With this in mind, we will see more emphasis placed on using new sustainable materials – materials and furniture pieces that are grown, vegan-design approaches and modularisation in design, in line with circular design principles, whilst hotel operators look to run their properties in more sustainable ways. Ultimately, hospitality is still largely dependent upon air travel and, as our awareness of our personal carbon footprints increases, the industry could see a rise in staycationing. We may even see a rise in trains or other modes of transport being converted by hotel brands, as holidaymakers return to embracing the journey as part of the holiday – essentially travelling slower. At Perkins&Will, we explored sustainable hospitality in our 2020 Sleep Set design and are subsequently working towards our Net Zero Pledge for carbon neutral design.
It would seem that the pandemic has lessened the fear that many have for technology and, largely speaking, we now accept it as a means to operate and live better lives. In the luxury segment, self-check-in was historically seen as impersonal as guests would prefer a human face to greet them, but now technology will be synonymous with luxury, offering guests more options in terms of service. If you wish to self-check-in, or if you want to receive room service by drone, you will have that option.
Technology will also be present within your room, where circadian lighting systems will set the colour of light to suit your body clock and environment, and sleep technology will monitor your body temperature whilst you sleep to ensure you have the perfect night’s rest. It will also allow a guest to personalise their space with their own artwork, or the hotel app may allow a guest to chose what bedding they would like in the room before they arrive.
In short, hospitality has shown resilience during the pandemic – and 2021 will see it evolve and bounce back via traditional and new models.