Hotel Design Top 5 TrendsKristin Crane
Hospitality was hit hard by the global pandemic. Like restaurants, hotels were forced to adapt quickly and make big changes in how they operate. As we all settle into a new normal, many of the changes hotels had to make are permanent expectations from guests. These expectations are leading some of the interior design trends in hotel design.
Hotel Design Trends
Many business travelers are mixing their business trips with leisure by extending business trips to add on personal time. Why? There is a lot of pent-up demand for traveling, and also remote work makes people more flexible. For hoteliers, this creates a challenge to accommodate both needs in one experience. Interior designers need to design spaces that have the technology needed for business travel with the comfort of leisure travel.
In general, hospitality has gotten a lot cozier and homier over the past decade. Travelers aren’t looking for sterile yet functional rooms but want rooms decorated for maximum comfort. To achieve this, designers are looking more toward residential colors and materials than commercial ones. They also want to provide easy-to-understand climate controls and noise reduction solutions.
The pandemic also saw the rise of hometels in an effort to compete with sites like VRBO and Airbnb. Travelers were using their hotel rooms in a way reminiscent of a studio apartment rather than a traditional hotel room. They wanted a small kitchen to accommodate meals to-go or the option to make their own coffee in the morning to avoid congregating in groups. As restrictions loosened, many travelers want to keep these types of amenities and hotel design is now including more of these spaces in rooms.
Many years ago, hotels responded to the call for sustainability by putting the responsibility on the guest. For example, a guest could help save water by reusing their towel. Now, consumers expect more from the brands themselves. Hotels are responding by using earth-friendly materials that meet eco-standards in construction and decor. Additionally, many hotels are installing energy-saving features such as automatic lights and water stops.
Multiuse Hotel Lobbies
Hotel lobbies have grown to serve more functions than simply checking in and checking out. Hotels now want their lobbies to serve as functional, multi-use spaces. Today’s lobbies need to provide both private and social zones so people can interact with the space in a variety of ways. With this in mind, designers are making sure spaces have good WiFi and charging stations. They are also mixing in desks and long tables so guests can get some work done or have a casual business meeting right in the lobby. Hotels have learned that when amenities are improved at a hotel, guests will stay in that hotel. Functional lobbies, as well as better restaurants, cafes, and bars, help achieve that goal.
Business and leisure travelers alike are all looking to have more authentic travel experiences. It’s easy, especially for frequent travelers, to think, “What city am I in again?” when all the hotel rooms look exactly the same. Adding local, original art helps travelers feel connected to a place and give them a sense of local flavor. Colors and materials that reflect a particular location also help people get a sense of place.
The COVID pandemic taught hoteliers that everything can change in an instant. No matter if a traveler is there for business or pleasure, and regardless of any of their personal preferences, guests want to feel comfortable and safe. Hotels that can adapt quickly to a changing situation will be the ones that succeed and foster loyalty among their guests. And when they can do that and look beautiful and stylish, they’ll have customers for life.