The population of the over-65s is set to exceed 30% of the European population by the year 2050. According to current trends, users will be demanding greater personalisation in the products and services offered by tourist accommodation, so that they can be adapted to the needs of each person in order to optimize comfort away from home.
'Hotels for all' is addressing these needs, and is offering hotels the possibility of designing rooms that are modern, comfortable, pleasing to the eye and adapted to the needs of any person.
À la carte rooms are for the hotel as well as for the guest. The initiative makes it possible to design a model of room to fit the needs and tastes of each hotel. At the same time, the guest can enjoy all the amenities that the room offers and do away with any he or she does not want.
A universal design
To meet the needs of all kinds of guests, 'Hotels for all' is designed following the principles of universal design. Incorporated into the rooms is furniture that is accessible and easy to operate by anyone: the wardrobe, bed, bedside tables and desk, in particular. There are attractive support solutions that are easy to use for greater comfort and safety in the bathroom: hand rails that can be raised at the touch of a finger beside the W.C., shower and bathtub. There are signage items that include signs in braille and intuitive designs so that the uses of the switches can be easily identified; the access bell is not only heard, it also lights up, thereby offering an alternative for people with auditory functional diversity, so that whenever pressed, the bell not only produces a noise but also causes the lights in the bedroom to flash on and off; available, too, are power-driven doors that open and close when a switch is pressed. Care has also been taken to ensure chromatic contrast exists among all the elements so that they can be easily perceived, and the height at which the accessories are located has been taken into account so that they can be used by anyone.
A feature among all these amenities is the incorporation of a Tablet device that allows all the installations in the room to be controlled, like the lighting, air conditioning, curtains, blinds and doors. At the touch of a single button this device also enables various scenarios that execute a range of actions to be used. For example, when the "Night mode" button is pressed, the light turns off and the curtains are drawn, and when "Wake-up mode" is selected, the curtains are undrawn and the main light comes on. All these functions can also be accessed through the personal mobile devices of the guests.
Through the Tablet device, the guest can, from his or her room, consult tourist information depending on his or her tastes and needs; a map of the area shows places of interest, restaurants and tourist offices. It also displays other kinds of information of general interest, like the location of pharmacies and health centres; and access is provided to digital services that allow the well-being of the guest to be monitored. All this is complemented with information provided by the hotel about menus, facilities, etc. in order to make the guest's stay at the hotel as easy as possible.
Many needs, a single response
Making these à la carte rooms possible has meant responding to a range of needs of a technological, furnishing, universal accessibility and design nature, so a consortium of companies, each one an expert in its own field, has been formed. The companies are Nueva Línea, Akting, Andago, Didheya, Hotel Londres, Logure, Matia Innova and Tecnalia.
The Hotel Londres in Donostia-San Sebastian (Basque Country) has been the first to equip a pilot room with these features. All the guests at this hotel can already enjoy a room à la carte that is totally personalised and has a universal design.
Provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa, Spain
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