For a hotel to be accessible, it must meet basic requirements of access, circulation, communication and use. But for this to be possible, hotel design plays a central role. Complying with the access requirements involves following a series of parameters and design characteristics.
In this article we will analyze all the hotel design parameters that must be followed to guarantee access. It is necessary to clarify that with “access” we refer to the moment when clients enter a space or service. Thus, by following the keys that we will give, hotels can guarantee that anyone can access their facilities.
1. ACCESS MUST BE LEVELED
In hotel design it is preferable and desirable to ensure that access has no unevenness. Unevenness (such as steps, curbs or irregularities) can have a significant impact on visitor access. And this is especially true for those with physical limitations or reduced mobility.
The steps represent an obstacle for people in wheelchairs, on crutches or with motor difficulties. And the same thing happens in the case of curbs and unevenness such as cracks, potholes or uneven surfaces. Not to mention that the latter increase the risk of trips and falls for all visitors.
Therefore, when considering hotel design, it is crucial to maintain a uniform and well-maintained floor. This ensures access and safety for everyone. Likewise, if stairs are present, solutions such as ramps or elevators can also be considered.
2. DOORS MUST MEET CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS FOR A GOOD HOTEL DESIGN
In hotel design, the importance of doors meeting certain characteristics cannot be underestimated. They are critical access points in any building. Therefore, they play a fundamental role in creating an accessible environment for all visitors.
This is why it is necessary to ensure compliance with certain characteristics of the doors. Not only at the entrance door, but also at elevator doors, bathrooms or rooms. Among these features are:
A MINIMUM WIDTH OF 90 CENTIMETERS
Doors with a minimum clear passage width of 90 cm or more are considered accessible. They offer a space large enough to allow the comfortable passage of people with different mobility needs.
When talking about hotel design, this feature of the doors is essential. This ensures that those using wheelchairs or other devices can easily enter and exit the spaces.
In doors with two or more leaves, at least one of them must have a minimum width of 90 cm. Thus, even on large doors, at least one leaf will open enough to accommodate people with limitations. This allows the hotel to meet accessibility standards and provide equal opportunities to all its customers.
It is worth noting that taking this feature into account in hotel design facilitates the circulation of all users. This includes family groups and people with strollers or bulky luggage, which enhances the experience.
A MINIMUM HEIGHT OF 2.10 METERS
As with width, doors with a minimum clear passage height of 2.10 meters are more accessible. They provide generous vertical space that benefits a wide range of people. These include those with mobility problems, as well as those who are taller than usual.
This feature ensures that there are no significant vertical restrictions when entering or exiting a room or area. Thus, when considering it in hotel design, any possibility of bumps or feeling restricted in passage is eliminated.
PREFERABLY PRACTICAL OR SLIDING DOORS
It is important that the door be operable, that is, that it can be opened to a minimum angle of 90 degrees. Although sliding doors can also be used. Whatever the case, this part of the hotel design offers a wide opening, avoiding unnecessary restrictions. Of course, revolving doors are completely discouraged, due to their access limitations.
In addition, there must be a free space of at least 1.50 meters on both sides around the door. This facilitates the movement of people and ensures that there are no obstacles that make opening or closing difficult.
At this point it is also important to highlight that the opening doors of the bathroom cabins must open outwards. In this way, not only is the closure more comfortable, but it is also easier to evacuate in case of emergencies.
Finally, regardless of the type of door chosen in the hotel design, it is recommended to install a protective skirting board. This must be located at the bottom of the doors and be at least 30 cm. In this way, deterioration is avoided and the durability of the doors is guaranteed.
OPENING AND CLOSING MECHANISMS
To guarantee access to the rooms, the installation of automatic doors is recommended, accompanied by photoelectric cells that allow safe and efficient opening. In hotel design, this system is especially beneficial as it eliminates the need to knock on the door.
Likewise, door opening mechanisms must be easy to access and operate. For this, different devices can be used, such as pushbuttons, card readers or other electronic sensors. These devices must be located at a height between 85 and 105 cm to be accessible.
Furthermore, in doors that have closing mechanisms, such as latches, it is essential that they can be opened from the outside using an unlocking system. This is particularly important to ensure safety in the event of an emergency.
3. SIGNAGES MUST BE HAVE FOR CORRECT HOTEL DESIGN
Signage is essential in hotel design to guarantee visitor access to hotel spaces. These visual orientation elements provide key information that makes it easier to navigate and identify areas. This is particularly useful for users who are not familiar with the layout of the hotel, allowing them to find what they need.
In addition, signage is essential to indicate accessible routes and obstacle-free paths. This is important for people with reduced mobility, as it allows them to navigate safely and efficiently. At this point, signs in braille and high-contrast characters are especially important for those with visual impairments.
Additionally, signage can provide information in multiple languages, facilitating communication and improving accessibility. This undoubtedly contributes to a more inclusive and comfortable experience for all visitors.
4. IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE GOOD LIGHTING IN EVERY HOTEL DESIGN
Finally, lighting is another important point that must be considered in hotel design when guaranteeing customer access. At this point, using photoelectric presence sensors for lighting activation is an important strategy. These sensors not only offer significant energy savings, but also provide exceptional comfort.
Of course, in specific areas such as groups of sinks and bathroom stalls, it is important to avoid the use of timed lighting systems. These systems can be problematic, as the limited lighting time can cause difficulties. Thus, ensuring adequate lighting in these areas is essential for the comfort and safety of all visitors.
Hotel design can ensure access to facilities for all visitors, regardless of their needs or abilities. Complying with specific requirements related to access, such as the elimination of unevenness, the appropriate width of the doors, the minimum passage height and the choice of opening or sliding doors, allows us to create an inclusive and comfortable environment.
There is no doubt that well thought out and adapted hotel design ensures that anyone can access and enjoy the hotel safely and without obstacles. And in turn this contributes to a positive and memorable experience for all users.