Whether you lust after über-contemporary, cool and colourful, serene spa-style or the elegance of a bygone era, bathrooms in luxury hotels offer a wealth of design inspiration. Often created by top interior designers and architects, hotel bathrooms are memorable, practical and a pleasure to use. Read on to discover how to inject a little hotel glamour into your own bathroom.
As hotel bathrooms are usually blessed with a larger footprint than those found at home, you'll want to aid a spacious feel. Consider large-format tiles, which often have rectified edges to minimise grout lines. Not only do they look impressive but they're easier to clean. Ensure the main grout lines are laid to visually widen or lengthen the room as desired. Install a made-to-measure wall-to-wall mirror to enhance the sense of space.
A trendy European influence is often strong, which typically means using wall-hung toilets and basins – these give a spacious feel because the whole floor is visible, and they also make cleaning much easier.
For decadent furniture, accessories and lighting designs with plenty of Italian flair, check out Oasis via Alchemy Award; the Academy vanity shown here comes in many lacquer, glass and marble combinations
Storage tends to be open and easy access – perhaps niches in the showering area or a long vanity top by the basin. However, do include some concealed storage or your scheme may become cluttered – after all, you're sure to have more to store at home than the essentials you take on holiday.
Think streamlined and bold, for example install shelves, countertops or cupboards from wall to wall rather than using ones that don't meet the edges.
Designer hotels have the latest in sophisticated brassware – whether digital, sensor-operated or simply oozing contemporary cool. Check out the tactile designs from companies such as Abode, Altro + Supergrif, Bossini, Cifial, Crosswater, Czech & Speake, Dornbracht, FIMA Carlo Frattini, Hansa, Hansgrohe, Gessi, Grohe, Kohler, MGS, Newform, Perrin & Rowe, Rada, Samuel Heath, Vado, Vola and Zucchetti.
No luxury hotel bathroom is complete without a designer tap, such as this basin mixer from the Texture collection by FIMA Carlo Frattini via Alchemy Award; shown is the Vertical-facet handle design, available in matt black, matt white, gold, chrome or marble
This bathroom at the five-star Corinthia Hotel London features exclusive taps designed by Perrin & Rowe. The company offers a bespoke brassware service or for similar try its Traditional collection crosshead handles
Teaming classical elegance with modern finishes and technologies, Grohe’s Grandera brassware collection comes in chrome, rose gold or chrome and gold
Try to include a generously-sized shower in your design. Walk-in showers are seen as must-have offerings, with the major hotel chains including them in all rooms, as seen in Hilton's newest UK hotel, the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Enhance your showering experience with rain showerheads and body jets. Some showerheads include chromatherapy lights, aromatherapy, music and nebulizer options for increased wellbeing. Check out Aquademy, Bossini, Dornbracht, Fantini, FIMA Carlo Frattini, MGS, Rubinetterie Treemme and Zucchetti.
Many hotel bathrooms are open-plan to the bedroom and others offer views to private terraces outdoors. While you may want more privacy at home, you can still create an open-plan feel within the bathroom, perhaps with a walk-in shower with fixed panels or a frameless-style glass door. Use a flush fitted or low-profile shower tray close to the colour of your floor (try Matki, Bette, Novellini or Just Trays for coloured shower trays) if you're not tiling the shower area.
Likewise a bathtub in your bedroom might not appeal for longer than a weekend sojourn, but take notes about the importance a hotel bath is given. They're often freestanding, double-ended, generously sized, and sometimes in unusual shapes or materials. UK boutique hotel chain Hotel du Vin is known for its suites with luxurious bathtubs, and its newest opening Hotel du Vin Cannizaro House in Wimbledon is no exception. If you're looking for a statement bath, check out April Products, Aquamass, Aston Matthews, BC Designs, Castello, Clearwater Baths, Jacuzzi, Kaldewei, Kohler, Lapicida, Teuco and Zucchetti Kos.
This open-plan bathroom-bedroom at Soho House’s Babington House hotel features a double-ended Spey bath by Drummonds in a polished and lacquered finish; also available painted in your choice of colour
For a spectacular freestanding bath take a look at Mastella’s Vov tub made from Cristalplant composite in black, white or bi-colour
Possessing a soft geometry, Tonic II by Ideal Standard makes a smart and modern choice; the collection includes furniture, accessories, sanitaryware and brassware
Alternatively you could site a rectangular bath within a plinth in the middle of the room to give it more prominence. This dramatic effect also works with freestanding washbasins if you site them away from walls.
Freestanding basins and bathtubs help to create a standout bathroom design; shown here are the Chorus washbasins and bathtub in Antalya grey stone by Toscoquattro
For added wow-factor include some spectacular details… perhaps a brightly coloured glass panel, a backlit semi-precious stone basin, an ornate vanity unit, exquisite iridescent mosaics or beautifully veined stone panels, like the bathrooms at luxury hotelier Kempinski's recently refurbished Dubai hotel, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.
If you’re looking for a show-stopping bathroom mural, GLAMTEC by Glamora via Alchemy Award is a lightweight ceramic wallcovering suitable for wet areas; various designs and bespoke options are available
Add the wow factor to your hotel-inspired bathroom with some exquisite details such as these High Society glass mosaics in Kennedy by Fired Earth
Add the wow factor with some exquisite details such as these Hartington split-face stone mini mosaics in Thor, and this Maida Vale ceramic basin available in white, grey, lemon, turquoise, indigo or aqua, both from Fired Earth
Well-designed lighting is a must – not only for completing tasks such as applying make-up and shaving but for adding ambience when bathing or showering and highlighting decorative features such as a bathtub or tiled panel.
The vanity area has a strong presence in a hotel bathroom – there are often twin basins (like in all the rooms in Mandarin Oriental's latest five-star hotel Mandarin Hotel Milan), or at least a sizeable one large enough for two to share, along with a flowing countertop. Make your bathroom’s wash area really stand out with one of the many exciting designs of vanity units and basins available these days, then accentuate it further with a mirror and great lighting.
Devon & Devon’s Audrey vanity unit, available in black or white lacquered wood with marble or porcelain basin, is just one of many of the company’s sophisticated designs that will make a feature of the wash area
Create an eye-catching wash-station with Vitra’s Water Jewel collection, which includes a variety of basins in platinum, gold, copper, black, white, blue, green or pink
Many hotel bathrooms have bidets and they're growing in popularity for use at home too. But you needn’t have a huge bathroom to make use of the latest bidet-toilets, from companies such as TOTO (Washlet), Geberit (AquaClean Sela) and Villeroy & Boch (VICLEAN). The five-star Shangri-La hotel at the Shard in London offers Washlets in all bathrooms.
If you have the luxury of space, position a boudoir chair (or modern equivalent) in your bathroom. It makes a handy addition for dressing and will give the room an inviting vibe. Today's hotel bathrooms are increasingly hi-tech, whether it's Bluetooth mirrors (try Hib or Roper Rhodes) or waterproof televisions. One of Hyatt's newest and most luxurious hotels, Park Hyatt New York features TVs in all of the bathrooms.
Finally don't forget some beautifully fluffy towels; House of Fraser, Amara, Bedeck and Christy have a large selection of designer bath linens to complete your luxurious bathroom scheme.
Sally is an interior stylist and journalist who has worked on a variety of homes magazines for more than 15 years, including being the former Editor at Utopia Kitchen and Bathrooms. She writes features on all aspects of property and interiors, from the practicalities of room design to the latest and most inspirational people, products, places and trends.