Here are some new trends emerging in the hotel hospitality industry to watch out for in 2016. The Telegraph.co.uk has put together a list of popular trends that hotels are moving towards and here we've picked some of our favourites. Moving a hotel into the future we see technology further influence every facet of hospitality from the way the hotel operates to the way that you interact with your guests.
Hotels go smart
2015 was the year that saw Japan successfully pull off a hotel manned solely by robots. Hotels will continue in a techie vein this year, focusing on a smoother experience for guests.
Arrive hotel, opening in Palm Springs, is the creation of Facebook millionaire Erza Callahan. It’s a hotel for the social media age, with easy check-in at the hotel bar, multi-functional staff (all will be able to do check-ins, park your car or deliver room service), and in-room Netflix and Apple TV. Rooms won’t, however, include landline telephones – instead all services will be available by text message. Similarly, in Baja California, guests of new hotel Mar Adentro will have personalised tablets in rooms which control everything from the air-con, to ordering room service, to declaring any dietary requirements. Wi-Fi will also be as strong on the beach as it is in the hotel.
Hopefully stronger Wi-Fi will trickle down into the mainstream: Best Western, the first hotel brand to introduce free Wi-Fi, is leading the industry once again with its new Li-Fi technology. Showcased last year, it would mean that 5g technology could be transmitted through lights, meaning an unprecedented connection speed in rooms – and no more having to visit the hotel lobby to get a decent connection.
Wellness reaches new heights
Yoga retreats and lavish hotel spas are nothing new, but hotels are getting serious about their health offerings this year. Equinox, the premium gym group, is reported to be launching a hotel brand for ‘health-conscious travellers’ with its first property slated for Manhattan, followed by Los Angeles. A standard gym offering this will not be, considering that their campaign is shot by fashion photographer Rankin, and that many of their outposts are in architecturally impressive buildings. Expect cream of the fitness crop, with interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg, a 60,000 square-foot gym and indoor/outdoor pools.
Well-established hotels are also offering new, and more serious, spa experiences focusing on the mind over the body. Mandarin Oriental have launched a yearly ‘Silent Night’ whereby all of their spas, worldwide, will transform into peaceful retreats, responding to the growing trend of mindfulness. In London, the subterranean Akasha spa at Café Royal has added to its comprehensive treatment list by employing an intuitive counsellor, reiki master and a cognitive and emotional coach.
Everybody loves a concept
In a world of countless choice, hotels are making themselves stand out. A tight theme helps. The newly opened Book and Bed in Tokyo joined the city’s coolest independent book publisher, Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers, to curate its 1,700-strong library, which you can read in your ‘bookshelf bed’.
A Barcelona hotel has gone one step further with its niche Margot House, inspired by fashion icon Margot Tenenbaum of Wes Anderson’s film The Royal Tenenbaums, while an underwater hotel in Key West, Florida, has also been approved for next year.
Eco gets serious
Long gone are the days when reusing towels and automatic lights rendered a hotel eco-friendly. The standards are, sensibly, a lot higher now, as hotels continue to commit to sustainable practices. 16 New York hotels have just signed a commitment to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent in the next decade.
One of the aforementioned 16, 1 Hotel Central Park, has already started to educate guests in sustainability – all showers have a five-minute hourglass in order to remind guests of wasted water consumption. Closer to home in Cornwall, the Eden Project will welcome a fully sustainable hotel this year, in nearby St Austell.
Exclusivity is the new luxury
Two Parisian nightclubs with cultural cachet reopened as hip hotels in 2015. Once largely inaccessible to the regular common folk, they are now readily bookable – Les Bains, a former hangout of 80s and 90s hipsters and rockstars, is now a boutique property, while former 1950s jazz-turned-nightclub Le Montana (popular with the likes of Grace Jones and Jerry Hall) reopened as a six-suite hotel designed by fashion polymath Vincent Garré.
In London, exclusivity still reigns, with members clubs acting as the crème de la crème of city accommodation. Last year saw the Arts Cluband The Hospital Club open hotel rooms, while next year will see The Devonshire Square Arms members’ club in Mayfair open its doors to a comparatively large 68 bedrooms. The Green Room, in Wood Green, also slated for next year, will be even more selective: it's a hotel specifically for actors and artists.