Two key factors will determine the hotel trends for business travelers: Digitization and individuality. Learn more about the innovations you’ll soon be seeing in hotels this year.
1. Smartphones open doors
The days of the room key card are numbered. Some hotels already let you open your room door with your smartphone. This is a trend that’s sure to become a standard. By using the right app, you’ll soon be able to check into the hotel and choose the room you want – digitally. The digital key on your smartphone will be instantly activated as soon as the room can be occupied.
2. Digital smart assistants
Anyone accustomed to a voice-controlled digital smart assistant at home for lighting, music, heating, etc. can easily imagine using this kind of service at hotels as well. So it’s no surprise that Google Home and Amazon Echo have already found their way into hotel rooms. Guests in an unfamiliar hotel no longer have to struggle to figure out how the air conditioner works or how to find their favorite TV channel. The digital smart assistant does it all at your command.
3. Digital concierge
The use of a tablet as a digital concierge has already proven successful in many hotels. In 2018, this trend is also likely to take off. With the tablet in the room, you can look up all the info you used to find in the guest folder. You can also use it to order room service, make restaurant reservations or look up info on the city.
Some hotels have even gone so far as to set up robots in the lobby that answer questions about the hotel or the city. This trend is coming to Europe by way of Asia, but whether it will be fully embraced here remains to be seen. Artificial intelligence makes it perfectly possible to save your preferences so that the next time you visit you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find your room exactly the way you like it.
4. Co-working space at the hotel
Even business trips aren’t just one meeting after another. Business travelers might use any spare time that they have to do work. But going back to your room isn’t necessarily everyone’s thing. That’s why many new hotels are now offering co-working spaces that are not just open to hotel guests. Here local freelancers and international road warriors work side by side. You can use the co-working space to keep up on your work at home, keep appointments or even just relax in the lounge furniture.
5. Local community hotels
The concept of local community hotels is going in a similar direction. And not just the little boutique hotels – major hotel chains are also increasingly focusing on individuality over uniformity. The hotel properties are located in popular residential areas, are individually furnished and employees are very familiar with the neighborhood – including secret local tips. So after the last meeting of the day, business travelers can be in the know about the trendy bars in the quarter or pick up a unique little gift in a cool neighborhood shop before they leave.
6. Hotels tell a story
Hotels are no longer just about offering a comfortable bed and a good breakfast in a pleasant environment. Ideally, the hotel will have a story to tell: the house in which a historical figure once lived; the hotel inside a museum, where you can take in the art as you pass by; or pop-up hotels, that are only available for a limited period of time. These make for unforgettable stays and also give you a story to tell when you get home.