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Five-star hotels might do away with bathtubs soon

All the big industry players, including the Taj, Oberoi and ITC, are re-evaluating bathroom configurations at their five-star properties as busy travellers prefer quick showers to a leisurely soak.

Feb 23, 2018, 10.39 AM IST
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(This story originally appeared in on Feb 23, 2018)
MUMBAI: If you are looking forward to sinking into a bathtub at a five-star hotel during your next visit, you may be in for a surprise. Bathtubs, once mandatory for a five-star hotel classification, may be done away with as lodging chains move towards shower-only options.

All the big industry players, including the Taj, Oberoi and ITC, are re-evaluating bathroom configurations at their five-star properties as busy travellers prefer quick showers to a leisurely soak. Moreover, the move has been triggered by changes in rules which no longer require five-star properties to have bathtubs.

The trend of shower cubicles is largely noticed in business properties like Novotel Bengaluru and Vivanta by Taj in Mumbai. However, bathtubs continue to find space in luxury and leisure segments like Fairmont in Jaipur and Taj Kumarakom in Kerala. “The decision to exclude bathtubs depends on hotel brands and the type of guests they attract,” said Shiv Kashyap, VP (technical services - India), Accor Hotels, which owns brands like Novotel, Sofitel and Ibis.

bathtubs


According to the Oberoi chain the use of bathtubs in city hotels is less than 10%. An Oberoi spokeswoman said, “We are re-assessing our bathtub requirements for our future properties.” Currently, all rooms at the Trident and Oberoi have bathtubs. Dipak Haskar, CEO, ITC, said the change in hotel classification norms presents the option of revamping bathroom architecture.

Eliminating tubs opens up space, allowing hotels to redesign bathrooms innovatively, like having a glass shower cubicle with Ed Sheeran music piped in through speakers. Hotels are also installing shower heads with features like a softmassager, built-in thermostat control and coloured lights.

Additionally, shower-only layouts appeal to hotel developers struggling with steep real-estate costs in cities. According to Accor’s Kashyap, a guest uses around 370 litres of water while bathing in a tub. On the other hand, only 70 litres is spent on a shower, aiding in conserving water.

So what happens to the once hot bathroom accessory? Some hotels have converted tubs into a flower bed container and in the process added a vintage charm to their gardens.

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