This year, travel could come back at higher levels than we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, including business travel.
Travelers for leisure and business have more options than ever before as far as where they’ll stay when they travel.
No matter someone’s reason for traveling, when they’re booking accommodations, they can choose from entire homes, condos, hotels, inns, motels, and more.
With that in mind, the following are some of the design features that set hotel rooms apart for travelers right now and make them more in demand.
What Business Travelers Want
Slowly, business travel has been returning, and it’s time to find the best hotels to once again start catering to this unique demographic. The needs and wants of a business traveler as far as the design and amenities of a hotel are going to be different from, let’s say, a family traveling for fun.
Business travelers want things to be as easy as possible. They want a space that’s functional, and they want one that’s comfortable and multifunctional.
There need to be work areas, but also perhaps spaces that double as dining areas. The bed design is a big factor because business travelers need enough rest to perform in high-stress environments.
You also have to assume that a business traveler is going to want conveniences incorporated into the design of a room like small refrigerators and microwaves. They’re not going to be as likely to eat every meal out as someone who’s traveling for fun might be. Again, it goes back to functionality. Business travelers are there to work, and the design of rooms and your entire hotel needs to provide them with options.
Business travelers also need fast internet and potentially features like smart speakers and smart locks. Plenty of power outlets and charging stations need to be incorporated into the room design. There needs to be outlets left over for things like irons because business travelers are likely to need to press clothes while they’re traveling, whereas leisure travelers might be less interested.
What Older Travelers Want
Older travelers, often dubbed the boomer generation, may be returning in larger numbers to travel this year as well. The hotel industry is seeing a lot of engagement from this generation, and like every other travel demographic, they have unique preferences.
First, older travelers tend to like the idea of getting VIP treatment. This means maybe having access to special lounges or club-level accommodations.
Boomers also like luxury style when they travel.
This might mean high-end linens and towels or small design details that make a big difference. At the same time, older travelers also like to find deals on that luxury. These travelers will often spend a lot of time searching for those deals and comparison shopping before booking anything.
The millennial travel segment has some preferences of its own. First, they like authenticity and a sense that they’re getting a real feel for a location.
You can actually work this into hotel design by sourcing individual items and art that reflect the location where the property is located. You want to make guests who focus on authenticity feel like that’s what they’re getting, even when they opt to stay in a hotel instead of an apartment or short-term rental.
Even if a hotel is on the larger side or part of a chain, designers should strive to give it that boutique feeling that millennial travelers tend to gravitate toward.
Something else millennial travelers like is room décor that’s unique in each space. If you can offer rooms with a particular theme or a distinctive design, it adds to the authenticity and the boutique feel of a hotel.
Cookie-cutter rooms don’t have a lot of appeal for many modern travelers.
General Hotel Design Tips
Along with catering to specific groups of travelers, the following are some interior design tips for hotels to appeal to all modern visitors.
- Versatile lobbies: A lobby has become so much more than a place for a hotel’s front desk. First, you, of course, want the wowfactor, but you also want your lobby to have functional uses. This is especially true since so many people work remotely now. Many people like the idea of being able to go to a hotel lobby and have it feel somewhat like a shared workspace. People can come together in an informal way and work on their laptops. It creates a different atmosphere, makes your lobby feel lively, and also turns it into a space that can actually be used. Sectioning off lobbies based on purpose is also a good design tip. For example, maybe in addition to work areas, there are areas for socializing, or more private, quiet seating areas.
- The design of hotel rooms has to integrate technology. Guests want to be able to use technology they’re familiar with, and that makes their stay feel more like home. For example, digital controls for temperature and lighting are popular options, as are charging devices. All of these tech elements need to at the same time blend seamlessly into the room’s design.
- Focus more on texture and color than pattern. When designing hotels, you want the space to feel fresh and streamlined, which you can achieve through beautiful linens and upholstery. Get rid of old patterns and allow rich textures and pops of vibrant color to add visual interest to the rooms instead.
Overall, the big goal when you’re designing hotel spaces for modern guests is to ensure that you’re thinking about what’s going to be functional for them and what’s going to allow them to feel like they have convenience. At the same time, travelers want to be surrounded by a space that feels unique and not overly corporate.
Adding small touches that reflect the location can go a long way, as can playing with textures that both look beautiful and feel comfortable.
It’s a good time to start thinking about how to bounce back as travelers once again return to exploring the world.