Written by Andres Osorio, Hospitality Designer, OBM International
The rate at which our industry continues to evolve is staggering. Hospitality managers are busy trying to understand which trends will help their property stand out. So, what are the hotel design trends that will be favored in 2018? OBMI asked their design team to share some of their insights on the direction of hospitality.
Fashion Brands Suiting Up
The recent launch of several fashion design brands entering the hospitality market is changing the customer’s perspective on what branded luxury can become. In 2012 Bvlgari opened their first property in London showcasing elegant contemporary architecture. Already with five branded hotels, they have plans for three additional properties before 2020. Not only branding properties, fashion designers are pairing up to create designed interiors and luxury suites — think the Dior Suite at The Regis New York and Diane Von Furstenberg’s Suite at Claridge London.
Spaces Designed With Programming In Mind
The term transformational has been used a lot in the travel industry but in its most literal sense hotel design is now focusing on transformational spaces. Loosely described, transformational space is an area designed to be flexible, allowing operators to accommodate various programming offerings in the same location. And, we all know guests at resort’s do not want to eat three meals a day in the same restaurant, therefore, designers now have to plan their designs around making these spaces feel different through easy day-to-night transitions.
Bringing The Outdoors In
Biophilic design is emerging throughout the industry from luxury properties to select-service. This design style incorporates elements such as natural lighting, use of organic materials, vertical gardens and living green walls. Biophilic design is a natural fit for luxury hospitality as it is shown to improve health and well-being in the built environment by reducing stress, enhancing creativity and in urban areas allows guests to reconnect with the environment. Room designs are also changing shape based on similar concepts. Resort guest rooms are shrinking while balconies and outdoor living areas are expanding. In 2018 this trend is destined to grow.
Brands Allowing More Flexibility
With consumers demanding authentic experiences, brands have necessarily begun to loosen some of their design standards allowing for the inclusion of local art, crafts, and design, crafts. While not new to 2018, we are starting to see the realization of these efforts which began to take effect in the past few years. Sheraton rolled out their Sheraton 2020 program in 2015 to formally adapt their brand to accommodate more “local, lifestyle-oriented and destination-specific design.”
Maximizing Efficiencies Through Design
Perhaps not the most exciting design trend but certainly a developer’s dream, new designs are minimizing the back of house footprint through shared spaces. This can result in reduced building costs, improved operational efficiencies and when done correctly, can mean big savings to the property. Shared back of house operations can also help mothball part of the property in slow seasons while ensuring guests still receive a full experience.
When deciding which trends to implement in your hotel in 2018 it is important to remember to be authentic, sensitive to your location and accommodating to your customer.