Once, the prospect of having more than one power outlet in a hotel room was exciting. Now, there are numerous examples of innovation in the hotel industry.
In 2018, hotels have to up their game to remain competitive in an increasingly demanding market. Whereas before a sparsely equipped gym would have sufficed, now hotels need to be at the cutting edge. In response, many hotels are introducing SMART technologies, apps and even virtual reality to make a stay at their property unique. This article explores what five market leaders are doing to make their hotels stand out from the crowd.
1. One Night with The Standard
There are many examples of innovation in the hotel industry, but perhaps no brand is re-writing the rule book quite like The Standard. Since opening their doors in Hollywood in 1999, The Standard has acquired 12 properties, with locations due to open in London, Mexico City, and San Francisco. Furthermore, thanks to investment from Thai real estate giant Sansiri, The Standard is set to go global in the near future. In addition, a stay at The Standard is so much more than a hotel room – they do numerous exciting events. For example, The Standard High Line hosted Sleep-in Cinema, where guests could lounge on beds in front of horror classics all Halloween weekend.
However, perhaps the most innovative addition to The Standard’s offer is their new One Night app. The concept is simple – One Night promotes unsold hotel rooms at discount rates to encourage spontaneous stays. Emphasizing expertise, good taste and soft power over a hard sell, The Standard’s app hosts a specially curated list of 125 hotels with accompanying city guides. Not only does the app sell fantastic experiences at amazing prices, it cultivates trust in The Standard brand.
2. Go eco with 1 Hotels
All three of 1 Hotels’ New York locations feature fully sustainable materials throughout their decor and architecture. However, 1 Hotels’ eco-friendly ethos does not stop there. The hotel provides Teslas for hire, collaborates with artists, and facilitates donation drives with local charities. In the future, the sustainable 1 Hotels brand is set to go global, with new locations in China and Mexico. For instance, the new property in Haitang Bay, China, will include an on-site farm that will supply the restaurant with organic fruit and vegetables.
3. Examples of innovation at The Hilton
Last year, Hilton launched their Innovation Gallery in collaboration with the Rockwell Group. Acting as a showroom for examples of innovation, the space allows the brand to present new properties, products and ideas to key constituents. Since the Innovation Gallery opened, Hilton has placed itself at the forefront of fresh ideas in the hospitality industry. For instance, the Innovation Gallery has launched several of Hilton’s new SMART features. Now, smartphone users can unlock their rooms via app in over 2,500 Hilton properties. In addition, Hilton Honors members can even select specific rooms, call reception, and order room service from their devices. Looking to the future, Hilton are continuing to innovate with partners including IBM, Amazon and Tesla. So far, they have unveiled products including noise-masking products and real-time translation devices.
4. Augmented reality at the Holiday Inn
Whilst there are few industries that are fully embracing augmented reality (AR), a few hoteliers are exploring the possibility. For example, hotels can utilize AR to make a hotel stay more enjoyable and engaging. Trailblazers of the strategy are budget hotel brand Holiday Inn. During the London 2012 Olympics, Holiday Inn created an app that allowed guests to view holograms of sporting celebrities in the hotel.
5. Step into the future at W Singapore Sentosa Cove
The W brand has always been synonymous with luxury. However, their Sentosa Cove property in Singapore is taking on new frontiers of futuristic decadence. Premier rooms feature underwater speakers and private DJ booths, whilst meeting rooms are scented, mood lit and themed. With 240 rooms on offer, there are examples of innovation everywhere you turn in the W Sentosa Cove.
There is a common thread that runs through all these examples of innovation – a wholly customer-centric approach. As the hotel market becomes even more competitive, hotels need to prove that they offer a distinctive service. This is increasingly the case as the sharing economy begins to seize an even greater market share. With such stiff competition from economy options, hotels need to increasingly prove that a stay in their property is thoroughly unique.