We live in a world that is constantly changing, sometimes at breakneck speed. Before we realize it, today’s ‘reality’ has already become a thing of the past. This frenzied pace that we call ‘normal’ has been aptly described by English author Douglas Adams, “ the world is changing so fast and we need to have some sort of idea of what the future’s actually going to be like because we are going to have to live there, probably next week.”
So what will the future be like? With change being the new ‘constant’, every facet of our lives is bound to be impacted. The hospitality industry is no exception. What our parents thought to be the ‘best travel experience’ 30 years ago may be vastly different from what is ‘in’ 10 years from now.
Let’s start with the first step – the hotel lobby. Moving on from a simple sofa coffee table arrangement, hotel lobbies are increasingly becoming the focus of social interactions, while maintaining privacy. Multi-use spaces are the latest trend, with personal zones as well as social seating arrangements and equal stress on comfort and functionality.
In an increasingly digitalized world, personal experiences are in great demand, especially while on the move. That is why hotel rooms are focussing on versatility, while maintaining top-notch luxury and comfort. Virtual reality experiences, well-equipped work spaces, personalised fitness equipment and Circadian rhythm lighting are replacing elaborate desks and bedside stands.
Bathrooms are no longer perceived as just a functional necessity. A spa experience is what every traveller looks forward to, to unwind after a long day. En suite bathrooms, with waterfall showers and over-sized bathtubs, invite guests to relax.
Sensory extravaganza is the mantra of the future, with many hotels blurring boundaries between indoors and outdoors for guest who are too busy to experience either exclusively. Large decks and terraces have already become outdated; ‘being one with Nature’ is reaching new levels. Floor-to-ceiling windows, indoor waterfalls, stone decorations and themed furnishings are the new elements of a unique experience.
Environmental conservation has to be the central focus of our lives, if we want to save the Earth for future generations. Increasing preference for ‘go green’ experiences is gaining momentum in the hospitality industry as well. The solution? Eco-friendly interior design materials like organic fabrics and bamboo, large windows for natural lighting, natural building materials, recycling bins and locally grown food are some answers.
‘Hotel furniture’ is a deceptively simple term. Today there is an increasing range of hotels to suit different tastes. The category and locale of a hotel will influence its décor.
Beach and ski resorts stress more on relaxation, quietude and living in the lap of nature. Urban hotels, which cater more to business travellers, need to be more technologically equipped. Boatels (houseboats), rotels (hotels on wheels) and floating hotels (on luxury liners) will also have different furnishing requirements.
All in all, the way forward for the hospitality industry, including its décor
preferences, depends solely on its most important person – you.
Written by :Srinka Datta Roy