Hotel design is no different to any other global medium. It’s dependant on trends that stem from the attitudes and preferences of consumers.
Design is constantly changing because people always have new ideas about how they want to experience their life. This includes the food they eat, clothes they wear, car they drive, house they live in, electronics they use, and of course the hotel they visit.
The hotel industry is one that constantly yearns for innovation, given its global and competitive nature. All hotel brands want to differentiate themselves but at the same time, innovation and experimentation needs to be balanced with economic responsibility if the hotel is to be successful instead of a gimmick.
Trends of recent years have focused on localised design, lifestyle-centric hotels, and lively public areas. Is hotel design likely to continue in this way or will a new philosophy forge a path into the future?
Why do hotels need to react to society
Modern consumers are more complex and harder to understand than any that have come before them. The celebration of globalisation and individualism has been the death of a cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approach for marketers in any sphere – including hotels.
A general trend that does exist is the obsession with personal well-being. The battle against aging and the desire to optimise personal fitness have never been so front-of-mind. This has been reflected by the rise of wearable technology and an influx of content on blogs and social media. But has it been mirrored in the hotel sector? In general, fitness facilities in hotels have remained largely traditional. It’s something that should, and is likely to, change heading into the future.
Another example of society’s changing mindset is the trend towards being more conscious of the environment, and also culture. With much more education around these topics people coming to understand the importance of them. As a result, they want the positive values associated with eco-awareness and cultural diversity incorporated into their favourite brands and retailers.
Then, there are things that always stay the same. Family, friends, great food, and technology allowing travellers to stay connected are a dominant motif hotels must uphold if they want to be a property guests want to stay at.
What will hotels be like in the future?
It might seem like technology will continue to overhaul every experience and walking into a hotel will be like walking into the matrix, but is it what guests will truly want? Every development has a peak before innovation and experimentation settles back into practicality.
So on one hand, we might see hotels delving deep into virtual technology, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and A.I to create out of this world sensations for guests. On the other, we could see an increase in guests wanting to reconnect with nature, rekindle personal relationships, and return to a simpler yet more wholesome life.
Here are some important questions hotels might want to ask themselves:
- Can the hotel be for the whole community, as well as its guests?
- How can the hotel equip guests with local knowledge, flavour, and experiences?
- What can the hotel do to be unique while supporting a brand image?
- Which aspects of the locale will influence the design and products of the hotel?
- Will there be a good balance between technology and the personal touch of traditional hospitality service?
To learn more about what characteristics the hotel of the future might hold, take SiteMinder’s Interactive Quiz and see what shape your business will take.