The influence of global designs has raised the guest’s expectations of bathroom experience substantially. Bathroom is now become an integral part of any star hotel’s brand identity and an essential marketing tool. All aspects of the bathroom design are given much attention, be it tiles, bathroom fittings or accessories. Shantanu Deonath, Executive Housekeeper of Aloft Ahmedabad, a four-star hotel of the Starwood Group, says, “The design of washroom is no doubt important. It should be ergonomic and meet the needs of today’s business traveller.”
Traditionally bathrooms are of three types:
- Three Piece bathroom – Shower, washbasin and a WC. It is the most modern concept.
- Four piece bathroom – Shower, washbasin, WC and bathtub
- Five piece bathroom – Shower, washbasin WC, bathtub and bidet
However, these days due to demand from business guests three-piece bathrooms are highly preferred. Health faucets are also a necessity, considering the fact that Indian guests prefer to wash rather than clean with a toilet paper.
Harinder Kishore, Executive Housekeeper, The LeelaKempinski Hotel & Residences, Delhi NCR, says, “ Washrooms are an important part of any hotel especially in top end hotels, where the guest expectations are equally high. When we talk about design, it needs to be spacious with shower as well as bathtub. W/C cubical should have good space and light as a lot of guests read while sitting on W/C. Vanity counter should have good quality mirrors and light. All guest room bathrooms should have strong exhaust/ fresh air ensuring there is no bad odour. If it is in the public area then it should be easily accessible / located. Every hotel should have one or two physically challenged friendly washroom too.”
” With regards to accessories installed,even a lounge washroom should include hand dryer, paper towel dispenser, multiple washbasins and urinals ” – Shantanu Deonath
Be it three-piece, four-piece, five-piece or spacious high-end bathroom, the design should be maintenance-friendly. The right choice of flooring tiles, right positioning with enough space to reach corners and right hygiene accessories is equally important.
“With regards to accessories installed, even a lounge washroom should include hand dryer, paper towel dispenser, multiple washbasins, urinals, etc. Additional washroom accessories in the rooms could include hair dryer, shaving mirror and weighing scale,” says Deonath.
Talking about washroom essentials/ accessories Harinder points out that there are certain essentials/ accessories which need to be present like toiletries – (bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap), tooth brush, shaving kit, loofa, comb, cotton pad, ear bud, emery board, sanitary / disposal bags, different size of towels, bathrobes, good quality tissue paper and toilet rolls and fresh flowers or greens. When packed in a clean and hygienic manner, it builds the confidence of the guest. “This is necessary, as most of our guests are world-class travellers who expect top end hotels to provide basic accessories, mainly because they do not want to carry them,” explain Harinder.
All washroom accessories depend upon the traffic and clients being catered to in that particular area. “If it’s a lounge washroom then we need to have good hand wash, sanitizer and hand lotion for the guest. If we are catering to very high end guest then we can place face freshener and perfumes, fresh flowers and mints also. To add more, one can place shoe polishing machine, coat or lint brush and aroma diffusers also.” These factors enhance the hygienic feel of the washroom.
Talking about feminine hygiene bins in hotel washrooms, Deonath and Harinder agree that it is an important accessory, “but most hotels use sanibags, which take care of the need. At present, we don’t have feminine hygiene bins in our hotels.”
” Most of our guests are world-class travellers who expect top end hotels to provide basic accessories, mainly because they do not want to carry these “– Harinder Kishore
As far as following a specific schedule for cleaning the washroom is concerned Deonath informs that guest room washrooms are generally cleaned twice a day whereas public area washrooms are thoroughly cleaned thrice a day. Touch up service is given on regular interval, which is decided on the basis of the traffic in the area. “Mops, WC brush, Glass cleaning kit, caddy, cleaning in progress Signange, dusters are common tools are used to clean washroom. We use mild acid based WC cleaner, non-ammonia based glass cleaner and cleaner cum sanitizer in the wash room.”
At Leela, there is deep cleaning of guest room washrooms during morning service and evening services. “These washrooms are touched up on daily basis. We use all top end bio-degradable chemicals which has sanitizer also to maintain hygiene standards. There are different kinds of brushes for different surface and area, polishing and buffing machine, steam cleaner, etc., which are also deployed.”
An innovative toilet seat cleaner
A team of student researchers from the US led by 22-year old mechanical engineering graduate Nick Bradford have developed a new toilet seat cleaning system, which requires no chemicals, rotating seat sleeves, electric or battery supply and works like a mini carwash.
The system uses water from the plumbing which is diverted into a cleaning mechanism that is enclosed in the toilet lid. The water flows under high pressure to three arms mounted on a rotating disc, and the force of the water rotates the disc to clean the toilet seat.
The design of the system eliminates the need for expensive motion sensors that deliver a plastic seat cover whenever a person enters the cubicle.
Hotel washroom is where every guest wants to experience the freshness and excellent hygiene standard. A lot of times, washrooms are remembered for personalised service also. “There are attendants posted to maintain the hygiene standards.” A well-groomed attendant opening the washroom door to a visiting guest in the public area with a welcome smile gives the ultimate confidence of entering into a hygienic ambience.