Following trends can be a tricky endeavor, especially in the hospitality market where there are countless brands, level of service options, styles and the ever-popular rewards program that impacts a guest’s choice. This not only relates to the location of the property but also the amenities provided. With that said, we are seeing some changes working to accommodate these new trends in both the F&B offerings and the guestrooms themselves.
One cannot speak about trends without using the current trendiest word – “Millennials”. This category of guests, at the moment, are gaining much of the attention in the hotel market. I think a key word for this new influence in the hotel experience would be “immersion” – immersion into the city, destination and local characteristics distinct to the property location. We are seeing the F&B outlets at a hotel respond directly to this influence. They are adapting local character in a variety of ways, ranging from pop-up restaurants and food tuck service to integrating different local restaurants and bars to run specialty events. These experiences are looking to create a more social gathering atmosphere and give a direct link for the guest to interact with local food and residences of the city or town. The lobby bar has been replaced with a “living room” or “gathering place” for these interactions to take place. Often times these spaces are adaptable and have the ability to transform from breakfast service or quick grab-n-go meals to evening cocktails with a smaller sampling of cuisine in a more tapas type of offering.
These trends in F&B have also adapted to a broader theme of “wellness”. This can be seen in the healthier type of food being offered and also in the local farm/fresh has become the new focus for a lot of brands. We are seeing this “wellness” trend integrated into the guest experience not only in food offerings, fitness and amenities, but also in the room itself. Rooms are trending towards a cleaner and smarter design, often including anything from water and air purification systems to therapy-designed lighting systems to aid in relaxation and stress reduction – all parameters set by the guest via an app.
Andrew Simmons is the Director of Hospitality Studio for Nadel Architects. For more information, visit Nadel.