Hotels have evolved beyond cookie cutter conventions and are now exceeding stereotypes by experimenting with art, design and architecture.
To remain attractive in an oversaturated market, hotels have expanded their offerings beyond the typical flat screen televisions and four fixture bathrooms. A hotel’s appeal has come to depend on its ability to make each guest’s stay memorable, to resonate with them on both a physical and emotional level.
A hotel’s longevity is contingent upon this ability to captivate each new generation of traveller. As the hotel guest evolves so to must the industry if it is to succeed.
However, satisfying these diverse and changing needs has become increasingly complex. Today’s guests are well informed, technically competent and aesthetically astute. Their tastes are more sophisticated and their expectations higher.
Providing a superior service is no longer enough to separate one hotel from the next; they must also provide a superior experience. The struggle to meet these increased demands has caused hoteliers to question how, beyond providing a certain level of service, can they differentiate themselves from the competition and remain relevant now and in the future?
The response has seen hotels engage architects and designers to conceptualisation and conceive authentic experiences that transcend the typical. Hoteliers are looking at architecture as a way to translate their vision, research and consumer insights into tangible designs that speak to the need for heterogeneous and increased levels of guest engagement.
Intuitive design can be understood as what distinguishes the Hiltons, Hyatts and InterContinentals of the world from the Holiday Inns. Their contrariety of qualities has seen these names become synonymous with hotels. These iconic enterprises have strategically incorporated the essence of their brand and core brand standards into each of their hotels with subtle changes made to accommodate specific geographic locations, markets and clientele, so whilst the individual hotel is recognised as part of this wider brand it is still distinctly unique.
In this sense design can be seen as the difference between a manufactured space and a built environment. The former is fabricated from a generic template, copied and pasted into a place. The latter is a considered approach that is informed by its location and audience – it actively seeks to establish a relationship with its surrounds and in doing so allows guests to form an organic connection with the place.
And so we see the future of hotel design as emphasising bespoke experiences that are grounded in local storylines. Advocating out of the box ideas, these designs challenge the imagination and the guests.