The hospitality industry has not failed to recently deliver impressive contributions to hotel design and innovation. Read on to hear about the recent trends in commercial lodging, from the driving forces of technology to changing consumer preferences.
The industry is stepping up the pace to contend with a variety of competing holiday rental technologies, such as Airbnb and other private options. For hotels, this has meant the provision of additional service perks, lavish infrastructure and high end cuisine to provide guests with experiences that individual accommodation rentals cannot match.
Technology has played a vital role in this shift as it has enabled people to become more informed and possess enhanced abilities to document their adventures. This shift has also created a mindset that gears travellers towards consumption of that which is ‘authentic.’ In some circles, this tendency is referred to transmodernity, and holds at its core a belief in universal aspirations such as sustainability, human rights, diversity and interestingly, a notion of something called deep play. In this instance, deep play means that hotels are increasingly interacting with travellers who are seeking something more than just fun or entertainment; it’s the pursuit of a wholly immersive experience and how sensations or meaningful moments are felt.
To leverage this trend, hotels at their strategic level are brainstorming how best to harness the impetus towards transformative experiences, creativity and green markets. It helps that transmodernity when applied to tourism is an indication of reasonable to high levels of disposable income, meaning travellers are willing to invest time and money to attain authentic encounters.
An exciting, albeit still conceptual, response to this transmodern traveller is characterised in the work of global architecture firm HOK in their creation of a hotel of drones that have the ability to relocate themselves and their guests to remote locations all over the world. This ultra modern hotel provides the ultimate Instagram envy opportunity, whilst maintaining a high level of amenity and luxury for its discerning clients. As the winner of a Radical Innovation Award, this drone hotel named Driftscape, leaves almost no environmental footprint as it moves around the globe to far flung locales. We can’t wait to see this hotel for sale!
In another nod to the professional global nomad, hotels are also rethinking their floorplans to provide more integrated commercial capabilities to their ‘business’ clients who are no longer the exclusively suit wearing, conference attendees. Zoku in Amsterdam is one such hotel that has incorporated these principles into their design to provide guests with a home-office hybrid as their accommodation. As a flexible space, Zoku lofts are convertible to reduce the domination of the bed when it’s not in use, provide stationary and optional, rentable office toolboxes and have smart technology integrated within them as standard.
The selection of amenities that hotels provide is also on the rise in many establishments. By reclaiming space as information hubs, areas for communal gatherings and also providing a wider array of services not limited to the guests staying there themselves, hotels are again seeking to distinguish themselves from individual accommodation options. Accor Hotels is one example of a chain that has specifically made roads in this direction with their CEO announcing their foray into additional services. They plan to make their hotels more of a hub that will engage with their local communities and not just their out of town guests.
So whether a new take on business accommodation or the provision of services to the wider community, keep an eye out for these trends and the influence of the transmodern when you next stay at a hotel.