Five Ways Hotels are Changing
1. Goodbye to the mini bar
Can you remember the last time you went into a hotel room, opened the fridge and found those adorable mini vodka bottles? Considered a luxury when they were first introduced in high end American chains in the 60s, by the end of the 70s nearly every hotel had given their guests the ability to enjoy that mini Scotch & Soda in the privacy of their room. Fast forward a couple decades and mini bars became a hotels largest headache to refill and track. Soon after most hotels began phasing them out. Most young travelers look for an experience, and that’s not sitting alone in your room. The mini bar has phased out, but the hotel bar has thrived to give travellers a more social memory!
2. Compact Living
“Have you seen the rooms at The Moxy? That would never work in North America!” The Moxy, Marriott’s lifestyle brand, pushes the definitions of what a hotel is. While thriving in Europe and the United States, they have yet to be announced in Canada, but be sure they’re coming. The Moxy is hyperfocused on millennial lifestyle with bold black and pink design. The largest difference is room size. The average size of a North American hotel room is about 330 square feet, but rooms at Moxy Hotels begin at 183 square feet. Everything is compact, built into the walls, and the only amenity really missing is a sitting area. Instead they opt for a massive lobby area with multiple lounge and office areas. Why waste space in the room when your guests would rather be down at the bar or in the communal office space, right?
3. Less Closet Space
Less space in the room means less closet space, and it turns out most people don’t care. “People want to go out and experience the city,” Moxy designer Aliya Khan says. “No one wants to spend time unpacking.” Even for a week long trip, most guests live out of their suitcase. Rarely do they take the time to unload their belongings into dressers and closets, so why even bother? A guest needs enough closet space to hang up a couple suits or dresses, to hold the ironing board, and have a safe, that’s about it.
4. Au Revoir Tacky Art
In a perfect world all hotels would have rid of their tacky painting and photography by now, but we don’t live in a perfect world. A personal pet peeve was a certain harbour front hotel that chose to feature framed photographs of boats on the harbour in the room… even though every room was a harbour view room with a balcony. Less and less hotels are choosing to put “art” up on the walls, and instead opt for well designed rooms, using the furniture itself to make a statement.
5. Wifi is a Right, Not Luxury
Pay for WiFi?! There’s no better way to annoy a guest in 2018 by telling them that WiFi costs $10 a night. A millennial traveler will pay $18 for a craft cocktail, but WiFi is a necessity, not an amenity. In a survey by Skift and American Express conducted back in 2015, 35.2% of 825 travelers surveyed said free WiFi was the #1 amenity they looked for when choosing a hotel for business travel. Most hotels still have an added charge for premium high speed internet, but the basics of social media and email is guaranteed at most major chains.