Sneak Peek at the Future of Hotels

Posted on 02/14/2018

Turn down service and the nightly chocolate on your pillow at hotel rooms across the globe may soon be a thing of the past.

Five-star hotels around the world have a variety of changes in store for 2018, according to Bloomberg, which recently gathered predictions for the coming year from a panel of industry experts.

Among the panel members who provided insights were executives from Marriott International Inc.; Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, and Deloitte LLP’s travel, hospitality and services group. A professor from NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism also weighed in on what can be expected this year.

Here are some of the top changes travelers will begin to see.

No More Turn Down Service

Cost savings and privacy are the driving force behind the movement to scale-back turn-down service in hotels.

“We go through cycles when people are more private and more open, and right now—for reasons I can only speculate about—people are feeling more private about their personal space. Some people don’t like their toiletries straightened up,” Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, told Bloomberg.

In-Room Technology Improvements

With technology being top of mind nearly everywhere these days, Marriott is experimenting with an “Internet of Things” room that is being created with the help of Samsung and Legrand SA.

The room includes showers that remember a guest’s preferred temperature, digital wall art that can be replaced with family photos, and mirrors with embedded displays that can play such things as on-demand yoga videos, according to Bloomberg.

These futuristic rooms are scheduled for a soft-launch in 2008, with the W hotels being the likely first place to offer them.

Hilton has also recently announced teched-out rooms. Their version includes a mobile app that controls the television, lighting, thermostat and digital art.

“2018 is going to be the year that the rubber hits the road with IoT technology,” Deloitte’s Marcello Gasdia told Bloomberg. “It took a while for this technology to mature, but now personalization can happen in real time.”

Front Desk Makeovers

What front desk? It seems 2018 may be the year that luxury brands follow the hipster brands and do away with the tradition completely.

Hanson, from NYU, predicts the check-in desk will slowly fade into oblivion. The change is a reflection of traveler’s desire for intimacy rather than formality. The front desk space of year’s past will be replaced with living room-like check-in areas.

“Fifty years ago, people didn’t have credit cards and bad guys would come jump the desk and steal the cash,” said Hanson. “But that’s not the case anymore, and hotels no longer need that type of tall, wide barrier.”

An Emphasis on Wellness

Wellness is where it’s at, and hotels are increasingly realizing that fact.

“Wellness is going to be the next trillion-dollar industry,” Guy Langford, also of Deloitte, told Bloomberg. “Everyone wants to capitalize on the huge swell, but every brand is making a different play. Nobody has figured it out yet.”

Examples of hotels incorporating wellness offerings include JW Marriott partnering with the Joffrey Ballet for on-demand barre classes and Four Seasons developing wellness rooms with de-chlorinating showers and Deepak Chopra meditation videos.

The full list of predicted changes for the coming year can be found here.

Source: TravelPulse - PHOTO: Hotels may be doing away with nightly turn down service in 2018. (photo via Flickr/Sam Howzit)