Event professionals who spend a lot of time in hotels will be happy to learn that a lot of innovative ideas will transform hotels in the near future. Many are already in place at select properties. Blogging for U.S. News & World Report, Lyn Mettler illuminates 14 hot hotel trends for 2016.
Quicker check-in. At an ever-expanding number of hotels around the country, smartphone apps enable travelers to bypass the front desk and check in themselves using their mobile devices.
Keyless entry. Many chains offer keyless-entry mobile apps that allow guests to access not just their guest rooms, but also fitness centers and pool areas.
Room apps allow guests to customize their experiences, programming in-room lighting, music and even setting the coffee maker through their smartphones.
In-room tablets provide an option for guests without smartphones. The touch-screen tablets can be programmed in multiple languages to permit guests to control indoor temperature, television, order room service or other tasks.
Noise reduction. Specially-designed headboards decrease noise between rooms, while acoustic doors provide greater privacy. To block out sleep distractions, hotels will offer white noise-emitting speakers.
Reliance on robots. Instead of sending a human to deliver snacks, towels or other amenities, hotels will dispatch robots that can take the elevator, deftly navigate between floors and don’t require mandated breaks.
Electric car charging stations. Since more guests are arriving in electric-powered vehicles, charging stations will begin appearing in hotel garages or parking lots.
7 More Hot Hotel Trends for 2016
Smart floor tiles. Expect to see more of these technological marvels, which can light a path from the elevator to a guest room, or inside the guest room from the bed to the bathroom.
Smart mirrors feature touch screens that provide digital readouts of the weather, sports scores or daily headlines. They are starting to appear in hotel bathrooms.
Re-designed guest rooms. Traditional desks are out. Nooks and open storage spaces are replacing closets and dressers. Platform beds with storage drawers underneath or trundle beds that convert to sofas during the day are replacing traditional beds. Specific areas with an ample assortment of plugs will be available to charge devices.
Communal lobbies. Hotel lobbies are where guests gather for cocktails and small bites, or to work collaboratively. Lobbies are being retrofitted with furnishings to expressly support these initiatives.
Family-friendly programming. Kids clubs are being tweaked to promote education, cultural immersion and outdoor play. Offerings include art, dance and cooking classes, and property-wide scavenger hunts.
Social media mania. Hotels are encouraging guests to post about their experiences on social media channels, and are providing selfie sticks for them to take pictures of themselves at the destination.
Emphasis on health & wellness. Today it’s not enough to have a room with an elliptical machine and some weights. Resorts are offering yoga classes, in-room exercise balls, on-demand fitness videos and maps detailing routes for runners.