Brands and chains are brightening up their spaces.
Millennials like to travel, and more of them do so every year. Nearly 7 in 10 millennials (ages 18 to 34) traveled for leisure in 2014, according to one study. And while they spend less than their older counterparts, they more frequently are last-minute planners, with almost a quarter booking less than a week before their departure date.
These edge-of-their-seat travelers rely heavily on a hotel’s visual pop to hook them into clicking that “Book It” button. One particularly effective tool is color: lots of it and lots of variety. Below are a handful of trends in color and design making their way into lodgings across the country.
Bright, bold, not beige
Neutral colors once reigned supreme at hotels, for some as recent as five years ago. Things started to change when hoteliers realized that their millennial clientele was choosing lodgings using photo galleries on sites like TripAdvisor, or even their friends’ Instagram or Pinterest feeds. Eye-catching spaces that injected color into their surroundings stood out. Old-school beige walls didn’t make the cut.
According to the Pantone Color Institute, 2018 will bring several vibrant changes, including pastels giving way to more intense, playful colors, such as the Minion-esque canary yellow, lime popsicle, and bright purple. Other trends include bright, verdant greens with berries and eggshell-blues, reflecting a continued focus on health and wellness, and the classic pairing of blue and orange, balancing cool and warm.
Millennial influence on color even extends to hotel staff attire. Uniforms may now reflect fashion preferences of their younger employees, and even the property itself and surrounding neighborhood. Examples of this trend abound, including orange military coats at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side in New York, colored pocket squares, statement necklaces at JW Marriott Grand Rapids in Michigan, and leather bartender vests at Hilton West Palm Beach.
No place like away from home
Unlike the seasoned business travelers of yore who valued predictability and reliability over all else, millennials have a noticeably different set of desires when walking into a hotel chain, and color is a key element of that. Most homes have a basic, neutral palette, so the millennial traveler’s mind craves bold color, something that conveys instant escape and says “vacation.”
Variety is also key. A traveler staying at a Radisson RED in Minneapolis one week and Portland the next will experience different color and art in the rooms and unique music drifting from lobby speakers.
Savvy hoteliers know they need to impress each guest and their followers. A well-chosen color or carefully-selected piece of art can travel around the world in an instant (as can a blah beige or dull décor). Many millennial travelers want to take their social circles with them on the journey and document each “wow” moment, so give them plenty to share.
Chicago’s Hotel EMC2 does just that. Boasting an art and science theme, Hotel EMC2’s décor features vintage microscopes, antique books, and tributes to historic greats such as Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci. Rooms feature unique showers – inspired by 1920s laboratories – that are particularly selfie-friendly. Florida’s Hollywood Beach Resort features its own irresistible photo-op – a seven-foot tall, impossibly-bright blue flip-flop that greets guests as they enter the lobby.
Help them make memories
Leisure travel embodies the desire to experience the opposite of everyday life. Most daily routines aren’t filled with canary yellow interiors, red velvet sofas, or gigantic blue flip-flop installations. Now, more than ever, millennial travelers want to feel they’ve stepped into an Andy Warhol painting or Baz Luhrmann film. A hotel’s relevance to this all-important rising demographic rests squarely on its ability to capture the color of its dreams.
At Beachwood Custom, we can help you capture those bold colors that will be sure to draw in millennials. Let our experience in the hospitality industry work for you: contact us today.