When you dream of your ideal getaway you want perfection. Let the world fade away and leave your troubles behind as you escape into the world of fantasy.

But a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to give their aura of casual perfection. Now Susan White of Iggi Interior Design is lifting the lid on the box of tricks used to create the all-important atmosphere we expect to experience while staying at a hotel.

“Designing a hotel involves a whole host of unique challenges,” Susan said. “Interior designers and architects utilise a myriad of illusionary tricks to induce desired effects, depending on the requirements of the space.”

And these little details vary with the style of the hotel and the needs of the customer.

“Take the reception lobby for example,” said Susan. “In your average hotel geared towards business clients, the lobby is often large and spacious to give a sense of grandeur whilst also allowing for the heavy footfall of guests checking in and out of the hotel at all times.”

Tricks for this include specifically designed flooring designed to intuitively lead you right to the check-in desks. Keeping people moving is key.

But when you turn your gaze to the reception area of a luxury hotel this ideology flips on its head. The main difference is footfall. Being lower, their entrance lobby is designed with one thing in mind - make the guests feel at home and quench as much of their travel stress as possible from the moment they walk in.

“The lobby sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, so it’s vital it makes the guests feel comfortable from the get go,” Susan said. “Instead of a large open space, one can expect to find a more intimate warmly lit space with multiple seating areas that serve as the perfect opportunity to provide the first elements of service quality.”

“Guests can take a seat, drop their bags, sip on a refreshing drink and immediately relax, all while their check-in is calmly and professionally taken care of with minimal input required from the guest, all from the comfort of a sofa or oversized chair.”

And if that wasn’t enough, then there is the issue of colour. Research has shown that colour has an enormous impact on our mood and physiology.

Some colour palettes are designed to make you sleepy, whilst others are used to liven you up and encourage sociability, like you’d find in the bar for example. For a hotel in a cold environment, warm tones like red, orange and yellow give a false sense of warmth, allowing the hotel to use less energy for heating.

But of course all of this is done in such a way that you don’t even notice.

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