Mood Lighting. Digital art is making its way into guest rooms and public spaces, and lighting can be customized easily to provide an actively changing point of interest during an event. Displays can be swapped out seasonally, or altered to match the mood, theme or time of day.
When We Say Relax, We Mean It. Hotels are shedding their formal layers and opting for more casual wear. AF&Co. predicts that it’s only a matter of time before hosts and concierges ditch full-fledged uniforms and adopt a casual corporate dress code, such as jeans, branded shirts or blazers, coupled with relaxed, friendly service.
Heavy Petting. Dogs are quickly becoming the new kids, and hotels are increasingly offering dog-walking services, pet food and a menu of in-room amenities. Hotel Palomars nationwide have put a sign in the lobby that introduces in-house pets.
The 2011 Collection. Hospitality companies are partnering with hot fashion designers to create hotels with a fashionable edge. Guests should expect to see rooms and public spaces dressed like never before, such as Betsey Johnson’s Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
DYO Design. (Do your own) Hotels have added playful, artistic elements, like chalkboard walls and paint, to facilitate guest involvement.
So Long Slim Gyms. Workout centers will be more important, and spa partners and fitness gurus will be involved in the conceptualization.
Green or Envy. Many organizations now require their venues to offer green meetings or sustainable options. Freeman predicts that non-eco-friendly hotels will be envious of their greener counterparts. In-room amenities will be created from organic or all-natural ingredients and come in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
Edible Arrangements. The 100-mile diet is moving into our arena. Spas are pulling ingredients from the kitchen for treatments, and hotels are offering farmers market tours and cooking classes.
For Eatsakes! Hotels are providing guests with a taste of their locale by selling customized and locally produced edible souvenirs.
Club Bed. Multi-use spaces that function as clubs and music venues are emerging in the hotel market. Jetsetting guests are drawn to the club scene and mix with locals at spots like San Francisco’s Infusion Lounge inside Hotel Fusion.
Bust a Movie. Hotels such as the Crosby Street Hotel in NYC and The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., feature movie theaters for private screening events, and movie nights for guests.
Book a Room. Creative sales and marketing teams have started brokering exclusive book deals, which can lead to on-site book launch parties as well as signature in-room reading. Hotels can hold book signings, install a lending library or rent e-readers with preloaded content.
Duvet-Vous Couchez Avec Moi. Many hotels in Europe have swapped full sheets with featherweight, slip-covered comforters. The swap cuts down on laundering as well as bed-making time, and also lends a clean and modern aesthetic to guest rooms. Expect to see more of them in the U.S.
Table Trends. Just as food prep evolved into the infamous tableside flambé, bartenders are moving from the bar to the imbiber. The Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco offers tableside Bloody Marys at Aurea, and New York’s Surry Hotel offers a room-service bar cart from Bar Pleiades.
Credit App. The smart phone will soon become the center of all hotel operations. Guests will be able to check in and out, call for room service and enter their guest rooms with the swipe of a phone.