The travel industry is undergoing constant change, driven by external elements forcing companies to rethink how their product best serves the needs of today’s traveler. Technology, ease of travel and the reasons for travel are crucial areas challenging the traditional model, especially within the millennial demographic, who, according to the AARP report on 2018 travel trends, are more adventurous, have a greater thirst for experiential travel and spend more on travel than baby boomers.
In fact, millennials are inching towards representing 50 percent of all hotel guests by 2020, and hotels are taking note, introducing more innovative technology, smart architectural design and ethical elements for greener properties.
These six hotels are shaking up the industry for a new generation of savvy traveler
#1 Energy Positive – Svart, Norway
Hailed as the world’s first ‘energy positive’ hotel, Svart, currently under construction at the foot of Almlifjellet mountain, will utilize on average 85 percent less energy than the average hotel and harvest its own sources of solar energy. With sustainable tourism a hot topic of discussion, campaigns targeting our carbon footprint have brought the subject of energy efficient hotels to the forefront. Svart will therefore serve as an integral catalyst in the trend. The circular hotel, reachable by an energy neutral shuttle service, presents 360-degree views of the surrounding area and will be suspended above water on wooden piles.
#2 6 meter Above The Ground – Treehotel, Sweden
Treehotel in Harards, near the Lule river, takes glamping a new level, with contemporary guesthouses suspended four to six metres above the ground. With experiential travel on the rise, adventure enthusiasts are investing more time and money in exploring authentic culture nature more than ever before, and we can expect to see more concept hotels on the rise. Treehotel’s catalog of cabins include the Bird’s Nest, UFO and Dragonfly. Maintaining serenity with the environment, electricity is run on green hydroelectric power, a night glow emits from low-energy LED-systems and bathrooms have water-efficient sinks.
This hotel in Amsterdam is all about to connect, engage, recharge and repeat at City Hub, a lifestyle hotel for those of the digital age. Private hubs are fitted with power and USB-plugs, built-in-speakers, Bluetooth music streaming and interchangeable lighting, controllable via an app. Public spaces are designed as ‘hangout’ common areas, blurring the distinction between work, relaxing or dining spots – a co-space where anything goes. Additionally, ‘Cityhosts’ ensure guests are in the know of all the local hot spots in the city, available 24/7 through an app.
As a hotel staffed by robots, Henn-na Hotel in Tokyo fuses technology and experiential hospitality for a real-life snapshot into the future: multi-lingual robot dinosaurs’ man the front desk a robot arm stores your luggage and facial recognition is in place instead of room keys. The hotel aims to ‘coexist with the environment’ with an energy efficient air conditioning system, solar panels, and a cutting-edge hydrogen energy system. Rooms contain a mini-bot butler who will sing you to sleep if you so desire, and no effort is required for turning off the lights as robot-controlled sensors do it for you.
Stepping into the future in Shenzhen at the Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel, an out of this world experience where you can unleash your inner nerd. Meet and greet the team of robo-staff, including robo-waiters who serve guests their food and drinks orders placed through a tablet at the on-site restaurant. The neon glow from the sci-fi-esque capsules illuminate the space, which is lined with individual space-capsules offering a flat-screen cable TV, desk, single bed, air conditioning, WiFi and charging stations.
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#6 Ultra Modern Hotel – Morpheus, Macau
Innovation, technology and luxury collide at this exclusive hotel in scenic Cotai, which presents futuristic living spaces throughout the design-forward property. Enclosed within a visually striking aluminium exoskeleton, its fabrication is truly a one-of-a-kind property. Hotel or tourism destination, you can decide, Morpheus contains an extensive repertoire of amenities, from a sky bridge, lively casino, plush executive lounge, premier dining choices, opulent spa and salon, cutting-edge fitness center with a wellness app, rooftop sky pool and contemporary visual art gallery. Guests can experience a world of their own within the space. Over 750 ultra-lavish and contemporary guest rooms and suites present a snapshot into the future of living, across design, function and technology which is controlled through the touch of a tablet.