Trends in Hospitality Design – Tom Hope

In this lecture Tom Hope talked about changes in hospitality design.

Tom described how historically hotels have been predictable (identical to others under the same brand) and have maintained a strict divide between business and leisure.  The target audience for this model was the baby boomer generation.

There is now a much wider range of consumers of the hotel industry, and a vast amount of these are millennials.  This is the group that the major hotel brands are now marketing at.

Millennials, in terms of marketing products and services to, are broadly defined by ‘look what i’ve done’, where as the baby boomer generation are defined rather by ‘look what i’ve got’.

Therefore,  rather horrifyingly to me (!), and perhaps showing my age as someone on the border of generation X and millennial, major hotel brands are increasingly creating products and services that are ‘instagrammable’ – amenable to being photographed and put on social media.

The hotel industry is increasingly selling an ‘authentic experience’, where the lines between work and leisure are blurred:

‘High-end hotels and resorts are moving away from “gold, marble and chandeliers” to instead offer guests unique experiences, say AHEAD Asia jury members’ (from Dezeen)

Trying to put my cynicism aside, there appear to be many benefits to this approach.  The major one is the that hotels are increasingly much nicer places to be.  The previous received understanding of predictable and identical design has broken down and we are now seeing much more diversity, beauty, and innovation in hotel design.

This approach therefore provides exciting opportunities for architects and designers to work on hospitality projects in much more creative and innovative ways than was previously possible.

Keemala Hotel by Stone Design, offering guests the chance to experience the jungle canopy inside a pod:


Image by Brent Madison (2012) via Dezeen

Barcelo Torre de Madrid Hotel interior by Jamie Hayon, where guests can experience ‘a visual journey through Spain’s past’ (from Dezeen):


Image from Dezeen

I’ll be staying here soon, which from its website seems to tick all the millenial boxes!


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