(Hong Kong Tatler) World-renowned architect and designer Jean-Michel Gathy is behind some of the world's most beautiful hotels, so it's safe to say that he's got his finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest travel trends—from eco-friendly initiatives to creating a sense of community.
Hotels are becoming “ultra-connected” with customers never travelling without a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This has a big impact on their choice of hotel, sales network and design.
For example, we no longer design desks for guest rooms. People work from their bed, at the beach or by the pool.
Finding a niche
While hotels previously offered lots of activities to attract as many guests as possible, now hotels are targeting specific groups. So we’ll see establishments that specialise in diving, with all the latest equipment and the best instructors, or yoga, cooking classes, wine and so on.
This also means that luxury hotels will be more expensive with a wider selection of offers.
Emphasis on the environment
Respect for the environment has become standard in luxury hotels. The development of new technologies has brought new solutions for hotels, such as the processing of waste materials and water, more effective insulation, the use of local materials, geothermal energy, solar, wind power, etc.
Clean and renewable energies are the future of hotels.
A taste of culture and community
Travellers want to chat with locals and interact with fellow guests, which have led to designing restaurants with bigger tables and areas for people to gather.
The food offer is becoming increasingly diverse. Customers want to take their taste buds on a journey too, so we are building hotels with several restaurants offering different specialities: Italian, French and Asian cuisines.
Service that goes above and beyond
Travel review websites have changed customer service. Before choosing a hotel, people check the reviews, so managers need to be extremely vigilant and attend to all guest requests.
To do this, you need to introduce systems in order to automate little details. The perception of the hotel is very important too. They need to be careful that it doesn’t appear better than reality, to avoid disappointing people.