As you know, I have been researching the hotel industry as I’m getting my foot back into hotel design and I can’t be more excited to see that the latest trends are moving towards my specialist route! And as you don’t care too much for facts and figures, I’ll get straight to the fun part.
Luxury is on the Rise
Luxury hotels are growing in popularity, understandably as, a generation, we are wealthier than our parents and grandparents ever were, with more disposable income (just don’t try to buy a house), and we definitely love high end (well at least we appreciate it even if we can’t afford it)! I know when I travel my mentality is more along the lines of; “well I work so hard 99% of the time, so why not totally just live it when I finally get away?”
This is totally great for me, as I specialize in bringing high end, practical luxury to the average person. You see, hotels also have budgets they need to work to, and they also need hardwearing, but beautiful materials too. Ones that people can actually appreciate and “feel” the luxury. That isn’t just about adorning everything in gold.
Luxury design, in architecture, interiors and building industries still means you have to be smart with your budget. An experienced or good designer will be able to stretch a budget to get that wow factor, because it comes down to a strong idea & process, not mullah (although having a large money pot helps). Anyone who has worked on a super lux project knows that “no expense was spared” is never really true, as the person spending the money (more often than not), still wants to see the value in what they are buying, whether it’s awell-designedd chair, home automation system, beautiful venetian wall coverings or a rare painting. Where the money is spent is still pooled into piles.
Branded Boutique hotels are also on the rise (Yippee! They need ultra creative and super stylish, original designers like me). Bill Kimpton, the one and only who set up the first ever boutique hotel in San Fransisco said that:
“A boutique hotel is a place where you could stay that was more like someone’s beautiful, liveable and stylish home than a big, impersonal hotel where no one really cares if you come or go”.
If that kind of hotel is on the rise, then this is totally my expertise! I have not only been spending the last few years studying the psychology behind what it is that we love, want and need from our homes, but also the understanding behind why something “feels” like a home.
Long Stay Hotels
The most exciting thing for me, is the rise of long stay, “home-like” hotel accommodation. We all know and love Air B&B but if you are outside of America, have you heard of Home2 Suites by Hilton?
The biggest trend is making your stay away from home a bit more like a stay in a home, (not exactly yours though), because we just love peeping into other people’s homes and also like pretending that we own a hot pad in Paris that overlooks the Arche de Triomphe or a flash apartment in New York’s Time Square, right?
Ok this has been growing for a while, but what I love about the growing trend towards natural products, energy conservation and low waste is that it is actually educating a population. I went to university for 5 years and much of my focus in architecture was on sustainable design. So I have 2 degrees to help me understand the ins and outs of this shiznit! But most people if they don’t have young kids at school can be quite disconnected from the trends in environmental science, health and technology and how it affects humanity and the rest of the world. Staying at a hotel and reading about how not washing your towel every day helps save so much water a year and helps lower pollution can help people connect those issues together.
(Short story alert) – I remember in Sydney, one of my best friend’s worked for one of the local councils (and still does _love you Wendalls!) She told me about a program that took people around their own neighborhoods and showed them where rubbish and pollution ended up if they littered the streets or poured pollutants down a drain. Connecting pollution with their local waterways was really critical and I love that something so simple was so powerful! Im not surprised that Australia is one of the leaders in sustainable water-sensitive urban design *proud Aussie* . So finding ways to educate everyone about reducing waste and saving the environment is (in my opinion) a great thing, and even better that such a wealthy (and potentially damaging) industry is pushing for change.