Offer your guests the best experiences and amenities through exceptional design.
by MAX ALCABES
Hotels face stiffer competition than ever. People have extensive options with more hotels and the explosion of Airbnb and vacation rentals. Hotels realize they have to offer top experiences and amenities to lure guests away from the competition. Here’s what we’re seeing this year in hotel furniture and features.
In a world that feels increasingly digital, people crave closeness and interaction. Hotels personalize marketing to improve customer loyalty and entice new visitors. They personalize the check-in process to make guests feel like staff was eagerly looking forward to their visit. Hotels are also changing furnishings to further personalize their stay.
Travelers want to experience new locations and return to a hotel room that feels like home. In the past, hotels have chosen bland furniture that appeals to the widest range of tastes. This year, top hotels are choosing furniture and upholstery that feels more personal than sterile neutrals.
Unique furnishings add a burst of color or incorporate a bold pattern that makes rooms feel inviting and unique. When a historic Seattle hotel wanted to offer guests a comfortable getaway with a timeless, classic feel, they chose colorful sleek sofas with gel-infused memory foam mattresses so guests felt they were staying in a luxurious historic home. A hotel in Austin, Texas, showed their state pride by providing options in rich, durable hide. A resort in Jackson Hole had a unique rustic feel, so they chose sleepers in chocolate brown leather to make guests feel at home.
The number of travelers who prefer eco-friendly amenities continues to rise. Hotels are taking note of changing consumer preferences and aiming for sustainability for a variety of reasons.
Sustainable hospitality helps to reduce costs. Hotels are improving insulation and appliances to boost energy-efficiency. It also helps them stand out to consumers. When being environmentally conscious is important to travelers, they stay at hotels that share their values.
One way hotels are going green involves their furnishings, which can be made from environmentally friendly materials that are either recycled or can be recycled at the end of the unit’s lifespan. Manufacturers use water-based stains and non-toxic glues so no pollutants are released into the environment when furnishings are made.
Hotels have always chosen furniture that accommodates a wide range of uses. As they face increasing competition from vacation rental websites, versatility is more important than ever. Hotel rooms have a limited amount of space, so there aren’t many options for fitting in more people.
One day a single businessman might rent a hotel room. The next, it might be inhabited by a family of six. Hotels seek to provide the businessman with a quiet, clean space to prepare for the next day and offer the family plenty of room to sleep. The next day the whole floor might be filled with middle schoolers on a band trip. Hotels can invest in sleeper sofas to appeal to a wider range of guests. Without taking up any additional square footage, they can sleep two extra guests per room.
Luxury and Comfort
When people stay in a hotel, they want to feel pampered. Hotels choose precise tailoring, and look for impeccable quality in upholstery so guests feel they’re receiving top-notch accommodations. How an object feels is as important as how it looks. If fabrics are scratchy or feel cheap, guests are more likely to leave negative reviews and less likely to return.
Hotel furniture is chosen not just for its durability, but for its ability to provide comfort and style. Hotel guests appreciate furniture with clean lines, decorative stitching and coordinated coffee and end tables, with a sharp contemporary style.
Indoors and Outdoors Mingle
Expect to see more hotel furniture made of natural materials that look like they were made to go with the outdoor environment. One North Carolina resort recently upgraded its ocean-front units with furnishings that complemented the view. They chose colors, fabrics and tables as soothing as the sand and sea. Napa Valley is known for its sun and vineyards, so when a hotel there decided to renovate, they chose natural wood and bright green for sun-drenched rooms with a quirky vibe.
In the era of Airbnb and rentals, help your hotel stand out among the myriad choices consumers have today by incorporating some fresh design changes. Offer your guests the best experiences and amenities through exceptional design.
Max Alcabes is a writer with Sleepers in Seattle. For more information, visit www.sleepersinseattle.com.