Why The Hotel Room Should Be An Oasis Amidst Urban Life

Why The Hotel Room Should Be An Oasis Amidst Urban Life

Guest rooms can evolve to become the ideal home away from home, while integrating balance, health, and well-being into their design.

  • 11 february 2014

PSFK has partnered with real-estate crowdfunding company Prodigy Network to crowdsource the designs for their most recent project 17Johnan innovative hotel in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. This series of articles provides inspiration for readers wishing to be a part of the project and join the crowd in designing the first Cotel.

The excitement that comes with travel is invariably saddled by certain stresses. Difficulty sleeping caused by an unfamiliar environment, the distractions of other guests and being away from loved ones for an extended period of time can all take their toll. The very idea of returning from a business trip feeling more rested, relaxed and restored may seem like an impossibility, but this scenario presents opportunities for change. A combination of smart design thinking and integration of technology could transform the guest room into a much-needed oasis amidst the sped up pace of urban life and a full travel itinerary.


At a topline level, we’re seeing designers begin to re-imagine physical environments as platforms for incorporating elements of balance, health, and well-being into people’s lives. One example of this is the Saratech Permasorb Wallpaper, which captures harmful airborne toxins and alleviates ‘sick room syndrome’ by continuously purifying indoor air. Developed by German carbon absorption company Blücher Technologies, the wallpaper serves as a retrofitting alternative that uses spherical polymers embedded throughout its surface to not only clean the air, but eliminate odors as well. Similarly, for hotels catering to travelers during an extended period of time, the kitchen area could be revamped as a place to inject healthiness and well-being. For example, Greenhood is a kitchen range hood that eliminates odors while sanitizing the air around it by using a technology similar to those found in ionizing air-purifiers. As the ingenuity driving these solutions brings them to market at scale, hotels could implement them without requiring a costly infrastructure reboot or compromising on the overall design. A subtle touch here or there, could make all the difference.

To ensure a peaceful environment that controls noise levels both within and from outside a space, products and decor could begin incorporating soundproofing technologies and materials. One example of this is the Feltone blind, a sound-absorbing window blind for the living room or bedroom created by Japan-based Tokyo Blinds. The blinds are 90% less expensive than comparable soundproof panels, while retaining the look and function of conventional blinds. When subtly deployed as with the above example, these designs help dampen the flow and intensity of sound to create the conditions for a good night’s rest or focused workspace.


As a guest’s needs shift throughout the day from work to play to sleep, the physical design and furnishings deployed within their living spaces should become flexible as well. Sliding space-saving furnishings, which are instantly collapsible or configurable allow for people to quickly repurpose their living space based on their immediate needs. A renovation at the Los Andes apartment complex in Buenos Aires, Argentina, shows how this might function. The layout features a central room divisible into private rooms by an adjustable partition artfully repurposed as a bookshelf. The concept includes a sliding library that allows for one general living room, while creating two smaller rooms on demand. The customizable aspects of this design enable dwellers to fit their home around their needs, rather than compromising on their lifestyle choices. Its flexible, space saving design could be especially useful during an extended stay where guests may see their needs evolve over the course of a few days or even weeks.


Technology may also play a role in mitigating some of the ill effects of travel, like the all too familiar feeling of jet-lag, which are enough to wear on even the most seasoned traveler. Responding to this, Delta Airlines along with New York ad agency Wieden + Kennedy consulted sleep expert Dr. Russell Foster to create the Photon Shower. The working prototype features a chamber that explores how light can be used to realign a traveler’s biological clock after long flights across multiple time zones. Travelers simply input their flight information into the Photon Shower and it will adjust for their individual needs based on flight times, providing a light sequence that recreates the effects of sunlight to alleviate jet lag and provide a pick-me-up for tired travelers.

By seeing the challenges of business travel as opportunities for innovation, rather than frustrating obstacles, hotels are better positioned to design holistic experiences for their guests, while empowering them to customize their stay around their specific set of needs. Emerging technologies and material choices can promote feelings of comfort, restoration, and well being to truly create a home away from home that guests will remember and return to time and again. Leveraging these innovations, it may turn out that creating an ideal home away from home is closer to reality for the extended stay traveler than ever before. As we look to the future, there are even greater opportunities for properties designed as extended stay residences versus the traditional hotel to leverage these trends and provide guests with this restful, rejuvenating experience.

Contributed by Tim Ryan.

These challenges to an efficient yet enriching travel experience should provide inspiration for design teams looking to participate in the competition to create the first Cotel in New York City.

Prodigy Network is known as a pioneer in crowdfunding for real estate. In 2009—after more than 29 projects—Prodigy Network developed an innovative investment model for crowdfunding in real estate, becoming the world’s leading platform in the field. By doing so, Prodigy introduced a way of democratizing investment opportunities for large-scale projects. Prodigy Network believes that community and transparency are essential to success in real estate.


How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home Yesterday

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive Yesterday

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home Yesterday

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Julie Bornstein

ecommerce, fashion

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health Yesterday

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities Yesterday

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health Yesterday

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed Yesterday

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture Yesterday

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture Yesterday

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment Yesterday

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising Yesterday

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising Yesterday

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia Yesterday

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.