The hospitality and entertainment industries are highly competitive. Everybody wants to have an edge by offering guests something their competitors don’t have – and to keep costs in check while doing it. That reality has led to businesses throughout the hospitality and entertainment industries enticing guests with creative uses for capital assets they already have while using the latest construction trends on the rooftop. Here are some of the best ideas we’ve seen in “roof-tainment:”
1. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools on hotel rooftops aren’t exactly new, but they’ve recently achieved a new height of glamor, elegance, and status. The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, for example, boasts a rooftop that’s part pool and part museum, featuring works from modern greats like Warhol and Hirst.
2. Restaurants and Bars
Whether they’re relaxing and casual like The Vendue in Charleston, SC, or formal and pricey like Coq D’Argent in London, rooftop restaurants are a big draw, especially in locations that offer breathtaking views. Other businesses are turning their rooftop spaces into funky bars and nightclubs, like the one at the Adriana Hotel in Croatia.
3. Rooftop Gardens
Green rooftops are one of the biggest construction trends right now, but some buildings are taking it a lot further than others, turning their rooftops into garden areas that qualify as destinations all on their own. Kensington Roof Gardens in London, for instance, boasts a stream – complete with fish – bridges, walkways, sitting areas, shrubs, and over 100 species of trees. The rooftop garden is even home to three flamingoes.
4. Sporting Facilities
In urban areas, where the large, flat spaces required for most sports can be hard to find (not to mention expensive), some building managers are discovering that their rooftops can be the perfect venues. For example, at Tokyo’s Adidas Futsal Park – which sits atop a department store – gives users access to sports facility in a convenient location.
The next addition to the construction trends list is for the creative minds out there. Business along airport approach and departure paths have discovered another use for their rooftops: advertising. With the captive audience of hundreds of passengers who pass overhead each day, it’s a great way to promote brand awareness. Take this a step further and try the idea out if your hotel or entertainment facility is a small building located next to a lot of taller buildings. Same idea just applied in a slightly different way.
Another expansion of the green roofing trend, rooftop farming is taking New York City and other urban centers by storm. Whether it’s a family trying to cut the grocery budget or a restaurant trying to cater to its “locavore” clientele, rooftops are supplying a substantial amount of locally grown produce. Some supermarkets are even considering getting in on the act.
Construction trends are getting ecofriendly with the last on the list. Thanks to a marriage of the hyperlocal movement and a need to support the dwindling bee population, a number of hotels are moving winged guests into new rooftop quarters. The Omni Dallas, for instance, just opened its roof to 300,000 honeybees. Beekeepers will soon be planting the fruits, flowers, and other plants needed to sustain the hives. And, in exchange for free room and board, the bees will be providing hundreds of pounds of honey for the hotel and its restaurants. A few other Omni properties, as well as competing hotels, have already tried the endeavor to the delight of both bees and hotel guests.
Business owners and building managers everywhere are realizing that their rooftops are both a capital and an environmental asset, and the possibilities are limited only by imagination. What creative rooftop uses have you seen?