The New Generation of Lifestyle Hotels
Hotels are reinventing the accommodation experience by revamping their space and adding services that transform hotels from places to stay into places to live.
The new generation of hotels is focusing on innovation by developing hotel concepts or updating existing ones. The so-called lifestyle hotel is a good example of this trend; while examples of this type of hotel have existed for several years, they are now preparing to benefit from the winds of change sweeping through the hotel industry. Read on to learn how three hotel groups have interpreted the lifestyle hotel trend.
M Beta: revamped, customized spaces
The Charlotte Marriott City Center was fully renovated in 2016. In fact, the renovation was so complete, they’re calling it the second iteration M Beta as they gather customer feedback on what works and what doesn’t. (Further details in the first part of the analysis, Comment l’hôtel de demain est-il pensé ?). With a budget of $16M, room design was completely reinvented by installing modular furniture and adding a variety of high-tech tools. Customers can access their Netflix or Hulu account from the guest-room TV and use a tablet to order from room service. One whole floor is devoted to StayWell rooms that feature amenities such as: aromatherapy, a shower head with chlorine filter, lighting that emulates natural outdoor light, and hypoallergenic bedding.
Local ingredients are showcased in the restaurant, the bar can act as a co-working space during the week and the café is designed to support interaction (see photo, below). The café provides free workspaces and has a retail space where upmarket foods are sold.
Source: Charlotte Business Journal
A new bottle shop sells wines to both guests and locals and the gym features a digital system with over 600 exercise programs displayed on a giant screen. The check-in can be done through the brand’s mobile app, with one of the tablets made available to guests in the reception hall, or with a hotel employee.
Aparthotels Adagio: where the community itself becomes part of the attraction
According to a recent study of guest expectations conducted by Aparthotels Adagio, these now include a desire to interact with others and to feel a sense of belonging. Based on study results, a brand-new customer experience concept was tested in one of the properties for ten days. Because the goal was to transform the apartment-hotel into a living space with strong community ties, the company asked both guests and locals to try out the new facilities and features. To reinforce that “at-home” feeling, these new features include a shared kitchen, a delicatessen, a supply of objects guests can use to decorate the apartment, wine tastings, cooking and activity classes and foosball matches.
Source: Aparthotels Adagio
Other properties are trying out other services, such as delivering meals from local and gourmet restaurants, dinners with locals,
Aparthotels Adagio wants to focus as much on the destination as on the hotel
cycling or Segway tours of the surrounding area, and a mobile app with the kind of information that allows visitors to feel more like a resident. Aparthotels Adagio wants to focus as much on the destination as on the hotel. The group will use the results of the customer experience tests to roll out the most popular services across the entire network.
JO&JOE: Focus on mingling
In September 2016, AccorHotels unveiled its innovative new brand, JO&JOE: a cross between youth hostels and apartment hotels. These yet-to-be-built hotels have been dubbed “Open Houses”, where the focus is on creating spaces for living and shared experiences.
The focus is on creating spaces for living and shared experiences
The concept is aimed specifically at millennials, whether they’re a “Townster” (local resident) or “Tripster” (an explorer from out of town).
Common areas promote relaxation and spontaneous interaction. The reception desk is gone; guests enter at the bar; there’s an outdoor “Playground” for events, and the “Happy House” (see picture, below), a private areas for guests only, will be used to relax, work, cook or even do their laundry. The large tables in the shared kitchen promote togetherness and sharing.
The brand also offers a variety of innovative forms of accommodation for guests traveling solo, in couple, in a family or as a group. The “Together” format provides shared, modulable sleeping spaces, while the “Yours” format is a room or apartment for two to five people with a private bathroom and (sometimes) a kitchen area (see picture, below). Last, there are the “OOO” options (for “Out Of the Ordinary”). As the name implies, this means unusual accommodation, including yurts, hammocks and caravans, and varies from one property to the next.
Naturally, this innovative new concept for millennials has its own booking app! The community-oriented, experiential tool helps users organize events, share recommendations of must-see places, create groups with other guests for where to go and what to do, and chat with JO&JOE staff.
The plan is to build a portfolio of 50 properties, with the first ones due to open in 2018. The brand is part of AccorHotel’s new lifestyle division, also comprising the Mama Shelter and 25hours brands. In designing these new-generation hostels, JO&JOE is positioning itself in a niche market already well populated with new players, and is also entering into direct competition with Airbnb.
Because the new living spaces focus on mingling and experiencing local culture, each hotel can guarantee a unique experience. This trend of focusing on local elements has spread to all sectors of the tourism industry, and is manifestly here to stay.
Image on first page: Pexels.com
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– AccorHotels. « DESIGN, FOOD, UX AccorHotels révolutionne l’hospitalité avec sa nouvelle marque JO&JOE », pressroom.accorhotels-group.com, 27 septembre 2016.
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- Welcome to the Jungle. « Comment est né JO&JOE, le nouveau concept hôtelier futuriste d’AccorHotels ? », welcometothejungle.co, consulté le 24 janvier 2017.