Reacting to the trend towards micro hotels, the interior design department at Scott Carver has developed a concept room with a footprint of just 15sqm.
The firm’s designers have devised the micro hotel room concept – nicknamed Fifteen – based on extensive experience with similar projects. The room provides accommodation based on a much smaller floor plan than traditional hotel rooms, without sacrificing the levels of quality or amenity guests require. The design can now be easily replicated and adjusted for clients.
Scott Carver principal of interiors Angela Biddle leads the organisation’s hotels team and has worked in the hotel sector the past 18 years. While based in Europe she designed for Yoo Hotels and Resorts, part-owned by Philippe Starck, one of the trailblazers in this product segment. She reports that the market for micro hotels overseas, in terms of end users and operators, is strong and the appetite for them in Sydney is increasing. “In Sydney, people are starting to see the potential,” says Biddle. “Some of the most recognisable hotel names, the larger brands, are looking at providing rooms as small as 18sqm.
“They know people are happy to stay in a smaller space, as long as it’s offset by excellent design and complemented by high-quality amenities, including great restaurants and bars.
“Those amenities they offer contribute to the brand, the lifestyle, the story that you’re trying to create for the guest.”
The team at Scott Carver sought insight on this concept from some unlikely – but eminently logical – sources during the design process. “To create the concept micro hotel room, we consulted with a yacht designer. We got some input from Eric Desjardins from McConaghy Boats and had them review our thoughts.”
McConaghy Boats provided input into how they create their products, which are obviously luxury, bespoke items, without sacrificing any of the quality.
In a micro hotel room, in addition to the bed, all the essential elements need to be in place: a wardrobe, somewhere to sit, somewhere to put coffee, somewhere to work and somewhere to eat.
“All of these are lovely spaces; we haven’t sacrificed the level of design or the quality of your stay.”
According to Biddle, the micro hotel is really just a change in floor area without compromising on the amenity. “It challenges the star system – which is happening globally anyway, with the lifestyle products that are coming to market. Star rating systems are generally based on a checklist: two washbasins, three restaurants, a gym etc. but nowhere within that do we talk about the guest experience.
“With the micro hotel, we’re not ticking the box on the star ratings; we are giving you a great space that could easily sit at a four-star level,” she says.
Everything in the room must be easily accessible; things should be at your fingertips. Likewise, things must be customisable, with power and lighting readily available.
“If it’s not intuitive, that’s a problem,” says Biddle. Guests must be able to adjust the bedside lighting easily, or to turn the mirror around, for example. The table pops down, furniture slides in and out and you can sit with a magazine and a cup of tea. You can pull things out, so if you have guests over, you can have more than two people in the room.
“Having somewhere to put everything; those thoughtful details help to make sure the space feels like home,” says Biddle.
While the Australian market is in its infancy, Biddle is confident the micro hotel will be welcomed by consumers, developers and hotel operators alike.
Architect: Scott Carver
CGI: Atelier Illume