As previously mentioned, hotels, as well as other properties in lodging industry, is going to have a lot of changes in a post-pandemic world, and as a result, hotel design also has to make some amendments accordingly.

On average, hotel occupancy is down 50 percent nationally as the entire globe struck. According to the Statista survey, 45% of hospitality businesses in Germany had revenue losses between 10,000 to 50,000 euros. The American Hotel and Lodging Association reported that U.S. hotel profits fell 117% and there were more than 7.7 million hospitality and leisure job losses.

While hundreds of hotels nationwide remain closed because of the crisis, a wide range of new hotels are still flooding to open in the future, but with innovative design in order to fit in a new world of travel. So what are the innovations to come?

Contactless tech solutions intertwined within room reception procedures and control

According to a study from HotelFriend, contactless tech solutions and digital interactions are some of the most important features highlighted in the guideline for recovery as guests can check in, check out, order food and services as well as complete payment without any interpersonal contact.

“The biggest thing right now is this focus on health and wellness and making sure people feel safe and confident going back into hotels,” said Tom Ito, the hospitality leader and a principal at Gensler, a global architecture firm. “Anything that assures that now and in the long term is here to stay.”

Hotels have long been moving towards automation, adopting mobile or virtual self-check-in and check-out for years and now with a little push from the virus, it is likely that guests will become accustomed to these newly-highlighted features as the norm to alleviate queues or large crowds at the reception for social distance. Even before the global breakout, guests in Virgin Hotels in Nashville and other cities can control room lights, temperature, television, and room configurations that allow attendants to make deliveries without contact.

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As Amazon’s Alexa assistant was launched in hotels in 2018 and Google Assistant has also created a hospitality application for its virtual assistant Google Nest Hub, which rolled out this summer in a handful of hotels, hotel rooms are now equipped with a combination of a speaker and a tablet-size screen. This allows guests to ask questions about things like pool hours, set an alarm and make requests for extra towels or room service without picking up a phone. Guests can also control blinds, temperature and lights with voice commands as they are wired for digital access.

“We believe that it’s actually going to help both in providing a better in-room experience, but also avoiding unnecessary contact,” said Manuel Bronstein, the vice president of Google Assistant.

The application of robotic technologies

The future of buffet-style dining experiences in hotels is going to be dubious as the idea of food exposed for a long time is not considered glamorous anymore though all-inclusive buffets are a selling point for many resorts. According to Mr. Ito of Gensler, the whole dining experience could change as the spaces around the hotel which are not necessarily in the restaurant can be turned into areas for private dining, providing personalization and unique experiences.

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Besides takeaway options and turning the whole hotel into the dining area by offering private dining in guest rooms or other exceptional areas, hotels can now use robots to serve. For example, the robotic butlers have been developed by the Aloft brand and implemented under the name of Botler since 2015, and using robots in hotels is also considerably popular in Japan. These delivery robots can be designed with various sizes and functions like keeping food hot and drink cold, or providing videos/music for entertainment.

The concentration on air-filtration systems

After the outbreak, the standard of cleanliness is becoming higher than ever, not only in-room service but also in the common areas, so hotels likely need to emphasize how its central conditioning system is being monitored. According to designers’ prediction, it is high time hotels looked back to natural ventilation by bringing the outdoors inside.

Most hotels are already maximizing the use of their outdoor spaces, where guests may feel safer from virus transmission, by moving dining tables and fitness activities outdoors. Ahead, designers predict, travelers may see more greenery coming inside as hotels seek to capture the calming effects of nature.

The hotel design and development firm Gettys Group envisions redesigning spaces such as boardrooms and event areas with plants enhanced by digital projections that simulate the natural movement in nature, supplemented by air-filtration systems that produce a cross breeze and germ-killing ultraviolet light. Another idea hoteliers may invest in is the use of higher caliber air filtration systems in guest rooms as they are considered a new luxury for health and well-being.

Guest rooms with multifunctions

Guest rooms are going to be designed not only to sleep and shower but also to serve as a gym, a dining room and even an office.

Instead of sitting on the edge of the bed and leaning over a rolled-in table to eat club sandwiches, the more accommodating rooms of the future may have banquettes or convertible dining spaces. “Before room service was not so nice, but now it’s an amenity people want and you can design guest rooms for great dining experiences in your room or on your terrace,” Mr. Ito said, noting that more hotel rooms may feature expanded balconies or patios and operable windows that allow fresh air in.

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Gyms are also expanding their in-room presence beyond the yoga mat in the closet. For instance, the newly renovated Gansevoort Meatpacking hotel in New York City features a fitness-on-demand service called Mirror that broadcasts fitness classes on a full-length mirror, with weights available on demand. “You don’t have to go downstairs and interact with other people in the fitness center and wear a mask while you work out,” said Anton Moore, the general manager of the hotel.

Source: Destination Review

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