6 Hotel Trends to Keep an Eye On

6 hotel trends to keep an eye on
By Amy Jakubowski | December 17, 2014

This year has been big. From leaving behind the city I’ve called home my entire life for a new adventure in San Francisco with Puccini Group, to the announcement of our hotels division and to the variety of travel experiences I’ve enjoyed, it’s been an exciting year of learning!

Having been fortunate to speak at a number of conferences in a wide variety of markets this year (the U.S., Europe and the Middle East), I’ve noted similaries between the markets with regards to trends in the hotel industry.

Here are the industry trends I’m expecting to see for the rest of 2014 and beyond:

  1. Local sourcing: This no longer pertains to the menu only; hotels are partnering with local artists and artisans to ground their properties with a sense of place and an understanding of the local culture. Additionally, emphasis on working with sustainable practices and materials continues to drive many decisions in the hospitality industry. This actually leads me to my next trend…
  2. Think green: I see the idea of “green” as trending toward becoming code for luxury standards, just as ADA did. Our socially conscience consumer is demanding “green” so staying ahead of the game vs. minimizing the short term costs can not only lead to a more desirable product but those innovative ideas and solutions that could set your product apart from the competition.
  3. Less is more: The trend is toward fewer – more creative in-hotel restaurants that will keep guests in the hotel and effectively compete with neighborhood establishments as well as reduce the space required that could potential go into another revenue producing function or potentially streamline a new building to be even more efficient with reduced required program.
  4. Show me the money—The majority of spend should always be placed on guest-facing items. The guest’s first impression starts with a visual, followed by each element of service that a guest looks for. Cutting costs that affect the guest experience only cheats the guest out of that unique experience—your differentiator—that you’ve worked so hard to create.
  5. Hotel giants and their boutique lifestyle brands: With Hilton’s recent release of their new brand “Canopy, along with Starwood’s “Aloft” and Thompson’s “Tommy,” brands are taking notice of Millennials and their need for approachable, affordable, but unique lodging.
  6. Appeal to emotions: Guests are looking for an emotional connection, so always keep in mind the story you are trying to tell; if the story becomes lost in during the engineering process, then shift the dollars back to the concept. First impressions are key, so the lobby is the logical space in which to focus to create an impression for guests. Next, be sure to appeal to what is familiar by providing creature comforts in the guestroom. (When doing so, always keep in mind the story you’ve begun to tell in the lobby and throughout the hotel; a uniform message should be clear and approachable for guests.) Our socially savvy Millennials, a group that will outnumber the Baby Boomers by 22 million in 2030, are looking to tell a story on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Will you provide them with the tools to tell your story?