3 Hotel Trends to Watch in 2018
The hospitality business is booming. In fact, US Travel reported that last year U.S. residents logged 1.8 billion leisure overnight and 463.9 million business overnight trips to motels, hotels, resorts within the United States alone. It is no wonder that with Americans love of travel, new trends are emerging to keep up with customer expectations in this highly competitive industry. Shifting away from just a place to lay your head and in order to compete with the growing rise in popularity of home-sharing, more hotels are expanding their offering to clientele including more home away from home offerings you wouldn’t normally expect. From improving health and wellness options like amplified work-out areas to adding kitchenettes and other amenities, hotels are focused on this growing expectation to accommodate those looking to keep up with their daily lifestyle while traveling. Architects and construction businesses’ are also seeing an increase in resorts and hotels looking to build or turn over current buildings to improve common areas, specifically targeting the business traveler with improved amenities outside the room so they don’t feel so confined after a day of work. Still, ask any executive, manager, or staff member at top hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, or Starwood Hotels and Resorts and they will always state that before hopping on any trend or transformation, ensuring their traveler’s safety is the #1 priority. So what are some of the top trends and how can the hospitality industry improve the customer experience while still maintaining superior safety for their travelers in 2018?
Home Away From Home Hotel
Over the past decade, home-sharing has been on a consistent rise. Airbnb, a popular home-sharing website, reports that since the company’s founding in 2008 there have been over 200 million total guest arrivals at Airbnb listings around the world. For good reason too. Home sharing offers similar experiences you get at home, which is what many travelers are looking for these days. From ample space, to kitchens, and full bathrooms, hotels need to compete with the increasing trend of home-sharing and are stepping up to the plate in a big way. Kitchenettes and amenities once thought of only for extended-stay hotels are now the norm at resorts, hotels, and motels throughout America.
Done right, hotels can implement these home-away-from-home items and continue to keep a completely safe and friendly environment while improving the feel of the room. For example, the use of slip-resistant adhesives or non slip tape is the key to ensure guest safety around areas like kitchen sinks in order to reduce slips and falls, something that you will not always find in a home-share option. Non-slip tape or anti-slip adhesive can be added without detracting from the design of the kitchen area. Adding additional bathroom features, like a soaking tub or multi-head shower could be another home-away feature. It is important to ensure all the bathtubs and showers have either an appliqué or non-slip to prevent skidding and including handrails on the wall of the shower or tub. From non-slip adhesives to prevent slip and fall accidents by the sink, eco-friendly lighting, and even child-proof locks in the kitchen area should all be thought of in the design of these updated spaces. Also, to continue with the home away from home feel of the room, architects and designers are seeing more hotels ask to incorporate unique, personal touches through the rooms also to make them feel more like home. Think handmade goods or unexpected wall treatments and tiles which offer a fresh experience that will keep the guests coming back. The trend of home away hotel paired with the constant priority of guest safety is one we can all appreciate!
Improved Health and Wellbeing Options
From wearable technology pushing people to get their steps in for the day to nutritious at-home meal delivery services, people traveling want to be able to keep up with what they have been doing to stay healthy at home when they hit the road. Beyond adding healthier items to the room service menu, hotels are responding in a major way by working with architects and designers to improve their fitness centers, pools, and spas in 2018. An increase of in-room exercise equipment options, paired with better-equipped and more welcoming fitness centers means more guests are packing their athletic shoes when staying overnight. Hotels are forced to rethink their exterior and interior design to ensure they are able to accommodate this growing trend, as well as provide safety to guests participating. These activities, no matter how low-impact they are, can pose a risk of slips, trips, or falls. It is important to protect travelers, but also make their experiences second to none. By working with a well-rounded adhesive company, they can help provide protection from slips without taking away from the actual activities. Some examples of safety measures being implemented include applying treadmill non-slip tape and non-skid fitness equipment tape to frequently used machines and equipment. Spa areas such as a steam room or whirlpool should utilize an anti-slip tape throughout, including an adhesive on floors that consistently have moisture on them.
Pool areas are also under extreme makeover by many motels, hotels and resorts this year to keep up with this growing trend as well. In fact, people will be swimming more than 300 million times in pools and other swimming areas this year alone. From zero entry, to underwater ledges (also known as sun shelves), and water slides- the swimming pool is increasingly popular and highly in demand especially during the summer months. In order to provide a safe pool environment, hotels need to ensure they have checked all non-slip adhesives before opening their pool for the season to prevent slips. It is imperative to ensure areas like the pool deck, stairs, diving boards, and underwater ledges or sun shelves have a non-slip material on them. Zero entry spaces are now required to be made of slip-resistant materials. By working with state and local teams, hotels will be able to ensure their pool or spa meet all specific code requirements and keep up with the growing trend of travelers wanting to sit poolside this year.
Common Spaces Become More Commonly Used
Most hotels offer some type of common space to gather. From the hotel lobby, meeting rooms or outdoor spaces the trend in improving these areas to become more utilized is growing largely in thanks to the millennial traveler. Instead of going back to the hotel room after a long day, more people want to enjoy some type of public space for both work and play, so hotels are responding to this request. From working with architects to create more indoor/outdoor spaces that flow together, to increasing tech-friendly areas throughout hotels with charging stations, and construction of new hotels that offer smaller hotel rooms to accommodate larger meeting spaces, this trend of improving common spaces is on the rise.
Depending on the common area the design and safety requirements may vary. Indoor spaces flowing into the outdoors are growing in popularity, but require designers to use caution when opening up to the outside elements. For example, using a grip tape or non-slip adhesive on the floor to prevent any slips coming in and out, especially if the area is not covered. If creating multi-level common space (thinking terrace or meeting/conference area), ensuring that stair treads are installed and all handrails are up to code for the safety of the hotel guests is key. Throughout any common space, especially the hotel lobby where the floors are heavily trafficked and often become quickly wet from poor weather conditions, the use of mats, rugs, and anti-slip adhesives are imperative. Many guests are distracted and not considering the ground they are walking on. Not to mention, it can be difficult for hotel staff to maintain common area floor safety during peak times, so it is extra important for hotels to provide a quality anti-slip and quality grip tape product for their lobby common areas. Besides keeping guests safe from slips in these common areas, making them more user-friendly with self-service food and drink options, ample plug-ins for devices, and offering charging stations throughout all common areas is much appreciated and key to keeping these areas consistently utilized.
The hospitality industry is about making guests feel welcomed and appreciated. Hotels, motels, and resorts constantly have to evolve and adapt to new normals as customer demand changes. These trends and expectations will have a huge impact on not only 2018, but also in years to come, as people continue to embrace change and as we shift toward creating unique and memorable experiences for those traveling. Being able to offer both popular trends and maintain a safe environment free of potential slips, trips, and falls seamlessly will keep travelers coming back for more.