Staying in a hotel is so much more than just putting a roof over your head for the night as a necessity to attend a local event. The hotel stay is as much a part of a city visit as any other, so the experience needs to be memorable and pleasant. But what expectations have changed? What does the 2018 hotel guest want from their accommodation? We take a look at the top hotel trends of this year.
Consumers expect more than the basic level of, well, anything. It’s no longer enough to merely be a restaurant - you need to be a dining experience beyond the food. You can’t just release a movie, it needs to be part of a cinematic universe. The same goes for hotels; you cannot be just a hotel and a bed and a roof anymore. Guests want to know what else you can offer them. This has led to the rise of combination hotels. The Telegraph reported on the increasing prominence of such hotels: from a hotel and spa in Bedfordshire, to a hotel and art gallery in Beijing. This year, a hotel and perfumery opened in Paris in a unique incorporation of scents and stays!
Gone are the days where people would book a hotel after planning to visit a local event. People want to book the whole experience at once, with the hotel itself offering local expertise and knowledge to craft experience packages. US News notes how hotels are cottoning on to this trend, with places such as the Marriott giving its members access to a search engine to book a variety of local experiences across its many hotel locations.
Don’t leave it for third party websites to do — what local experiences can you bundle with your room rates? Convenience is always a top seller.
Our own homes are threaded with seamless technology, so it’s becoming the norm to expect the same from hotel rooms. Again, convenience is always a selling point. Hotel News Now revealed many new hotel tech trends, such as being able to control the temperature and lighting in the room via apps, and virtual concierge to allow guests to make requests quickly without needing to leave the room.
We’ve all seen pop-up stores, especially around Christmas time, but what do you think about pop-up hotels? According to Travel Market Report, the concept is catching on fast. Basically, these short-lived accommodations are crowdsourced for funding. The hotels are set up, and the people who helped fund the project can stay there, then it is dismantled.
But what’s the appeal? Tom Marchant, co-founder of award-winning travel company, Black Tomato, was quoted in The Telegraph saying: “Pop-up hotels and retreats tap into two current trends. The pop-up scene, and also the demand for truly unique experiences and the bragging rights that come with a holiday nobody else can replicate.”
The whole idea does indeed fit with the idea of travel as a journey and experience, rather than merely a necessity.
With a similar appeal to pop-up hotels, glamping is a trend that has quickly garnered a following. The glamourous approach to camping is certainly a far cry from surviving off the land, with exquisite treehouses and carved eco-pods offering hot tubs and cutting-edge technology. The Telegraph reported on a surge in glamping bookings for campsite booking service Pitchup: microlodges saw a 114% increase in bookings between 2016 and 2017, and 151% in rent-a-ten services in the same time frame.
Again, the trend seems to find its appeal in the same way as pop-up hotels. It’s a unique experience and offers something outside the norm when it comes to holidaying. Plus, by its very nature, guests will be able to enjoy local attractions and nature around them.
There’s also the keen desire for health benefits that staying out in nature is thought to bring. A rising trend known as “forest bathing” is gaining traction among wellness-seekers. It’s particularly prevalent in Japan, known as “shinrin yoku” there, and basically surrounds the idea that spending time in the woods or forest is beneficial to a person’s health. With glamping, you get all the benefits of heading out to the greenery of the land, while still having the comforts of a modern hotel.
Glamping has become almost a hybrid of camping and hotel-stays, so keep an eye on how your business can benefit from a nature-inspired offering.
Keeping up with trends is vital to any business, and it’ll be interesting to see how hotel chains continue to adapt to bring new experiences to their guests through the latter half of 2018.