The Biggest Changes in Hotel Design and Utilization on the Horizon

What will be the biggest change in how hotels are designed and utilized between now and 2025?

REIT magazine: January/February 2019

Justin Knight, President and CEO, Apple Hospitality REIT (NYSE: APLE)

"The lodging industry is always evolving to provide guests with the accommodations and services they want, and hotels will continue to offer comfortable rooms, friendly service, and modern amenities. Advances in technology have and will continue to provide hotel operators a better understanding of guests’ needs and the unique opportunity to further enhance and customize guest experiences.

Sustainability and responsible sourcing will continue to be critical components of hotel design, construction, renovations, and operations, and help hotels reduce their overall environmental impact. Hoteliers have an opportunity in coming years to provide guests with aspirational accommodations and experiences that impact preferences beyond our industry.”

James Risoleo, President and CEO, Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST)

"We think a trend toward a guest-driven experience and personalized approach is the future of the hospitality industry, and we expect the use of artificial intelligence to maximize its impact.

For example, not only will guests be able to take a virtual tour before booking, they will be able to select their room and set the lighting and room temperature before they arrive. Upon arrival, guests will be able to check in using their mobile or wearable device and receive personalized recommendations for restaurants and activities in their inbox. As even more guests embrace using their mobile or wearable devices to check in, we see the front desk and lobby areas evolving into a social gathering space for dining, drinking, socializing, and networking, which will create additional revenue opportunities.

At Host Hotels we see an attractive opportunity to enhance the value and profitability of our owned hotels through smart design technologies, which may reduce the environmental impact of our operations.”

Andrew Sims, Chairman and CEO, Sotherly Hotels, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOHO)

"With real estate and construction costs for full-service development at a premium, coupled with the consumer’s increasing unwillingness to pay a premium for grand dedicated spaces, designers will need to incorporate technology and innovative thinking to provide public space that is flexible and can be used for more than one purpose.

Part of this innovative thinking will contemplate the guest’s desire to have a local experience by bringing the city into the hotel and conversely having the hotel serve as an extension of its surroundings. Grand outdoor venues can cost a fraction of traditional dedicated indoor space and can serve a variety of functions—local bistro, wedding venue, or simply a communal gathering space. Most importantly these spaces deliver on what our guests want—a relaxed and genuine setting to enjoy their hotel stay and the surrounding local environment at the same time.”