The “social” hotel is now the primary trend in hospitality design


hotel redesign 2

It’s taken quite a while for this to happen: I had my first experience with this trend back in 2004 when Indigo was launched in Atlanta by International Hotel Group. I recall Brandi Stansbury and I absolutely elated we no longer had to stay at gross chain hotels in midtown ATL. The Indigo has not gotten its fair share of credit for pioneering this movement to design-forward, lobby-centric hotels – including the move away from room service. We were aghast the first time we arrived, late at nite, and had to scavenge snacks from the front desk.

Now, 12 years later, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton are all re-designing their hotels to create social spaces that work in a new way for business and millennial travelers. Not that any will be on par with lifestyle brands like The Ace but they are evolving and quickly.

Here’s what to expect from recent renovations:

  • More natural light
  • More communal hang out spaces with a central bar (which is different from the club-like atmosphere that hotelier Ian Schrager pioneered at the Morgan Hotel Group)
  • More communal areas specifically for solo travelers to feel comfortable (hotel guests don’t want to stay in their rooms, they prefer to be “alone together” in the lobby)
  • An absence of window drapes in the lobbies – creates better sight lines and lets in more light
  • Lobby furniture with electrical outlets that can easily be used for workstations

For full article from Skift, with examples of hotels recently renovated, link here.



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