Upcoming and Current Trends in Hotel Design

4 min read

 

Upcoming and Current Trends in Hotel Design

Brands like Marriott’s Moxy target the growing Millennial market in the Hotel Industry.

 

Well established hotel companies and investors are looking to stay ahead of the curve, and this is definitely the case when adapting to trends in the hotel industry.  In today’s hotel markets, Millennials are establishing themselves as a formidable force. With markedly different preferences than their older counterparts, hotel developers and investors are looking to cater to these younger travelers to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve. For many hotel flags, we are seeing significant changes in response to those preferences.

Good news for the hotel world – Millennials overall prefer to spend their money on experiences, rather than on material goods. Luckily for hotel investors, this means that hospitality is a great area of opportunity. The Millennial travel market is only going to grow more and more, and learning this generation’s preferences and how to appeal to them is essential for continued long-term success in the hotel industry. Here are some of the ways hotel’s are seeking to appeal to this group of travelers, and earn brand loyalty early on.

Interactive Social Media

Millennials are more tuned in to their devices than ever. As opposed to more traditional advertisements through commercials and print marketing, many of the most successful brands are turning to engaging their customers online. Marriott’s Moxy brand, for example, has established their own instagram account (@MoxyHotels), and encourage their guests to share pictures online using hashtags such as #AtTheMoxy. This social media wave is incredibly efficient – guest travelers who post and share their experiences at Moxy Hotels provide what is essentially free marketing. That extra boost in exposure to guests’ peers can build a rapport among Millennials as they begin to build loyalty to specific brands.

More technology

No surprise here. Going hand in hand with social media, capitalizing on technology and engaging with your customers is a major step that hotel developers need to compete with. Having wi-fi available for guests beyond just their rooms has become expected, rather than a luxury amenity. Many hotels are moving towards providing charging stations in the more communal areas of the hotel, or providing more USB charging ports in their rooms to accommodate mobile-friendly travelers. Even hotel rooms themselves are seeing an increase in the number of power outlets. Holiday Inn parent company IHG also recognized such patterns in their guest habits:

“At Holiday Inn, the first thing hotel guests can do upon entering a room is recharge their phones. When designing the new H4 guestroom, parent company InterContinental Hotels Group conducted focus groups and consumer testing to determine where to place power and USB outlets…One result is a ‘Welcome Nook,’ a place for guests to hang their coat, drop their keys, and plug in devices.”

Airbnb has developed a mobile app to  appeal to younger customers more than ever, and creating apps that facilitate check-in and check-out will give hotel brands an edge over their competition. Large companies such as Marriott already have apps that allow you to check-in to your room on your phone, and also incorporate other features such as allowing you to track and earn loyalty points. Creating these apps also offer an additional stream of revenue by opening up advertising opportunities on the app to nearby businesses seeking to appeal to Millennials and other customers as well.

Large Communal Spaces, but smaller rooms

With the increased emphasis on social media and communal experiences in general, hotel brands are seeking to develop hotel products with larger communal spaces. Larger lobbies, recreational rooms, and more open-design spaces. Some hotels, such as Hilton’s Tru brand, are now also designing their rooms smaller, with more efficiency. A hotel may remove their ironing boards and in-room bars in individual rooms in exchange for larger communal versions of them on each floor. Similar to the advantages of a dual-brand model, these design differences have the potential to save developers money, while also appealing to their younger customer base – a double win.

 

More outlets, and larger communal spaces geared toward more points of social contact.

More outlets, and larger communal spaces geared toward more points of social contact. (Source: Tru by Hilton)

It’s important to note for hotel developers and investors that while smaller rooms are efficient and may appeal to many customers seeking a more communal experience, caution should be taken especially in full-service and luxury hotels, where making rooms too small can actually be unattractive to their customers who may value that larger space and more individualized amenities. Millennials currently are largely tourist travelers looking at more budget-friendly options. Generally – keep in mind which customer base you are appealing to, and what amenities your hotel offers.

Overall

It’s important to keep in mind upcoming preferences as hotels seek to capture Millennial travelers. The Millennial generation is still growing and as the generation ages, their average income increases, and we expect full-service and even luxury hotels to start adopting some of the trends and design changes that we already see in millennial minded hotel products.

However, at the end of the day, it’s also important to continue driving the personal, human aspect of hotels. There is no replacement for quality service, and hotel developers should not see technology and amenities as a complete replacement for strong customer service and quality associates and hotel staff to drive guest satisfaction. It’s that combination of strong customer service and appealing amenities that will push Millennial interest and loyalty in the long run.

 

Sources:

Saiidi, Uptin. Millennials are prioritizing experiences over stuff. CNBC. May 5, 2016.  https://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html

Moxy Hotels. Marriott. http://moxy-hotels.marriott.com/en

Trejos, Nancy. “Hotels add plugs, ports for device-laden guests.” USA Today. May 21, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/roadwarriorvoices/2017/05/21/hotels-add-plugs-ports-device-laden-guests/101863684/

“Marriott Mobile App | The Perfect Travel Companion.” Marriott. mobileapp.marriott.com

Meltzer, Matt. “How Tru by Hilton Is Trying to Win Over Millennials.” Aug 23, 2017. CN Traveler. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-tru-by-hilton-is-trying-to-win-over-millennials

 

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Modular Construction: Hotel Construction & Design

3 min read

Modular Construction: Hotel Construction & Design

Modular construction is revolutionizing building construction, especially in the hotel industry. Instead of having to build the entire hotel from the ground up, modular construction pushes most of the construction to happen off site. This type of construction is incredibly appealing, especially to first-time hotel investors looking for a smart real estate investment.

Historically, the construction for a hotel development occurs on-site. All your raw materials are delivered to the site, where they are assembled by various tradesman and sub-contractors. The foundation is poured and the framework is built. Each floor is set up, and individual rooms are then constructed and finished as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are established.

So what does modular construction offer? Modular construction refers to the modules that are constructed off site and then delivered to the construction site to be connected together. In the case of hotels, this often means that each room is built as a module off site. The rooms are shipped to your construction site and then the rooms are hoisted and stacked and sealed together, very much like legos. Instead of building your entire building from scratch on-site, you are able to construct your hotel into smaller sections that are later placed together. There are numerous benefits to modular construction, including:

Efficiency

Hotels benefit disproportionately from modular construction because most of the guest rooms are essentially the same and easy to replicate. By having most of the construction take place off-site, hotel developers often save time and money in the actual on-site construction, since the rooms are already built. Modular construction minimizes weather delays on site, and simultaneously reduces construction hazards. In addition, because of reduced construction time, there are potential savings associated with construction financing being a shorter term. There are also actual material savings using prefabricated modular construction. The repetitious nature of modular assembly allows carpenters and tradesman to bring material wastage down to a bare minimum. Additionally, construction traffic delays are shorter, and your development timeline is shorter, allowing you to make it to opening day and realize a return sooner. There is probably a good chance that a prefabricated construction company is able to buy lumber, steel, plumbing, and electrical equipment at better prices than most local builders, simply because of their volume and purchasing power.

Quality Management

Mass production allows you to speed up not only construction but also allows developers to have better quality. Modular construction reduces a lot of the variable guesswork in on-site construction from room to room, ensuring that each room’s construction will be consistent and predictable. Even the tiny details like screws and nails go into the exact same place, for each room module. It might also be important to note that indoor factory building doesn’t expose the materials or tradesman to natural elements, especially if you’re thinking about building in a cold or rainy climate. Naturally, the materials stay dry and worker productivity remains high when you’re inside controlled environments.

 

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Conclusion

We predict that modular construction will only get more popular, and will allow hotel developers to speed up their rate of development without sacrificing quality. Moving ahead, modular construction companies are now even offering to build rooms with your FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) already built in, so hotel developers have even less to worry about when preparing to open doors and getting to revenue.

Sources:
“Why Build Modular?” Modular Building Institute.

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