The desire to connect will continue driving hotel design in 2019.
Here are four trends that drove hotel design in 2018 and are poised to strengthen in the New Year.
Fun communal spaces
Many hospitality experts foresee hotels redesigning lobbies to create fun gathering places that will draw guests out of their rooms to mingle.
Ironically, this focus could help hotels attract more solo travelers. A quarter of American men (25.7 percent) and 27.4 percent of American women listed security and safety of accommodations as their primary concern when traveling alone, according to a survey conducted by Allianz Global Assistance in October, 2118. The survey found significantly more women than men were more concerned about being out after dark, walking at night and sharing their location.
These safety concerns could provide hotels an edge over private residences rented through Airbnb, VRBO and other home rental sites.
2019 will see a continuation of hotels looking for the same authentic local vibe that has drawn so many Millennials to use Aribnb. Hotel chains will be more willing to abandon uniformity across different locations to provide the kind of immersive local experience today’s travelers prefer. This will include a deeper commitment to supporting local craftmanship and more concepts inspired by local history, culture and materials.
“There are things that are happening at traditional lodging companies that are accelerating related to Airbnb, and that is less uniformity,” Bjorn Hanson, a professor at the New York University Jonathan M. Tisch Centre for Hospitality and Tourism, recently told the New York Times. “Ten years ago at a hotel in Honolulu and in New York, the art and decoration might be identical. We’ve seen brands recognize guests want a more genuine experience and a place that’s more reflective of local culture.”
Given the ubiquity of free Wi-Fi and recharging stations, hotels will have to continue upping their support for personal devices in 2019. Travelers can now recharge up to three devices from their seat at many U.S. airport terminals and will expect similar convenience throughout their hotel stay. Look for hotels to add more electrical outlets with dual USB ports, Wi-Fi bandwidth, and laptop friendly furniture and lighting.
Technology is also allowing hotels to rethink the size and use of meeting rooms that may be empty for much of the day. After all, unused square footage is a drag on profit. Perhaps a conference room by day is converted to a coworking space by night, or vice versa.
So expect hotels to continue striving to create the welcoming, authentically local and device friendly spaces today’s travelers prefer in the new year. Hoteliers will know they’ve succeeded by the number of times their guest share photos of their properties on Instagram.
Contact Beachwood Custom today to put 100+ years of international design experience to work for your boutique or premier hotel.