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Hotel Chairs for the Professional Traveler

Aug 13, 2008
For most of us, a hotel is a hotel. But if you have the occasion to look at the hotel industry across the board, hotels are often customized to a particular type of customer. The obvious example is the difference between a five star luxury hotel and a motel that you see while driving along the highway. Both do the basic job of providing a bed, shower and television for the traveler. But the five star hotel obviously makes it a point to appeal to the more wealthy customers. A good motel, by contract and comparison, is successful if it is clean, safe and provides a good value to a family traveling on vacation.

Some hotels are children friendly and some are not. But a niche of hotels that has a strong target market that has very specific needs are hotels that are customized to meet the needs or the professional business person on the road. Business people who must travel as part of their jobs have very specific needs and interests. They are also a very attractive customer for a couple reasons.

First of all, the business traveler is often a frequent traveler so the frequency of business is good. If a hotel can become known as a destination of choice to the business community, that hotel will see a lot of repeat business. And business people network a great deal. That means if they find a great hotel that focuses on the needs of the business traveler, they will tell their associates which means more business for you. But maybe the biggest advantage of tailoring your hotel for the business traveler is they are usually working within an expense account. That means they are not nervous about costs and you can see a greater profitability from this kind of traveler because the entire stay is paid for by the company.

The things a business traveler needs are comfort, quiet, service and accommodations of their business needs. Many times a business man or woman will need to work in the room or spread out papers on a table in the lounge or the restaurant. So when you buy furniture for every room in your hotel, from the tables to the lamps to the chairs, you must think of the needs of the adult business customer so he or she will find your hotel to be a place of productivity and rest during a possibly long and demanding business trip.

In social areas such as the restaurant, the bar or the lounge, the chairs must accommodate impromptu business meetings that can spring to life at a moment's notice. That means that the chairs must be sturdy, comfortable and mobile. If you were to imagine a situation happening in which several business people gather in the lounge and begin to think together about a negotiation or a project, that is a very common occurrence in a business centered hotel. In that situation, one guest may be sitting in a solitary chair reading the Wall Street Journal only to be joined by others and they might find the need to gather chairs around a table and begin working as a group on the spur of the moment.

Creating an environment where such things easily happen is one of the ways business oriented hotels are attractive to their clients. The chairs should be well cushioned so if the meeting drags on for hours, the business people in them meeting never tire. But at the same time, they should be easy to move around so others can be easily added to the meeting and everyone can get around a table for the discussion without the chairs becoming a problem.

Providing outstanding conference and meeting facilities is also an important part of becoming a full service business oriented hotel. That means that your meeting rooms and the furniture that is used there is well designed for presentations or seminars that can go all day or over a number of days. To accommodate this need, you will need to have on hand hundreds of good, comfortable and sturdy conference room chairs. These chairs must be a cut above the conventional "folding" chair. In fact, there should be no potential for folding and you will commonly stack these chairs for storage. But because the conference or seminar setting is generally a long period of time, the chairs must be hard working and retain a good feel for many uses.

At the other end of the spectrum, you will maintain a level of luxury in your suites that can accommodate the CEO level business traveler. Because this caliber of business customer expects nothing but the best, more should be invested in elegance and luxury in design for the chairs that will be part of the decor of that suite. Many times this kind of customer does well with a chair that offers privacy and pampering such as a modified egg design chair which provides structure on all sides for maximum comfort.

When you are decorating your luxury suites, look at the layout of the rooms carefully as the chairs in the master bedroom will be more geared toward a spouse and toward relaxation and recreation. The chairs in the dining or living areas of the suite should still be top quality to fit the lifestyle of these customers but more focused on function and efficiency as well as mobility so the luxury business customer can use the bigger space of a suite for business meetings and discussions as well as for private enjoyment.

The focus on efficiency, privacy, comfort and business should be a driving design principle in every part of the hotel furniture design. In the lobby, chairs should be welcoming, mature and classy so the customer knows as soon as he or she walks in that this is a hotel for adults who are doing business during their stay. The room designs should be laid out so the business person can pull a comfortable chair to the desk area for an extended time of internet research or to write a proposal easily and in comfort.

For a business traveler, the duel goals of comfort and business are constantly being balanced. Because the hotel is a chance to take some pleasure and joy from their long hard days, the rooms and public areas should do all that can be done to make their stay relaxing and stress free. And because business is never far from the mind of a professional traveler, making it easy to go from the business mind set to the personal will make your hotel and the furniture that is there to serve these customers ideally suited to people who travel for a living.
About the Author
Tony has written several books on cafe chairs, cafe tables and cafe furniture. He also enjoys to write about hotel furniture and gardening.
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