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hotels


children take part; and the bar, which offers a calmer space to take a moment to rest and recuperate. All three spaces are open and interconnecting so that children always remain in sight. Other methods include bespoke bedroom joinery which store collapsible cots, corridors big enough to accommodate buggies, and enhanced acoustic treatments between bedrooms and public areas. Both hotels have been received well and


are proving a success, with rooms fully booked across their first season. There seems to be an increasing demand


The restaurant (above) and entertainment areas at Cbeebies Land


for hotels like this as consumer habits change in the holiday and short-breaks market, including increased accessibility to similar resort parks abroad. This has led to higher expectations in unique guest experiences, with places becoming tourist destinations in their own right, rather than just visitor day attractions. For The Manser Practice, these projects


the co-ordination of services and structure; each and every element, from light fittings and grilles to FF&E and finishes, has been carefully chosen to tie in with the relevant branding and colour palette, ensuring that the fantasy is fully maintained. Durable furniture selection was also necessary, given the intense everyday use by children. To achieve this, we developed fully co- ordinated ‘Theme Books’, combining visuals, storyboard, schedules and technical details which were fully reviewed and signed off at each stage. These became the Project Bibles and were utilised as communication tools from concept through to completion.


distinct demographics Resort theme park hotels operate very differently to the industry standard. This means that, in a themed hotel, what the guest don’t see is as important as what they do - smooth hotel operation is vital. Guests very quickly forget ‘the magic’ if they have been provided with a hotel that doesn’t work the way it should. Our approach to designing for themed hotels is tailored to two distinct demographics - children and adults.


Children react and behave to spaces very


differently to adults – simple visual indicators become far more important than traditional way-finding signage. Designing a more natural and open rhythm to the space means that key hotel operations need to be placed in plain sight. The hotels put children first, beginning with asking how the typical grown-up hotel stay could be translated for children (and an inclusive offering for all). For example, steps up to, or dropped level, reception desks for ‘children’s check-in,’ toilets and basins set at kid’s height and a guestroom layout out split into a clearly defined children’s and grown-ups bedroom. Whilst the target market in both hotels is


young children, grown-ups – of course – come attached. This means that the design emphasises the necessary convenience of spaces for looking after children, eliminating some of the stresses that come attached with taking the kids on holiday. At Cbeebies Land Hotel, the entertainment space is broken down into three key areas - primary seating, which means children can enjoy the entertainment and interact independently; secondary seating, which lets adults sit comfortably and enjoy their


leisuredab.co.uk 37


led to many new challenges, including co- ordinating professions and personalities across the hotel, construction, artistic, media and branding industries – we could be meeting specialist cladding engineers one day and signing off finishes for Mr.Tumble’s house the next. It was a crash course in mediation; bridging the gap between broad ranges of disciplines. These projects owe their success to those who worked on them and who supported what the projects were about. It can be difficult to communicate the ‘architectural merit’ of these hotels in the industry and – taken at face value – it can be easy to see why. However, the importance of meticulous co- ordination, efficient design and the forensic attention to detail is what supports the success of these hotels, allowing the theming and the hotel’s story to be at the forefront of the guest experience and, most importantly, delivering on the client brief.


www.manser.co.uk


Image: Adam Woodward Images: Merlin Entertainments


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