By Chris Logan
Accommodation and travel evolve with changes to our way of life. Visit any metropolis and you will find it easy to tell the traditional or heritage-listed hotels from newly-minted additions.
Visions of the future are set to challenge the status quo when it comes to hotels and resorts. They propose changes to everything, including levels of service, hotel shapes, building materials, colour schemes and even traditional location. Some of these design and service concepts for future hotels are close to reality, while others need more time.
However, at the heart of any evolution is a demand from people for more or different experiences. Consequently, it is our WorldMark South Pacific Club Owners who ultimately determine the shape of our products and the experiences offered by Wyndham.
Today’s travellers are increasingly demanding unique, high-quality experiences. Many futuristic hotel designs aim to make the inaccessible into a readily accessible experience for their guests. Water and underwater hotels and resorts are an example of a hospitality offering that can put guests in the midst of previously unreachable places. The MORPHotel, designed by Gianluca Santosuosso, will be one. Using the human spine as inspiration, the architect envisages a floating hotel capable of adapting to weather conditions as it moves slowly across oceans, from port to port, exploring. The intention is for some of the luxury rooms to be able to detach and traverse the vicinity around the structure, within a safe distance.
As the world becomes more conscious of environmental degradation, holiday makers want to ensure their resort stay leaves as little damage as possible. Bringing guests into a pristine environment raises a range of sustainability questions and floating hotels are an answer put forward by architects who care deeply about the issue. Architect Jean-Marie Massuad has proposed an airship capable of sailing over environmentally-sensitive landscapes without damaging them. If achieved, the “Manned Cloud” could allow travellers to not just see the previously unseen, but cover incredible distances without leaving their hotel.
The hotel of the future may always be on the move. Generally, people want to cut down on superfluous travel and there’s no better way to do that than have a hotel come to them. Architect Margot Krasojevic’s portable hotel will be able to park alongside a private jet, allowing a traveller to arrive in just moments, with a canopy even blocking out any rain. It is not difficult to imagine that there could one day be a larger concept for more people.
Just as the hotel’s location and sustainability credentials are being shaped by the tastes of guests, so will the inside of rooms. Hotel rooms today offer an emphasis on natural light, flat screen TVs, air conditioning and internet connectivity. Some experts believe the future will involve larger bathrooms and minimalistic, streamlined furniture.
As technology becomes more pervasive, travellers expect to have more control over their environment and experiences. Experts suggest guests will one day be able to influence everything in their room via their own mobile phone or device and, with apps, this could be a possibility quite soon.
Technology companies are confidently predicting that robots have great potential in the services industry. Autonomous robots, like this one from Savioke, have already hit the market and creators are hoping to experience a widespread take-up in hospitality and services. The pictured model is capable of delivering requests like towels to guests and doesn’t need a monetary tip! Another idea that has recently received some attention is for room service carts that alert staff when they have been returned to a corridor.
It is an exciting time to travel and technology has the potential to make travel quicker and even more luxurious, provided of course that it does not replace the genuine, warm, friendly service that only humans can deliver.
How would you like hotels and resorts to look and feel in the future? Tell us your thoughts below.
This article was originally published in Destinations Magazine, Issue 1, 2016.