NEWH (The Hospitality Industry Network) recently invited design firms within the hospitality industry from the U.S., Canada and Europe (U.K., Paris and Milan regions) to submit design concepts that respond to how the hospitality industry will transform following COVID-19. A panel of 14 leading hospitality professionals chose the winners they felt showcase innovation, leadership and excellence in design and in this issue, Hotelier is pleased to feature a selection of those winners. A complete list can be found here.

Category: Hotel
Design Team: Zandro Tumaliuan

COVID-19 has people feeling insecure about their surroundings, so their connection to nature is more important than ever. It’s a well-known fact that the virus spreads less in open spaces and that nature brings a sense of peace, serenity and security. At Hagar Design International Inc.’s post-pandemic hotel, the re-purposed atrium space easily allows for social distancing and immediately transports the guest into a sense of well-being through the biophilic environment.

The impression of an indoor park conveys the message of distancing as people understand organic spaces. The multi-purpose reception desk has an interactive transparent-glass screen that can be used for self-check-in, directions, information and navigation. When the desk is unmanned an interactive display will be projected. Decorative light fixtures, including pendants, wall sconces, table lamps and the illuminated tree, are equipped with UV lighting that are activated during sanitizing periods. Materials and finishes will be treated with anti-microbial/antiviral coatings.

Category: Hotel Public Spaces
Design Team: Sidharth Bhatia, Sara Jabeen and Manuela Kennedy

Knowing guest comfort and safety will be paramount in the post-COVID-19 hotel environment, the team at Carver & Associates looked at how to minimize contact, but not enjoyment, especially during mealtimes. Grab-and-go and vending-style foods will be abundant, however hot meals and familiar flavours will also be sought. Throughout this pandemic, restaurants continued to offer delivery and pickup services and the design team extended that concept directly into the hotel dining area. This model could be applied to budget hotels or be upscaled to a boutique experience.

The design requires only a smartphone with a hotel app, allowing guests to order a variety of foods, be billed and access the honeycomb-inspired delivery system with QR or bar codes.

Restaurant drivers access an exterior entrance into a delivery- room adjacent to the lobby, where the food-cubbies line the wall. Access is granted electronically to a recently sanitized cubby by front-desk staff and the guest’s order is placed inside. The guest is immediately notified and, upon scanning their unique code into the lobby-area screen, the correct compartment automatically opens so they can retrieve their order. There is no contact between people or surfaces, no money exchanged and compartments would be monitored and cleaned after use, offering a near endless variety of meal options and allowing many guests to utilize this system at one time and at their convenience.

Hotels could partner with various local restaurants for shared benefits and/or delivery charges incorporated with companies like Uber Eats to extend variety. The cost of a fully operational kitchen is eliminated, replaced by this system and a small preparation area to service the permanent market-style wall of additional easy food offerings. These are also purchased and accessed by the app and minimal staff is needed throughout.

Category: Restaurant
Design Team: David Rader, Inna Geyyer, Jessica Grant and Lorelle Carlson

Social-distancing measures for seating arrangements can be accomplished through physical, but decorative, screens or by using flexible loose tables and chairs .. This design includes separate entrances for takeout and dining in. The built-in booth seating has a circular wood-and-glass screen, allowing booths to be placed next to each other with an established barrier between parties. Each booth has a down-draft vent system built into the table to provide a point source negative-pressure system at the table, minimizing the spread of airborne viruses., while the utilization of specialized UV lighting within the space kills viruses within the air.

Category: Hotel Public Spaces
Design Team: Pam Niemann, Suzanne Meyer, Kelly Wilhite and Hannah Anderson

This lobby design exhibits how all spaces can be re-imagined to create a safe, organized and peaceful experience for their users. The team at Niemann Interiors believes design can continue to drive and facilitate humans’ innate desire to gather and commune together safely in a post-COVID-19 world and beyond.

The space is lush with indigenous plants and the soothing sounds of nature and music. This greenery not only provides a beautiful texture and connection to earth, but offers natural barriers to keep guests safe without instilling a sense of enforced division. Organic-looking solid surfaces add bright clean materials, while copper accents are utilized for their aesthetics and inherent anti-microbial properties.

A temperature scanner guarantees the admittance of healthy guests into the lobby and a one-way circulation path is established upon entry as guests are led by flooring changes to a sculptural handwashing station. Guest check-in is touchless as they proceed straight to voice-activated elevators. The guest looking for a more personalized experience may virtually interact with live hotel staff via screens or a high-tech concierge hologram. Contactless luggage drop is also available for guest convenience.

Category: Hotel
Design Team: Anissa Mendil and Ben Meyer

To consider a post-pandemic urban hotel, the team at Mendil + Meyer Design Studio started by revisiting the essence of hospitality — ‘the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.’ To achieve this, the design needs to offer a feeling of safety, transparency and choice for guests (as well as staff), which will promote trust, loyalty and a sense of responsibility to those in the hotel’s care.

Split into two distinctive wings — conventional hotel on one side with restaurant/ fitness/wellness/extended-stay and co-working on the other — the multiple functions will create different revenue streams where cross pollination of uses will activate the property. Multiple outside spaces allow for access to fresh air and connection to nature — all in a controlled environment, promoting health and wellness as a foundation. The hotel offers the ability to control circulation both vertically and horizontally with secondary elevators accessed from the exterior courtyard, which allow for minimal human interactions and the connecting transitions can be closed off at the midway points via a rain curtain. This level of control will allow for each function to be completely independent if required.

Category: Restaurant
Design Team: Elisabeth Battle, Dan Bernatek, Victoria Cavalcante, Kendra Cranford, Ana Hernandez, Caitlin Hubbs, Elizabeth Hutchinson, Dunja Jovanovic, Elizabeth Kozlik, Sarah Medcalf, Ndeye Fatou Daikhate Njie, George Pan, Emma Phillips, Shannon Sterne and Evelina Urbonaite

This solution is based on the necessity of human socialization, while incorporating the importance of social-distancing etiquette. This casual green-barbecue restaurant embodies the team’s concept within five key ingredients: carry-out and delivery; retail and reinvent; technology and flow; human and humble, which nurtures understanding of the palpable environment as it relates to human comfort by highlighting the use of natural light and natural air circulation; and green and grow, which utilizes plant integration through space separations and cues for directional flow. Additionally, this adaptive re-use project houses two indoor gardens, promoting the growth of ingredients for the the restaurant.

Category: Restaurant
Design Team: Adam Bunce, Karen Hailey, Annie Hoke and Rebecca Wieronski

Davis Partnership Architects partnered with local restaurateurs and the Downtown Denver Partnership to propose the seasonal closure of specific restaurant-dense streets in Denver, Colo. In order to help restaurants maintain social-distancing and occupancy regulations, the design team provided diagrams identifying what it might look like to take over one of these streets, starting with a plan diagram of Tennyson Street (a popular dining destination), dividing the street space up proportionally to the current interior square footage of each restaurant. Next, it laid out a maximum capacity of tables within these boundaries. From there, it further developed what it would look like at the human scale. Knowing that restaurants will want to provide a more unique and comfortable dining experience, the team developed elements that can be easily templated and constructed by each business.

The Shelter is an A-frame element created to provide a sense of privacy and a safe physical barrier. It’s easily cleanable and easily constructed — made from standard lumber that can be assembled easily and disassembled and stored in a small space. Knowing that most restaurants are already suffering deep economic deficits, the cost of this structure was kept at or under $200. The Parklet is a simple, easily constructible design with basic wood and metal components. It fits within the footprint of a single parking space and can be used in the case of a full street closure or just a takeover of the parking spaces.

Category: Guestroom
Design Team: Jorden Adams, Jaymie Borchardt, Lindsay Spraul and Jheanelle Brown

This upscale “Solarium Suite” embraces the look and feel of a new hospitality experience following COVID-19 with the combination of physiologically and psychologically positive design influences. The guest assurances begin from the exterior, with architectural details at window sills selectively placing greenery for a natural biophilic invitation. Branded hotel technology guides you directly to your room for keyless access and guestroom management from a panel as you enter your sealed room.

Vertical and horizontal non-porous surfaces are thoughtfully selected throughout the suite for easy maintenance and improved resistance to bacteria and virus. The room immediately opens to a vestibule presenting an innovative use of “stone-like” quartz panels integrating the design of a motion-sensor hand sink on entry side with “easy lever” copper faucet on the interior of the bathroom. The bathroom’s open layout allows easy movement from vanity, bath to shower functions with limited touch required. Large-format quartz panels and porcelain tile on floor and walls lessen grout for clean and maintainable finishes. The guest sleeping area has minimal drawers for reduced cleaning. Nightstands and the desk area include hands-free charging technology for devices and powered solar shades at windows, giving guests the control to manage their interior environment hands free. Anti-microbial textiles soothe with softness at the window seat, headboard, desk chair and area rug.

Category: Senior Living
Design Team: Stacey Sefcik, Stacey Brown, Morgan Faber and Canvas Art Consultants Atlanta

As we look toward the future, the team at Hirsch Bedner Associates has imagined a facility that could still welcome guests, keep the human connection and do so safely, in an attempt to mitigate risk to both resident and guest. As masks and barriers are often obtrusive and physical signs of times of uncertainty, its design has implemented social distancing and discreet screens throughout the space. Serving multiple purposes, these elements feel intentional, without being confining. A large, spacious lobby with grand skylight and plantings provides a connection to nature while giving ample room to visiting neighbors, as well as a place for residents to relax together, but apart.

Apartments, too, can be re-imagined to enter from an interior courtyard, giving residents their own private “garden” space to entertain or relax. Valet closets allow for contactless delivery for medical care and housekeeping services, while in-room kitchenettes and dining give residents the ability to safely stay inside, if needed.

With the world moving rapidly to IoT technology, digital check-ins and app usage, robot sterilization and UV-cleaning methodologies, the need to design for continued human interaction remains paramount. One of the greatest elements of the hospitality industry is the human connection. While design should pivot to maintain a safe environment, socialization and companionship remain integral to people’s mental and emotional well-being.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.