The hospitality industry must always be adaptable to the ever-changing mind, and wants, of the traveler. Hotels must balance the hands-off guest services approach desired by the technologically inclined visitors who value efficiency and convenience with the commitment to customized and personal interaction most travelers still and will always expect when traveling. With the summer traveling season upon us, we break down the four biggest trends we are seeing in hospitality design.
Local experiences like those found at Loews Hotel 1000 with their Flavor By Loews program, which offers guests a taste of the city they're visiting within the hotel walls, is a huge draw to travelers. With the rising competition found in sites like Airbnb and VRBO, which offer guests the ability to travel and stay like a local, hotels are finding they must also provide an insider's view to the city. From local ingredients used in restaurants to in hotel shopping filled with neighborhood finds to destination-specific experiences, hotel companies are finding better ways to be in the know.
Enhanced Community Spaces
As more individuals move toward a mobile, work-from-anywhere way of life, the shared space workspace - a favorite of millennials - continues to rise and hotels are taking note. The new business traveler no longer works from her room desk only venturing out to entertain clients. Today's mobile worker is equipped to answer emails and handle projects from any space, with most preferring the ambiance of a shared space setting. In answer to this rising trend, hotels are spending more time addressing and enhancing their communal spaces with grouped seating areas for impromptu work meetings and tech-enabled community tables for those looking to sneak in a few emails before happy hour.
Room For Relaxation
As they focus on the shared workspaces coveted by the modern business traveler, hotels are also finding the need for a workstation within the room to be obsolete. This, coupled with higher real estate costs, has hotels reducing room size while turning the focus from a quiet place to work to a relaxing place to unwind. Soundproof windows, blackout curtains, streaming capabilities and voice activated technology allow guests to escape even the loudest cities within the walls of their room.
From keys to cards to smart phones. Hotels are offering new ways to entice the tech-savvy traveler with a heavy reliance on apps, text messaging and in room voice-activated technology. Keyless entry options used by Hotel giants Marriott and Hilton among others, allow guests to check in and enter their room all from the palm of their hand. Siri and Amazon Echo are showing up more and more in rooms, giving guests the ability to personalize the controls of their room with the sound of their voice. And text messaging capabilities, used by many hotels in the U.S., offers visitors immediate access to room service, Wi-Fi passwords, room information and spa appointment booking even before they arrive.