Workshop Concepts: Evolving Hotel Design

At CultureWaves we value our curators’ passions and perspectives on things. Our workshop series is a look at ongoing research projects from our curators on subjects that they are interested in and passionate about.

At CultureWaves we value our curators’ passions and perspectives on things. Our workshop series is a look at ongoing research projects from our curators on subjects that they are interested in and passionate about.

For many, hotel rooms seem rather monotonous. While traditional amenities like a bed, a TV, a nightstand and a bathroom remain consistent in hotels across the world, the room they’re housed in has drastically evolved. The well-accepted and emulated bedroom layout is now transforming to incorporate modernization that adapt to individual travelers’ needs.
Most recently, hotels are being inspired by Millennials’ desire for convenience and are quickly innovating futuristic amenities, like robot butlers, robot luggage handlers, mobile device room entry and virtual reality, to fulfill Millennials’ need for instant gratification and soothing experiences during their stay. Some hotels are changing their model altogether, offering pop-up hotel room rentals that allow travelers to rent a room for a couple of hours—helping travelers in need of a brief stop between destinations.

Similar to convenience, Millennial consumers want comfort and relaxation built into their hotel experience as well. With these necessities in mind, hotels are redefining the line between “hotel” and “home,” as travelers want lodging to feel more localized and authentic. Consumer demand for authentic hospitality experiences has driven the emergence of short-term home rental marketplaces like Airbnb, where travelers prefer local unique experiences over the predictability of a traditional hotel stay. Services like Airbnb give consumers the opportunity to experience unique lodgings, such as sleeping in an underwater bedroom and sleeping in the famed artwork of Vincent van Gogh.

The days of the traditional hotel with a straight forward lobby and a person at the concierge desk are quickly coming to an end. Hotel lobbies are now transforming into multi-functional spaces with bars, lounges, coffee shops and business centers all rolled into one space meant to enhance the community experience of travelers. Belonging, a key behavior Millennials seek, is significantly influencing the growth of the niche marketplace. Today, niche markets are popping up all over the hospitality industry, where like-minded travelers are choosing to pursue travel options that specifically interest them. Filled with immersion, these niche hotels offer travelers the opportunity to surround themselves with their passions for a night and allow them to connect with like-minded travelers on a deeper social level. Niche hotels range from the world’s first gamer hotel to a hotel chain catering to nifty over-fifties, offering consumers complete engagement in an area that they love.

The hotel industry is nearing a tipping point; consumers are demanding authentic and personalized accommodations as requirements when selecting a hotel stay. The tech-savvy generation has explicitly laid out its needs and challenged the hospitality industry to embrace new ways of marketing and luring the millennial generation into hotels. The new generation of hotels may very well be one of sci-fi dreams, with brainwave readers, biometric sensors and facial recognition incorporated into our booking and hotel stay.

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