Today’s successful hotels have a lot to think about when it comes to guest experiences. They are not only competing on price and amenities, but are also competing on expectations. Simply put, this means once someone has a good experience, he or she expects future experiences to be just as good or better. According to Maxwell Luthy, Director of Trends and Insights at Trendwatching New York, hotels must be able to adapt to people’s new manifestations in behavior, attitude, and expectation. Hotels must meet people’s fundamental wants or desires.
So, what do today’s customers want in a hospitality experience? Here are a few trends to be mindful of. Consider how you can incorporate them into your property.
- Co-living inspired spaces. Co-working spaces are a hot trend in the office world, and hotels are smart to take notice. Many hotels are designing their lobbies for multi-use purposes. Think of a space where guests can gather with others and chat, work, drink, eat, and play. Some hotels are bringing live DJs and art gallery showings into their hotels. Reconfiguring your lobby and bringing in local attractions can be a low-cost way to provide guests with the companionship and camaraderie they crave.
- Tours and experiences featuring local flavor. Your guests want to be able to tell stories about their travels. Authentic experiences featuring local cuisine, culture, art, and attractions are what attract many people to bed and breakfast or Airbnb accommodations. Hotels have the capacity to create similar feelings of immersion. Make sure your hotel design matches the local culture. Consider partnering with area businesses to offer discounts to local experiences and attractions. People want to feel like their hotel has taken the time and effort to get to know them. Consider having your customers fill out a short survey prior to their stay to give you insight into the types of experiences to recommend. Offer to make reservations for your guests with local attractions and restaurants. Personalized experience and guidance about the area can set your hotel apart from the commercialized and sometimes cold-feeling competition.
- Updated design and services. The amount of time U.S. adults spend on mobile media quadrupled between 2011 and 2016. With these kind of numbers, hotels need to engage guests via mobile and offer mobile services to enhance experience. Many hotels are offering mobile check-in services or the ability to order room service digitally. Aloft hotel in New York City even allows guests to utilize emojis to place room service orders! And some hotels have robots delivering room service meals or serving as concierges.
Updated room design featuring technology is also important to today’s guests. Bluetooth-enabled smart locks ensure guests have peace of mind when they are away from their rooms. Temperature-controlled technology can assure a comfortable environment for guests to return to after a long day. Guests want to feel safe and comfortable. You should incorporate technology and service offerings that achieve these guest needs.
To sum it up, guests want to feel connected to each other and to your local culture. They also crave a safe, comfortable, and convenient room with digital services. While you may not be able to stay up to date with every trend in the hospitality industry, take time to review what you can implement and make a plan to set it into motion. Your guests will thank you!