In the expeditiously moving world, it literally “pays” to keep up with current thoughts
With guests, especially millennials demanding authenticity in their hotels, companies and designers alike, need to find ways to maintain a sense of location in each property’s design. When staying at a hotel in Milan, New York or Singapore, the guests want to feel local. That sense of location could be reflected in the property’s food, or in the guest room artwork. You need a local aspect. That must be the direction in the design.
The growth of “soft” brands, has made authenticity and locality easier. For a true “soft” brand, there’s very little oversight to how far you can push the envelope.
As branded hotels compete with Airbnb in the more in-demand markets, flexibility in brand standards is vital. Fortunately, most companies have learned this and the “hard” brands are offering more latitude, as they move into valuable markets. There is a need from all demographics, to offer a unique experience from every property.
The hotel should be locally relevant - and it shouldn’t look like the last one. In the past, it was all the same. Now, it’s not. Marriott developed a new guest room prototype for its flagship brand, several years back and worked with its designers to let owners select colours, vinyls, joinery finishes, drapery, tiles and flooring for each property, so that each hotel could have it’s own look.
Is That Exciting Enough?
New brands seem to be created when there is a void. Brand teams are good at defining what this means. Marriott is different from Sheraton - and that’s different from Hilton. The designs of these hotels reflect those differences. Unique ways have to be found to activate the space. The whole feel of a room should be differentiated. Using lighting in new ways, or putting artwork on the ceilings and creating inspired ways to make the rooms - new - different - exciting.