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What’s on the horizon for the coming year in Luxury Hotel industry? Brass is back, embracing technology is in and overindulgence is very, very out! Hotel industry experts say use of bold colors, a focus on health — in building and room design and in service offerings — will also be major themes in the coming year.
“The wellness travel economy is quite robust and very trending,” says Susie Ellis, president of Spafinder Wellness , which for the past dozen years has produced a Wellness Trends Report that includes detailed research about the latest in hospitality and travel. “Instead of the idea ‘Here is your hotel and you can go to the spa or to the gym,’ wellness is infused throughout the entire hotel.”
One vivid example, says Ellis, is Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. While not a new property, the Grand is on the cutting edge with an entire floor of with air purification to reduce allergens, toxins, smoke and microbes from the air; healthy energizing lighting designed to reduce jet lag and regulate circadian rhythm; and vitamin C-infused water in showers to neutralize chlorine, keeping skin and hair soft and smooth.
Another element of the trend taking shape will be hotel rooms that include such things as exercise equipment and space to practice yoga.”
People are just very stressed and don’t have a lot of time,” Ellis says. “Twenty-four/seven connectivity is ratcheting up the stress level, so the need to de-stress and improve wellness is fueling this trend.”
Technology, for all the stress it may cause with constant connectivity, will also improve hotel experiences — through such things as elimination of a formal, time-consuming check-in at a hotel’s front desk and customization of your entire stay. Tech-savvy travelers will be provided new ways of booking various options and treatments before arrival, such as dining experiences or personal trainers, and guests can order food or drinks from a hotel’s restaurants and bars on their own devices.
In terms of interior design of luxury hotels, few are ahead of Hirsch Bedner Associates — named the world’s leading hospitality interior design firm by Interior Design magazine.
Kathleen Dauber, a partner with HBA, says the hotels the firm designs these days have more fluid spaces, developed to cater to custom requests.
In luxury, what you’re going to be seeing is a multitude of service offerings and the opportunity to have a very personal experience when you get to the hotel, as well as hotels creating environments that are transformable to guest’s needs,” Dauber says.
Dauber affirms that the next generation of luxury is much different than what we’ve long come to expect. Rather than emphasizing opulence of materials and finishes, the focus will be on service and convenience.