Hotel Design: Trends that Inspired Us
Less is More
Whether or not you’re a fan of slimmed down Micro Hotels like the Pod, Yotel, Arlo and many others - there’s no denying the growing popularity of hotel guestrooms that focus on the bear essentials. This means removing bulky items like wardrobes, large desks, and sofas - and instead designing rooms to be as efficient as possible. Instead of traditional closets, a wall rack can be utilized for hanging clothes, and your luggage can be placed under the bed.
Don’t think the removal of traditional hotel features means these properties are cheap, though. The goal is simply to remove the unnecessary and double-down on the amenities that guests truly want.
This trend is directly inspired by Millennials - the dominant travel generation who is known for reducing clutter and living a more minimalist lifestyle. Millennials want an authentic experience that normal “cookie-cutter” properties don’t typically provide. By removing superfluous and sometimes costly in-room items, hoteliers can focus on more differentiating amenities - such as a revamped bar, social-centric areas, and unique interior design elements that transcend traditional hotels.
Take the beautiful Puli Hotel located in the heart of Shanghai for example. Instead of covering the walls with extravagant paintings and other traditional interior design elements, they use large windows, interior foliage, calming pools, and the surrounding trees to create a truly serene and mesmerizing experience. In this way, the Puli hotel has successfully merged Biophilic with minimalist design.
Tips for Hotels: Microhotels allow hoteliers to increase their room count by 30-50%. And because they don’t need to increase the actual size of the property, this 30-50% is completely incremental revenue. In other words it’s a win-win for millennials and hoteliers alike.
Another example of a hotel that perfectly embodies minimalism is the ACE Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The wildly popular ACE brand has developed some one-of-a-kind properties, but there’s something about the bare concrete walls and Japanese-esque beds that give this LA favorite an unpolished yet charmingly sophisticated vibe.
Making Technology Simple
At Nonstop we feel one of the biggest shortcomings with technology is the gap between a full-feature set and a simplistic design. By this we mean solutions that tout themselves as having all the latest and greatest features, are often difficult to use and can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.
Now in the consumer market this problem may go completely unnoticed as users have time to get accustomed to how the different features work. However in the hospitality industry, when guests often only stay for a night or two, a solution that takes more than a minute or so to figure out can cause headaches for the guests and hotelier alike. (If you’re a hotelier reading this then I’m sure you know the all-too-familiar call down to the front desk from a guest who can’t figure out how to turn the alarm off.)
When we started Nonstop early last year, we immediately recognized this problem and sought to create solutions that addressed it. Take Station W for example - every facet of the product was intentionally and purposefully designed to be simple and easy to use, down to the most minute details. Both the Display and Alarm can be turned off by an immediately recognizable on/off switch. The low profile of the product gives it a clean and a minimalist look, and the immediately recognizable USB-ports and Qi charging tray lets guests know there’s a convenient place to keep their devices charged up.
In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice features to create a modern designed technology solution that’s easy to use.
As we enter 2019, there will be a focus on more streamlined and minimalist solutions that deliver everything users wants, and nothing they don’t. While this is driven by the Millennial generation, consumers from all walks of life have trended in a similar direction. It will be interesting to see where the hospitality industry ends up at the end of 2019.