Posted on Sunday, 19 March 2017
When it comes to the hospitality industry, hotel trends can be both ephemeral and long-lasting. Some hotel trends are just fleeting, while others may remain topical for decades. The hotel trends in 2016 have been strongly shaped by major mergers and acquisitions among large hotel chains.
They have also been influenced by the disagreements between travel agencies and direct online booking systems that are rising. Whatever the hotel trends of 2017 will be, we expect major changes that will continue last years’ fast developments in the hospitality area. The question that arises is this:
What will the 2017 hotel trends be in what regards the guest experience?
1. Hotels for Community
Hotels in 2017 are no longer just simple accommodations for guests, where their experience is quite individual and separated from everything happening around. In 2017 the focus is on community and collaboration within the meaning of cohabitation. The concept of cohabitation has already entered the hospitality scene in 2016, but this year the trend is the further development of the concept. That means a greater focus on communal areas of the hotel and those that bring people together.
Cohabitation means focusing on the interaction between guests, complete strangers to each other, by creating spaces that support socialization. In 2017, we expect hotels to put everything on one card and create their own unique ways to make guests feel like part of the hotel, or live there. Just like home.
2. Experience beyond the Hotel
With Airbnb’s new launched Trips service, another major hotel trend of 2017 has been defined. That is, creating an experience beyond the walls of the hotel. Trips opens a new gateway to designing a unique hotel experiences through offering of tour guide services and activities that guests can also enjoy outside the hotel.
Hotels of 2017 require a holistic approach in terms of creating a new hotel experience beyond what is considered a normal one. In 2017 we expect many more hotels to engage in developing hotel experiences that go beyond the hotel.
3. Local Potential
In 2017 „local” is not just about the craftsmanship of local artisans, from handmade soaps to the locally produced food. Following the idea of community and by this bringing more humanity and socializing in the hotel industry, hotels of 2017 should begin to think more about the local community. In this sense, the trend is to open up to potential local customers, which oftentimes are ignored.
This community is basically made of the people living around the hotel, who may not need accommodation, but may require another service that the hotel can provide. The trend is to turn the hotel into a place that makes locals’ lives easier, by offering additional services that they need, but otherwise would be ashamed to ask for.
4. A New Take on Luxury
Today, the concept of luxury is no longer just about offering the guest the most expensive caviar at the dinner service or endowing the rooms with the best Egyptian cotton towels. Luxury means a whole different thing for hotels in 2017. What it means is a perfect merge between extravagance and opulence on one hand and providing an authentic experience of true luxury, beyond the rigid quality or brand standards.
In addition to 5-star services and a perfect hotel ambience, the idea of luxury in 2017 is about offering customizable services, and making a clearer sense of community and place. It means telling a local and authentic story, beyond the cold and distance imposed by the brand. The new luxury hotel has a local flavor and a captivating story to say to those who pass its threshold.
5. The Flourishing of Smart Hotels
Last but not least, a major hotel trend in 2017 is the smart hotel. Although we cannot expect an overnight transformation for all hotels into smart hotels, the trend is heading in this direction. And this means, by and large, that there will be a rise in technological innovations tailored for hotels.
This is an obvious hospitality trend, especially if we look at the large investments hotels are making in the latest technologies, from communication systems to online entertainment streaming in the hotel room or other smart concepts.