What a better way to kick start the week by attending a design exhibition – Independent Hotel Show 2017. We were keen and arrived at the doors early to catch the early worm as you may say.

With last week’s media focusing on mental health we decided to sign ourselves up to the “Minds on Mindfulness” seminar. With it being early it really helped to motivate us before we explored the show, getting us in the right head space – no pun intended!

As we arrived at the “Gymnasium for the Mind” we were immediately made to feel at home and relaxed by being encouraged to remove our shoes, coats and to sit on yoga balls!

The first discussion was held by Anna Ramsay (Good Spa Guide) with Katie Bentley (The Pigsty at Oddfellows on the Park), Sarah Bonchetti (Temple Spa) and Shannon (ILA Spa) – all from a different background and each bringing a different spin on how we can think outside the box on wellbeing in the hospitality industry.

The discussion focused on the spa industry and how this can be spread over the hotel whether you had a spa or not. They discussed how we can make design changes to have a positive effect on the guest’s wellbeing through the guest bedroom design. Here are some of the main points we took from the discussion and would like to try and implement in our designs:

Charging phones away from the bed – The point in this was to get our phones away from us at night and to help enable us to fully switch off for a better night’s sleep. Though as much as we like this idea and will try and implicate this at home, I struggle to see how lots of busy business guests will understand the benefit at first instance. With society now wanting everything to hand at a convenience we suspect many guests will find this irritating which would therefore defeat the point.

Spa channel –  If you do have a spa in the hotel then why not introduce a spa channel that encourages guest to use this facility. If you don’t have a spa on the premises then you could also play relaxing music in the room or consider hiring a freelance therapist who can come to the hotel. This way you are seen to be proactive and going the extra mile to satisfy your guests needs.

Yoga and meditation channel – a great way to do more marketing for the hotel brand and include yoga matts in the room to encourage the guests to engage in their own private time.

Multi-function hotel spaces – transform any unutilised spaces into exercise classes to provide activities for guests to not sit in their room and maintain their daily routines which is great for mental and physical health.

Complimentary extras – really do add a personal touch making you feel they’ve gone the extra mile to make your stay as best as it can be.

Pillow cases –  add small sayings such as; “Be Kind”, “Be Positive” and “Sleep Well” as well as adding a subtle relaxing scent to the pillows for a relaxing night’s sleep.

Mini bar – Instead of having your conventional naughty snacks, how about adding some small treatment bottles inside as well adding a pleasant surprise.

That day we learnt that 1-5 of adults suffer from anxiety or depression and we now have a responsibility as an interior design practice to incorporate mindfulness into the design whether that’s consciously or subconsciously. Our second talk was by Glenis Wade who was promoting the Healthy Workplace Charter led by the Mayor of London explaining that a happy worker can be 12% more productive! This scheme promoted exercise, rewards, motivation and no eating at our desks known as “Aldesco” to name a few things, which can immediately help employees become happier at work.

We left the event feeling hugely inspired to promote wellbeing in work, home and hotels! The show also inspired us with various products such as the patterns by Linwood and the quirky men’s accessories by Men’s Society with their themed kits for men – the “over did it on the prosecc – HO HO HO” kit made us smile!

Another year at the Independent Hotel Show done and we headed back to the office feeling very Zen, mindful and keen to share and put what we had learnt into practice!

Find out more about the Independent Hotel Show www.independenthotelshow.co.uk