Experts in hotel development discuss the rising popularity of social spaces in hotels, the role of technology in the hotel experience, the ways guests are shaping in-room furniture design, the competition from Airbnb, the need for “Instagrammable” spaces in hotels, and changing approaches to hotel restaurants.
Florida remains one of the healthiest worldwide hospitality centers. Hotel occupancy in Miami-Dade rose to 87.9 percent in March from 85.7 percent in the same month last year, and the average daily room rate in was also up. At a panel discussion during ULI’s 2018 Florida Summit, two hotel developers shared how their decision to lean into the evolving trends within hospitality and tourism have bred overwhelming success.
Nestled in a relatively quiet East Amsterdam neighborhood, a new kind of hotel has been racking up occupancy rates topping 90 percent for the past two years. Zoku is a modern take on the extended-stay hotel, where the visitors stay in fully outfitted micro-hotel rooms of 260 or 320 square feet (24 or 30 sq m) and relax and connect in the common areas on the top floor.
To meet the evolving expectations of today’s travelers, new hotels are being infused with active, social spaces that encourage interaction between guests, offer unique experiences with local flavor, and provide healthy lifestyle amenities, said experts speaking at a ULI San Diego/Tijuana event.
Imagine arriving home after a long day at the office and calling room service to have a chef-prepared meal delivered to your door. For residents of Nashville’s new, innovatively designed Aertson Midtown building, that is not wishful thinking. They simply place an order with the signature restaurant of the Kimpton hotel that shares their apartment building.
U.S.-based hotel chains continually aim to one-up the competition in order to attract customers—particularly younger ones—to their properties and loyalty programs. Now Hilton is surging ahead with its “Connected Room” concept, which allows guests to personalize and control every aspect of their experience using their smartphones.
Most hotels in the United States operate under the umbrella of large hospitality chains such as Hilton or Marriott. But today’s hotel owners and investors are increasingly flying solo, eschewing big-brand affiliations to create their own independent identities.
Since Airbnb began to disrupt the U.S. hospitality sector, industry leaders have been thinking about ways to attract previously underserved customers. A number of recently built hotels and resorts combine the space and amenities of a private home with high-end amenities, concierge service, and curated experiences. A 2017 ULI Fall Meeting session presented two recently introduced concepts with distinctly different target markets and price points.
Eric Blumenfeld, a prominent homegrown Philadelphia developer, more than a decade ago began rehabbing buildings in the city’s North Broad Street corridor and inviting big-name restaurateurs to use the space. Now, with the reopening of the long-vacant Divine Lorraine as apartment/restaurant space, a beloved architectural icon, Blumenfeld, owner of EB Realty Management, believes his vision is finally coming together.
Europe is a divided continent in many ways. While markets like Spain, Portugal, and Croatia are experiencing a surge in visitors, France, Belgium, and Turkey face a tourism crisis. Performance varies from country to country.