Mid-scale Hospitality Embraces Wood Laminate Furniture

By David Foliot Vice President, Hospitality, Foliot Furniture | October 12, 2014

Co-authored by Daniel Foliot President of Foliot Furniture

There was a time when hotels of all scales used only furniture made from solid wood and veneer. Furnishing a hotel room with a laminate desk, armoire, or headboard was unheard of. In fact, the use of laminate of any type in the hotel industry was seen as somewhat taboo. Considered an inferior alternative to wood, laminate offered little in the way of durability, modularity, and aesthetics. It was therefore widely avoided by hotels.

However, just as the hospitality industry has grown and evolved, so to have the offerings of today's laminate.

The Advantages of Modern-Day Laminate

1. Multiple Finish Options

Gone are the days of monotone faux-wood or brown laminates. Wood laminate is now offered in an almost endless variety of styles and finishes. This allows designers to mix and match virtually any style or color of furniture.

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.