The current trends in hospitality are largely being driven by the demographic that has never known a world without the internet: Millennials. Young people – whether they’re traveling for work or play – expect a certain level of digital access, convenience and unique experiences.
The more you can wow your guests, the more likely they are to share details about their trip on social media and influence their friends to visit your property for themselves.
With Millennials, Baby Boomers, and everyone in between in mind, here are the top 5 current trends in hospitality sure to delight your guests:
Today’s connected guests use their mobile devices more than ever, and in one recent survey, 1 in 3 travelers said they use their devices even more when they travel than they do at home. Guests want to use their phones and tablets for everything from checking in to ordering room service, and the more high-tech options you can offer the better.
Several large hotel chains have piloted programs that allow guests at participating properties to check in and unlock their rooms through a mobile app and Bluetooth without even stopping at the front desk. At least one chain’s app also allows guests to choose their rooms themselves.
Some technology companies offer holistic software solutions tailored to the hospitality industry, and it’s worth shopping around to find the package that works best for you.
With the popularity of co-working spaces and collaborative corporate work environments, more people are used to working out in the open around other people, and they’re increasingly taking that sensibility out on the road with them. Younger business travelers, in particular, may prefer working in your property’s lobby than up in their rooms.
Creating comfortable, coffeehouse-style workspaces in the lobby can draw in both business travelers as well as vacationers looking for a place to chill after a long, taxing day at the pool.
While there’s much to be said for creating a consistent experience across a hotel brand or chain, travelers are also coming to expect a nod to local restaurants, music and culture during their hotel stays.
Properties worldwide are responding with creative events and experiences so delightful that they’ve become go-to destinations for local residents and travelers alike.
Here are some creative ways to give your property a local flair include:
- Inviting a local chef or restauranteur to do a kitchen takeover of the hotel restaurant
- Asking the city’s most popular food trucks to park outside and offer specials to hotel guests
- Having local bands or DJs play music in the lobby or event spaces
- Getting a local brewery or distillery to do a tap takeover or tasting in the lobby bar.
Grab-and-Go Meal Options
It’s a trend that began in supermarkets that’s making its way to hospitality: healthy, pre-packaged snacks to go. Cut back on the frozen meals in your lobby market and stock up on fresh salads, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, and cheese trays for the on-the-go travelers who want to grab something quick but healthy after a long day in the office or for the plane ride home.
Spa-Inspired Room Touches
Aromatherapy, memory foam mattresses, filtered water and even vitamin C-infused showers are just some of the ways hotels are transforming their guest rooms into mini spa getaways. You can subsidize your investment by charging a premium for the so-called wellness rooms and tout the health benefits of each feature.
You can also offer the scents, linens and shower heads for sale in the gift shop so guests can take a piece of the experience home with them.
When it comes to guest experience, consistency matters. Choose trends that you can incorporate well into your current environment, and ones that you can develop and maintain long-term. Guests return because of the details that made your property memorable. Make sure the experience they hope to repeat is there when the come back.