Clunky check-in desks, energy inefficiency, and floor-after-floor of identical rooms are becoming things of the past in today’s hotels. Hospitality design is certainly moving in exciting directions! Here’s a look at some our favorite trends, as well as a round-up of hotels that showcase them.
A growing number of people are selecting hotels based on sustainability. While there are a number of hotels enhancing sustainability in creative ways, there are only five in North America to have achieved LEED platinum certification, and they are: Hotel Skyler, Proximity Hotel, Bardessono, College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, and W San Francisco.
Emphasizing the Past
Many people are drawn to properties that have an interesting history. Historic hotels have a charm that’s not homogenized, and according to a study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, nearly 80 percent of American travelers prefer to stay in historic neighborhoods and buildings to experience a sense of authenticity in a destination. The National Trust created the Historic Hotels of America (HHA) program in 1989 originally with 34 member properties. Today, there 236 members representing the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can access the list and even make your reservations here.
Saying Goodbye to the Front Desk
The front desk we’ve always known is on its way out. Say good-bye to the barrier between hotel and guest, as well as tedious check-ins, as more and more hotels are inventing streamlined (and hopefully more enjoyable) check-in processes. At the Andaz West Hollywood, for example, guests relax on comfortable furniture enjoying wine, coffee or soda while roaming hosts with iPads check them in. In the Courtyard by Marriot’s recent lobby redesign, the big imposing front desk has been dumped in favor of “welcome pedestals,” where personnel handle the checkins and check-outs and other guests’ needs, too.
Blending Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
Blurring the line between indoors and outside is a design strategy that’s here to stay for several reasons. More and more, people are aspiring to live green with access to fresh air and gardens. It’s also very possibly a backlash to technology since most of us are on computers all day. People want to get back to nature when they’re away from their work and home environments. Many hotels are expanding nature’s soothing embrace to ensure that guests can enjoy beautiful surroundings 24 hours a day. A great example is 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach which was designed to reflect the natural world, with 3,000 feet of living wall wrapping the exterior, made up of 11,000 local tropical plant varieties. Another one is Big Cedar Lodge in the Ozark mountains – an 18,000-square-foot wilderness-inspired spa with aspen trees, river stones and moss flanking the hallway entrance.
Not only does GIO offer the latest in architectural tile and stone, we offer dedicated support – we’re here to work with you! Contact us to get our insights on trends in surfacing to enhance your next hospitality design project.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Prayitno via Flickr Creative Commons. Click Image to view source.