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11 Hotel concept & design innovations viewed by Maison H, 2021

Beyond all the consequences that the past year has had on travel and hospitality, the future looks bright for many new concepts emerging from this crisis. Visitors are hungry for new experiences. For a successful recovery, 2021 is the ideal year to revisit and override traditional hotel concepts and offer new ways to experience the hotel industry to travelers.
Here are key concepts and design trends that we work by, value and believe are shaping the future of the hospitality industry.


1. Lobbies ? Not really lobbies anymore. The new dynamic multi-use space.

A WOW effect at first sight? Yes, absolutely, but that's not enough anymore. Lobbies are now the buzzing heart of hotels. The place to be welcomed, hang out, work, drink, eat..etc. For this new creative space, we recommend concepts of space segmentation that can provide both intimate and social zones, as well as furniture delivering comfort and functionality. Hotels used to often reduce common space as much as possible. It's clear today that hotels of tomorrow will need living spaces that can host both arriving and leaving guests as well as local communities visiting for the day. Dynamic yet cosy, grand yet humanly sized; the new lobby needs some careful planning to create a true signature ambience for your hotel.

2. Reinventing Guestrooms : A home away from home

More than anything, hotel rooms should provide comfort: that feeling of a home away from home. No matter how luxurious, technology-friendly and themed the room is, cosiness is a major factor to consider. Wood additions, inspired decorating items, carpets, curtains, a fireplace, a TV set and the possibility to play your guest’s favourite music- all these add up to a memorable stay.

Creating cocoons, focusing on environments where you feel good, where you want to stay.

Emphasize on nest-like environments. A calming colour pallet. Nooks for contemplation such as a seat by a window, a reading corner, or the perfect reading light by the bed. A comfy, quiet spot to pause and take a moment while sipping a tea. for example.

"The Future Belongs to those who will differentiate themselves. Bringing concepts with new and unique elements which combine : customer experience, food, design and local art." TH

3. Social space : I need my space zone for me, my friends and family

After a year and a half apart, people are looking forward to getting back together in a safe environment. Delivering spacious communal space designed for togetherness is going to make a measurable difference when it comes to guests enjoying the hotel facilities. Since the trend of travel seems to point towards longer trips and staycation or long business trips, guests will be looking at making the hotel their home for a while. Considering having social spacious communal area where guests can enjoy living like at home will have an impact on their experience. “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.” Strengthening networking and relationships will reside in the amount of care and attention we dedicate on making those who share hotel spaces, feel comfortable, welcome, and at ease.

The strengthening of ties and relationships will be based on the care and attention devoted to making visitors feel comfortable when they share the hotel's spaces.

4. Spa-like bathrooms

Bathrooms are not auxiliary rooms anymore. When it comes to bathrooms the modern tourist expects more than he gets at home in his journeys. Spa-like features is an open invite to relaxation and a sure-proof method of alluring guests through the promise of ephemeral luxury. Think creative en-suite bedrooms with double showers and over-sized bathtubs, his&hers sinks, giant towels, beauty items and plenty of space.

spacious design bathrooms, which invite the traveller to well-being and refinement.

5. The restaurant: a destination and an experience in itself

Hotel restaurants shouldn't be based strictly on it's “practicability” appeal. Think about cooking as an art and the restaurant, it's exhibition space. Design is turning more and more hotel restaurants into unforgettable spaces. When designing the restaurant, we believe themes that sublime the type of food will push creativity to new heights and turn each venue into a destination in itself. Travelling through food is now a new way to escape everyday life, guests will want to be surprised and captivated.

6. Enhancing Indoor-Outdoor

Hotel rooms are expanding through large decks and terraces, and nature is brought inside in every possible way. Wood paneling, stone decorations, lush greenery, indoor waterfalls- are just some of the elements employed to release the tension of hotel guests. Think of bringing nature into spaces inside to create sensorial and unique relaxing experience.


7. Slow-Living: the trend that impacts design

'Slow living' in design is the principle of rethinking design spaces to be more sustainable, practical and functional, simply seeking to ensure that designs improve the overall wellbeing of visitors.

Design incorporating "slow-living" should reinforce the concept of slowing down life by allowing visitors to find spaces to enjoy quiet, more authentic moments such as: reflecting, learning, meditating, looking out the window, discovering, etc.

Some key elements that we take into account when designing :

Make the rooms an oasis. Decorate with meaningful objects and incorporate collections of artifacts, books, small treasures from the past and make sure it is near a sitting area for reflection. Celebrate craftsmanship with natural finishes and fabrics. Think about lighting the rooms throughout the day. Create reading nooks, yoga and meditation rooms.

8. Ecological & Green characteristics

Organic architecture proposes an approach to design based on natural principles, taking us back to local history, tradition and cultural roots to give us forms in harmony with nature. It also shows how architects can take advantage of the resources that contemporary technology makes available to us.

Organic architecture offers a design approach arising from natural principles, bringing us back to local history, tradition, and cultural roots to give us built forms that are in harmony with nature. It also shows how architects can take advantage of the resources that contemporary technology has placed within our grasp. New materials and new technology are key to achieving greener hospitality from conception. If intentional, design incorporating green solution will impact energy consumption, water waste, waste treatment and even the durability of renovations. For example, we have already implemented ecological features for a 200-room hotel near Barcelona. Today, this design gives it autonomy in the treatment of wastewater and waste as well as structures made of ecological and sustainable materials.

The best way to integrate ecological features into the hotel business is to have them thought of from the concept and integrated into the design.

9. Local Experience and local Art

Making experiences memorable is key to making guests come back whether on a business trip, a weekend or a vacation. Leaning on the local culture and local environment can enhance creating more unforgettable moments. Making neighborhood communities part of the hotel life and customer experience. Thinking about integrating, from inception spaces dedicated to local communities is amplifies the hotel identity. Even small sculptures, inner exhibitions, music concerts, photography and large-scale installations; bringing an art project into the image of the hotel could be an easy way to success.

10. Use technology to make the customer experience seamless and effortless

Technology is a powerful tool when use to simplify and accompany guest experience. We love innovation throughout technology, but it really starts by a deep understand of both tools and customer needs. Apart from the obvious must have such as wifi infrastructure offering high speed connections, HD Tv's, contactless payment, digital conference facilities or Domotics. That's why it's important to integrate the right technology into the design of your hotel to deliver the right guest experience. See below some fresher ways to really brings technology into serving guests:

Why not remove check-in and checkout altogether by relying on mobile communication and automation. Apps who can offer services such as: 'concierge in your pocket', room service, large group conference event organizer, highlight key local apps that can help guests discover more things locally, covid related safety with tracker, front desks communication...etc. These technologies also allow staff to have more of a mobile desk and spend more time out to help customers everywhere in the hotel.

These apps really require a small initial investment and can lead to greater efficiency and savings as hotel staff are able to focus on customer service and architects don’t have to create large static reception desks at each entrance and hotel location.

Consumers don’t make decisions about where they’re going to travel to or book a stay in a vacuum – they turn to community-developed content, social media and rating systems to make decisions about holiday destinations, hotels and leisure.

Voice Search & Voice Control: In some settings, demand for voice control is also growing. This could include everything from the use of smart speakers in hotel rooms to allowing for control of the various in-room devices.

To navigate, choose and understand the technologies that can bring a real "plus", you have to ask yourself the right question: will my visitor see a real difference? and if so, at what level?

11. Modular construction Hotels

To support some of the key trends we have highlighted in this article, exploring and adopting new modular structures when constructing can be a very attractive solution. 

Like any other mobile property, the individual units will be created on an assembly line and then sent to their destination, where a crane will stack them on top of each other until the entire housing structure is defined. This method still allows for creative design and creates a clean look both on the structure and within each individual unit.

This method saves a lot of time when building a hotel, the development time can be reduced by 35-50%. In just one day, entire rooms can be built and then it will take between four and six weeks to reach the place where they will be assembled together.

At Maison H, we consider operational efficiency and your development plan from the beginning of the design process. Client and team satisfaction are key to our design and procurement strategy, while bringing character and personality to every project we undertake. 
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