What hotel trends are shaping the customer experience in 2015? No doubt, mobile and Millennials loom large. But, baby boomers are refusing to become couch potatoes. Furthermore, the U.S. and China have just agreed a deal to extend multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to 10 years from one year.
In 2014, this blog reported on the re-think of the in-room mini bar, the elimination of room service at the New York Hilton and the sale of Conrad Hilton’s Park Avenue jewel, the Waldorf=Astoria.
Keyless technology is coming, for sure. Will Yoga breaks replace coffee breaks? Let’s not even talk about the wave of want for free Wi-Fi. What else? Leave a comment about other 2015 hotel trends you see that deserve attention.
According to the 8th annual 2015 Hospitality Trend Report by consultants Andrew Freeman & Co., customer engagement moves from the web right into the guest room. And changes don’t stop there. Read about sustainability going mainstream and yet more “breakfast replacement therapy.”
User feedback goes to the next level in the new era of personalization. Interactive campaigns encourage engagement with the tangible benefits of customized rooms, personalized experiences and unique features that integrate fun at every opportunity.
– Marriott’s “Travel Brilliantly” campaign aims to make millennial business travelers feel like their room was personally designed by gathering feedback across multimedia platforms. The result? Plugs are in all the right places, moveable tables and spa-like bathrooms.
– Marriott’s new European concept, Moxy Hotels, will feature floor-to-ceiling Instagram walls in the lobby to showcase the guests’ best snapshots #atthemoxy.
Guests value sustainability. How far are hotels willing to take it?
– Tree-free toilet paper made of bamboo and sugarcane has been used at the Sundance Film Festival and Coachella.
– New hotel concept EVEN from IHG puts the emphasis on wellness, using all-natural materials in its rooms, including eucalyptus fiber bedding.
Cause-related marketing lets guests feel good about their purchasing decisions.
– Joie De Vivre’s You Can Make a Difference program encourages guests to engage with their existing charitable partners by offering the option to add an additional $1 to their bill for each night of their stay.
– Warwick San Francisco adds heart to their Valentine’s Day promotional package by contributing 10% of the proceeds from package sales to “Hearts in San Francisco” benefitting San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.
Modern Catering – Going Up
Taking a cue from high-concept modern chefs, caterers are pushing past traditional boundaries.
– Live Gardens: Adding edible dirt to beautiful collections of farm-fresh vegetables creates a stunning display that is almost too perfect to eat.
– Cart Craze: State Bird Provisions (James Beard Award, 2013 Best New Restaurant) has spawned a Dim Sum-style cart service frenzy in restaurants all over the country. Now, caterers are picking up the trend—expect to see meticulously plated dishes move around venues on custom-made carts.
– The Death of Yes: Caterers are finding their voice and their niche. The days of saying yes to whatever a client wants are gone — instead companies are developing and marketing specific styles they can become known for.
Get Glampy With It
Camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it…enter glamping (glamorous camping). Mountain resorts and remote destinations have begun to add “camps” to their properties—luxurious tents decked out with electricity, top-of-the-line bedding, gas stoves and full bathrooms. Guests can enjoy nature and all the creature comforts of a four-star resort.
– Dunton River Camp in the Colorado Rockies features eight canvas deluxe tents just feet from the Dolores River.
– The tents at Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, WY come with Glamping Butlers to help tend campfires, fetch marshmallows or scare away bears.
Breakfast Replacement Therapy
Travelers are seeking out faster breakfast options which, in many cases, means skipping the hotel breakfast. How will hotels keep guests spending on property? We’re seeing higher-end hotels and resorts adopting on-the-go marketplace concepts and casual coffee shops to offer in-house alternatives.
– Elaine’s Coffee Call at the Hotel Lincoln (Chicago, IL) is the hotel’s hip coffee shop and offers attractive alternatives to a full sit-down breakfast or lunch.
– Panzano at Denver’s Hotel Monaco features the Breakfast with Wings program, where guests can order quick portable breakfast items to go.
The Boomers are Still Booming
Baby Boomers are responsible for more than 50% of all vacation dollars spent in the US. As these folks age, they aren’t traveling alone—they’re bringing their grandchildren along with them. Hotels and tourism companies are catering to these multi-generational family units.
– The Nickelodeon Suites Resort (Orlando, FL) offers special Grandparent Packages designed to help make memories.
– Road Scholar, a non-profit educational travel operator, leads a number of intergenerational trips to adventurous destinations like Iceland, Kenya and the Galapagos Islands.
Advice from the Cloud
Hotels are making it easier than ever to plan vacation itineraries with virtual concierge technology.
– Pin.Pack.Go from the Four Seasons uses Pinterest as a collaboration tool between guests and their concierges. Create a board, invite your Four Seasons destination to collaborate and the concierge will pin fun activities and destinations you might enjoy.
– Brannan Cottage Inn (Calistoga, CA) is the first property in Napa Valley to use the HotelCloud app as an e-concierge platform. The app generates curated itineraries based on guests travel motivations—girl’s weekend, harvest and more — with access to the hotel’s insider info and favorite spots.
BYOE (Bring Your Own Entertainment)
99 percent of guests travel with at least one mobile device. Of those, 45 percent travel with two devices and 40 percent travel with three or more. These devices aren’t just for communications, they house entertainment as well. Offering syncing services that attach devices to in-room televisions is just one more way hotels can make their guests feel taken care of.
– MyMedia by Shodogg offers hardware free technology that enables any mobile device to securely connect to digital content and cast that content to any Smart TV screen.