The Bespoke Access Awards aims to release designers’ imagination and suggest innovations or improvements that could bring joy and pleasure to the experience of hotel guests, especially those with disabilities. The competition is not about improving current regulations, rules or standards that may apply in any particular country (although these may change over time as new ideas are adopted).

Competitors may like to consider the following questions as a stimulus to their design ideas:

  • What sort of welcome do hotels provide for those with disabilities?
  • What has been your experience of staying in a room set aside for those with disabilities?
  • What do you feel about products or facilities in hotels designed particularly for those with disabilities?
  • How can the persistent ‘medicalisation’ of designs for disability be overcome?
  • How can the detailed design of hotels be made more inclusive from the start of the architectural process?
  • What systems or processes need to be improved, before the experience of hotels can become more joyful for everyone?
  • How can staff training enable them to interact in an appropriate way towards guests with disabilities?

Four strands of design have been identified for competitors to consider.They are (1) architecture; (2) product design; (3) service design and (4) design for employees with disability.


In the context of the Bespoke Access Awards, ‘architecture’ means design concepts for hotel buildings or interiors. These may be expressed in sketches, graphics, drawings, illustrations, photographs, sections, plans, or elevations.

Please note that no hotel or other sites are offered or suggested as part of the competition; competitors are free to imagine new buildings in any context (urban or rural) or to suggest changes to, or refurbishment of, existing buildings.

Product Design:

In the context of the Bespoke Access Awards, ‘product design’ means design concepts for discrete, useful objects (Including hotel fixtures and fittings) this can include products that have not been previously designed or manufactured by others and/or existing products which have been established for at least 2 years. Such objects may be portable or fixed.Ideas may be expressed in sketches, graphics, drawings, illustrations, photographs, sections or plans.

Service Design:

This year we have split the service awards into two categories. The first service category is intended to recognise ideas within the area of digital technology and the second service category is intended to focus on staff and the training systems that are put in place to cater for guests with any disability.

In the context of the Bespoke Access Awards, ‘service design’ means concepts and processes designed to alter or modify behaviour so as to improve the quality of disabled

visitors’ experience of hotels.This includes booking, checking in, staying [including sleeping, dining, bathing and using other amenities] and checking out.Entries may consist of ideas for Apps, new training and education processes for staff, or inventions for assistive technologies.The preceding examples are by no means exhaustive.

The Leonard Cheshire Award for Inclusive Employment:

In the context of the Bespoke Access Awards, ‘inclusive employment’ means design concepts that will allow employees with disabilities the ability to work within a hotel environment. This can include but is not restricted to, access to back of house areas, working environments, the ability to interact with guests effectively and technology.

The Bespoke Access Award encourages entrants to consider the wide range of conditions guests may have and how the hotel environment and experience can be better designed to suit their needs. Disability covers a huge range of different conditions including wheelchair users (who account for about 4%). Sight loss, hearing loss, dementia, arthritis and many more disabilities should all be considered as the design of the environment will have a significant impact on their experience when visiting hotels.

Further details on the competition Submission Requirements are given under Competition Conditions.