Veena Kanchan , design director at VS Design Studio, shares her thoughts on what she expects will be the biggest 2017 hotel design trends.
Technology driven trends
The new millennial travellers – 85% own smartphones. Therefore smart controls most likely to capture their attention by way of smart room keys, AC controls, lighting preferences, use of facilities such as pool and health clubs, self-check-in stations. Any retail or F&B promotions within the hotel sent straight to their smartphones. The robot-staffed hotel first to open in Japan.
Trends that celebrate the basics
Zen-like simplicity. Like an ideal work desk, which contains everything that is required yet there is no clutter. The consumer’s desire for simplicity emphasises on – ease of use.This requires logical planning of spaces, circulation, and adjacencies; and simple, easy-to-understand design. Understated elegance is the aesthetic expression that consumers are seeking. Over-the-top and extravagant spaces are out of trend with the new generation of hotel guests.
Ecological, aesthetic influence
A growing concern for climate change and the need to conserve natural resources paves the way for a new trend to emerge – that of Ecological Aesthetics. Use of non-toxic, recyclable materials, switch from incandescent to CFL bulbs, recycling efforts. Though the initial cost may seem high, the running cost saving could make this a potential trend for midscale and budget hotel designs as well.
Customised interior trend
Considering a rise in new hotel brands or budget off-shoots of luxury hotel brands (examples: Curio & Canopy–Hilton hotels, Moxy – Marriott Hotels, Hyatt Centric – Hyatt Hotels, Centro – Rotana), the hotel design trend will aim to target the new millennial travellers. Travellers, who are not merely looking for places to stay in, but seek a venue which is a social hub and gives a personalised experience. These hotels do not look or speak like any regular hotel brands but develop its own set of brand guidelines. Its products and design elements connect the guests to the same ethos.
Reaching out to its roots
Focus on local art narrowing the distance between local origins. Improves the perception of the space for guests and creates a genuine experience. Provides a sense of belonging. Small sculptures, photography, installations – basically integrating art into the image of the hotel.