LS:N Global has long battled against dull, generic, soulless hotels. What would we see in their place? An abundance of atmosphere, a wealth of comfort and a dollop of creativity.
Let’s begin with atmosphere. What does it mean? It means a place that doesn’t feel like it could be anywhere else in the world – a home from home. Our microtrend Luxe Locale explores how hotels are drawing inspiration from the culture, materials and natural world around each hotel. Atmosphere also means having a sense of history. This could come from the building itself – LeDomaine hotel in Spain offers tours of its mediaeval monastic grounds via Google Glass. Or it might come from its urban context: the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin looked to its location next to a city park to create a green oasis.
Atmosphere won’t go particularly far, however, without comfort. Here, we do not just mean soft pillows and fluffy towels, although both are recommended. The modern traveller is looking for comfort of a different sort – communal spaces where he or she can work, play and discover new things. LS:N Global has seen certain brands excel in this area, with the Hotel Hotel in Canberra, Australia offering a bike shop and craft market, while The Ham Yard Hotel in London makes a juice bar and bowling alley available to its guests.
An LS:N Global hotel would collaborate with artists to infuse the space with creativity, a trend we call Art-spitality. In Kortrijk, Belgium, the pop-up exhibition and hotel Dift’s Eyes/Nights Only brought in world-renowned designers such as Olivier Roels to decorate its rooms. Amsterdam’s Hotel Not Hotel collaborated with Eindhoven-based collective Collaboration-O and others to create unique rooms that range from a faux Spanish villa to an Amsterdam tram cart.
Finally, the LS:N Global hotel would get the basics right. It would provide exceptional, unique service, like the Archer Hotel in Manhattan does by leaving guests special treats from local vendors with its turndown service. It would provide spaces for contemplation, relaxation and connection to nature, as the White Wolf Hotel does in Penafiel, Portugal. Finally, it would enable the technology-savvy lives of its guests. Our priorities would be free, fast wifi, with no complicated login, and lots of easy-to-reach power outlets in rooms, especially next to the bed. These are the two things that most often get in the way of a good travel experience, according to a 2014 study by Frequent Business Traveler.
For more on building the hotels of the future, see our microtrends Home-from-Home Hospitality and Fly-and-Flop Philanthropy.
If LS:N Global made… 2014 is a series of reports reflecting the LS:N Global team’s pick of the best innovations of the year, and those that will be most relevant for consumers in the coming year.