ITB 2023 Special Reporting
Lights please!
By Emmanuel Gardinier
Saturday, 21st May 2005
Everyone knows the importance of lighting to create an ambiance in a room, a lobby, or a restaurant.

Hotel designers are installing the latest in lighting technology in order to accentuate the effect of the dcor, and it's fine and dandy. I've been known to install radical new systems to provide incredible outside lighting, so I'm all for it.

But why is it that when a restaurant is trying to be a little high-end, the first thing they do is to make the room so dark that you can't even see the food you're eating? I guess it's supposed to give that candlelight dinner feel, but let me tell you, the guests can loose that romantic feeling when they can't even read the menu.

It seems that every time I have found myself in a dark restaurant, the food was usually very questionable, is it a coincidence? Or is the chef trying to hide something?

So reign in your designers, and please give us lights so we can at least see what's on the plate. We might actually enjoy the chef's presentation, rather than wondering if that dark lump is the meat or the veggies.

It's the same syndrome in the rooms. The designers are getting so creative that they forget that people still use those outdated things called books. It's nice to give us lighted water spouts in the Jacuzzi tub, but if the lighting in the room is so low that I can't read the newspaper, my experience will not be great. It's even worse for women who end up in a very bad mood when they don't have enough light to put on make up.

It's one thing to create an ambiance, and it's nice to conserve energy by cutting on light bulbs, but there is a limit. Owners and managers, do a simple test, if you can read the fine print on an insurance contract in your restaurant and hotel rooms, you have it right!

Let there be light!

About the author:
Emmanuel Gardinier is an award-winning hotelier; he has spent the last 20 years managing properties in over 12 countries.

He is committed to provide the highest standard of services to his guests. He has specialized in upgrading properties, as well as streamlining operations and staff training. He has also been an active consultant and as given lectures and classes in many world-renowned hotel schools. Now settled in the USA, he is offering comprehensive on site work and is available to help owners and managers achieve their goals regardless of the size or style of property.

Emmanuel Gardinier
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