmade ice cream, beverages and coffee – These are the themes on which the specialist visitors from Germany and abroad obtain information, and are encouraged to think outside the box.
The gastronomical heart of Germany beats in the south west, where at the start of the year Intergastra showcases innovations and trends and provides many opportunities for the exchange of expert opinions and ideas.
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