Cornell has gathered information from more than 8000 hotels worldwide so they can benchmark how their hotels are managing their environmental impacts. As reported on greenlodgingnews.com, “The results are presented in the CHSB2016 Index report, where users can obtain the range of benchmarks for energy consumption, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions for hotels within specific segments and geographic locations.”
As sustainability is a vital issue in our industry, and the Cornell study is of vital importance to hotel firms looking to improve their performance and be able to compare their performance to other firms. As Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Global Operations, Marriott International shared, “The travel and tourism sector has an incredible opportunity to drive sustainability around the world. The CHSB benchmark provides hotels the information that they need to know where they stand among their peers, and to apply that information to drive improvements and promote their own efforts to customers.”
The Riu Plaza, opened in early 2016, offers sleek suites with modern European sensibilities in the heart of Manhattan.
But perhaps one of the biggest selling features to this hotel is, as any real estate professional might describe, “Location, location, location.”
Set in the heart beat of iconic New York: from Central Park to Restaurant Row, Broadway Theatre to extraordinary shopping, the Riu Plaza is a natural springboard for the traveler. For a total immersion into all that is New York…
I mean, really? Could a better location be had?
While Riu is typically associated with “sun and sand” hotel locations, the hotel chain has started a new concept: The Riu Plaza New York Times Square becomes the second urban “city hotel line” in the US, and the first $100MM non-union construction project in New York City’s history.
The streamlined suites include just enough modern conveniences to keep the connected traveler satisfied: wifi to allow guests to stay in touch with their modern, busy lives, knowing that they’re likely going to be “out and about town” rather than “retreating” or cocooning in their suite.
The International Tourism Partnership have announced a jointly agreed upon method for measuring water use in the hotel industry.
The 18-month project has resulted in “a free methodology and calculation tool which will enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way.”
Consistent is the key word: up until now, while companies did measure water consumption, each firm had its own methods that may have included (or excluded) certain sources or uses of water. Also key was that the initiative would be “free and easy to implement.”
The initiative was started in response to “one of the most pressing global issues hotels need to address is their consumption of water, and the understanding that “what gets measured gets managed.”
The 18 global hotel groups, some of the biggest brands in the lodging industry, include: Accor, Carlson Rezidor, Diamond Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, the Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International, MGM Hotels & Resorts, NH Hotel Group, Soneva, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, Whitbread, and Wyndham Worldwide Resorts.
The hoteliers worked with KPMG as technical consultants and included with input from the international expert community, including the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Water Footprint Network, CDP and CEO Water Mandate.
Jade Conroy of The London Telegraph writes that there nine key trends she’s observing in the hotel market.
Forget the usual hotel restaurant. “Following Rene Redzepi’s successful Noma residency at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo last year, chefs of similar acclaim are setting up temporarily at hotels.”
Smart Hotels are getting hotter. While no one’s saying that the unmanned hotel is going to be the norm, hotels can use technology to create frictionless experiences for guests. An example of this is Arrive Hotel in Palm Springs. Hotels embracing this philosophy are offering check-in at the hotel bar, cross-functional staff who can provide all kinds of guest support, keyless room entry, on screen Netflix/Apple TV and guest services arranged through text messaging.
An Appreciation for Historical Hotels. There is a growing appreciation for smaller hotels with historical relevance and ambiance. Hotels like The Beekman Hotel and The Chicago Peninsula that are not just luxurious but who have a clear sense of history and style are of great appeal.
Millennials are “in.” Hotels are looking for ways to appeal to this HUGE target market. Some hotels are rethinking room size (include everything a guest needs, and nothing they don’t) and creating entirely new brand lines. Marriott, for example, has an entire hotel that serves as its lab for experimenting with new offerings before rolling it out to the rest of the line.
Wellness Goes Mainstream. Once thought only for the luxury hotels, the wellness trend is making its way downmarket to appeal to all sorts of consumers who realize that health isn’t just about decisions made in the doctor’s office, but rather all the little decisions you make — from restaurant decisions to aromatherapy showers — on a daily basis.
The latest revival of the landmark Martha Washington Hotel capitalizes on the building’s historic feel and neighborhood roots in a reconceptualized lodging, The Redbury.
Long an iconic landmark of the NoMad neighborhood, The Martha Washington Hotel originally opened in 1903 as a women’s-only hotel that catered to the growing population of women migrating to the city for work historically done by men, education and the arts. The hotel changed hands several times throughout the 20th century, changing brand names as well to include Hotel Thirty Thirty, Hotel Lola and King & Grove New York, before joining the SBE Hotel Group.
The Redbury’s creative genius, Matthew Rolston, brought the “Matthew Magic” to his latest elevated hotel experience by drawing inspiration from the boutique hotel’s Tin Pan Alley location, the heart of the city’s music industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, while evoking a feeling of the Redbury brand environment.
Rolston, known for his relentless creative pursuits, has a particular connection to music: from his Rolling Stone covers to music videos for everyone from Madonna to Beyonce. And it’s this particular connection that seems to infuse his Redbury interiors.
In an interview, Roston described his inspiration: “Reacting to the hotel’s site, I discovered that the surrounding neighborhood was the original home of American popular music in the early parts of the 20th century, an area known as ‘Tin Pan Alley.’ Because The Redbury as a brand is a music-centric concept, that discovery was a perfect fit….The Redbury as a brand has unique qualities. It’s casual but also somewhat theatrical. It’s fun, but it’s a brand that takes service protocols seriously. The overall feeling is quite romantic—but, it’s a mixture—relaxing and exciting at the same time, and who doesn’t want that?”
The guest experience was at the center of Rolston’s design, creating an environment that was both homey, and yet evoking high artistic drama at the same time. The rooms are uniquely Bohemian, with super soft, eclectic linens, curated photos and artwork that create an immediate inspiringly relaxed atmosphere.
That, coupled with sleek and spacious baths and signature upscale bath amenities, and you have a one of a kind experience no traveler will soon forget.
We’re particularly fond of the creative use of herringbone tile work, as seen in the photo above. It’s details like these – in conjunction with the patterned flooring, millwork and fluted columns you find on the Selldorf Architects renovated ground floor – that make the Redbury an architectural gem.
Travelmarket Report shared five key trends — disruptions — for the hotel industry as observed on at the Hotel Experience trade show held at the Javits Center. They include:
The Sharing Economy. “Hotels can’t wish away Airbnb, said Skift CEO Rafat Ali, “but there is mass denial going on among lodging leaders. Airbnb won’t be as transformative for hotels as Uber has been for the taxi industry, but it may be the next big distribution channel, supplanting OTAs.”
The Reinvention of Legacy Brands. As we’ve discussed here, Millennials are shaking up the hotel experience – and some brands like Marriott are adapting to these changing tastes.
The Rules about Hotel Restaurants/Food & Beverage Are Changing. The article shares five major changes for hotels in their restaurant/bar operations.
Meetings and Events are changing. According to the article, event logistics will become more and more automated, event apps and paper money will likely disappear.
Good News for Travel Agents.Harvey Chipkin reports that there is a “sense of wanderlust among millennials is exponentially greater than the other three generations.” Further, Millennials and the affluent are more likely to use travel agents to help with travel plans as they are groups who “perceive a value in paying for their time.”
As we’ve discussed before, here on Hotel Tubs Pro, consumers expect hotels to be at least as good as what they have at home (or what they aspire to.) While this list is primarily focused on the residential market, there are trends that hotels should pay attention to and consider for their upcoming renovation projects.
Blending Natural Materials
The natural, organic, clean look will continue. Spice up your designs with continuing your tile work onto the walls, or reusing materials in other parts of the suite. Not only are these aesthetically pleasing designs but they can also be lower maintenance for your cleaning staff. While we might be hesitant to incorporate wood directly in line with water, consider wood-like tile products that incorporate the look, while still remaining durable for industrial, high-volume use.
White on White
There’s a big reason why white is so used: it’s clean, it’s elegant. It can help small rooms seem more light and airy… So why wouldn’t it be commonly used in the bath? Note in this photo, too, other smaller trends: the use of the trough-style sink, the freestanding soaking tub, and wood floors — all of which are ongoing trends for you to consider including in your hotel baths.
As shared on interiorzine.com, “When one uses a combination of modern and organic, it creates a dynamic atmosphere that evokes clean and stylish sensation. The juxtaposition of wood and stone to synthetics is very clever, combinative and suitable for many variations of design.” Take note of the mosaic,bold colortiled wall behind the free-standing soaking tub: these are continuing trends from 2016 to consider as well. (Note in the picture above the use of wood accents. The smooth cement flooringtrend can also be incorporated here as well.)
Shower Benches/Grab Bars
With an aging population, it’s wise for hotels to at least consider adapting what they normally might look for in shower design. Shower seats and safety bars can get a bad rep, with most thinking they’re clunky or awkward looking in the shower. But they don’t have to be. Instead of thinking “chair size” – go big and think “bench.” The mental shift immediately changes your concepts in what is possible in designing the space. Also, draw in other design elements: the antiqued brass or mosaic patterns/graphical treatments.
Rethinking Water Spouts
Whether it’s a metal “fountain-like” faucet, or one out of clay materials with room for plantlife, your choice in faucetry can bring big personality to a small space.
We’ve talked about “living walls” here before, but now we’re seeing them included in bath areas. Also shown here: open shelving as storage to help your guests stay organized (and yet still within reach/sight so that guests aren’t as likely to leave personal items behind after checkout.)
At the other end of the spectrum, matted big, bold and dark colors can create drama in a counter-intuitive way. Normally, we think small spaces should incorporate light colors to create a lighter feel of spaciousness. But dark colors can create drama, warmth, a feeling a relaxation and cocooning. Neutral colors can also go dark – think charcoal grey. (Note here too: the continuation of tile on the walls and open shelving.) Also consider the shape of your tiles. While the traditional, rectangular subway tiles are common, consider other standardized shapes like hexagons(see above).
When most people think of “brass,” they think of the high-shine metal: but there’s more than one way to finish or treat brass. There’s just something about the classic elegance of the right treatment of brass with marble (another trend we’ve talked about.)
As mentioned earlier, dark neutrals are in — especially when used in combination with one other color (ie: black, or a dark teal, etc). Also note here the use of a longer, trough style sink, and unique organizational method/open shelving — all of which helps your guests stay organized while on the road.
While the EPA required that manufacturers make showerheads that only used 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) in 1992, (down from 5.5 gpm), they also have a “voluntary WaterSense” classification using only 2.0 gpm flow for certification. That might not sound like much: it’s a 20% savings, which, added up over time — and in the volume hotels use it — can mean buckets of cost reduction.
Fog free mirrors work for both you and your staff: low maintenance upgrade that gives your guests frustration free early morning routines.
Smart Showers with Added Health Benefits
Smart showers are another element of tech-infused hotel rooms. Some smart showers can change shower stall glass from clear to opaque with the touch of a button. Others control temperature, water pressure and spray pattern preferences. Some stalls now include waterproof TV screens, while others have speakers that can play your favorite music from your iPhone.
While trends come and go, these are the ones we see as having “staying power” that you can include in various aspects of the design of your hotel rooms and baths as you begin renovating/refinishing your rooms.