There's No Place Like Home: The New Paradigm of Hotel as Home
By Rob Rush CEO, LRA Worldwide | August 07, 2010
Does anyone here remember when travel was glamorous? Seriously, raise your hand. And I'm not harkening back to the era of the Titanic, when the Astors and Guggenheims went down with the ship and the finely appointed china. I'm referring to the not so distant past, when people actually got dressed up to get on an airplane and staying at a hotel carried an air of exotic mystery.
Bell Service. Room service. Turn Down Service. Alluring elements of the traditional hotel stay, none of them featuring even a whiff of the home front.
Yet, when you step on an airplane these days, you are less likely to get slacks and a dress shirt than a whiff of bare feet and the swoosh of mesh gym shorts; likewise, when you settle into your hotel room, the feel is less escape and more....homey? It turns out that hotels have largely bought into the notion that they can attract more guests by making them feel like they never left home.
The first shot fired across the bow in this trend? After however many hundreds of years of the lodging industry's existence - from rooms above a tavern to five-star resorts - someone finally got the bright idea that the bed might actually be important. Hmmm - you've rented a room for the night and sleep might actually be a priority, just as it is the other 364 nights of the year at your home.
Thus, the Heavenly Bed begat Marriott Revive Bedding, which begat the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper, which begat the Hilton Suite Dreams, and so on. It turns out an actual comfortable night's sleep wasn't a bad product feature for a hotel room. And with that realization, the rush to bring the comforts of home into the hotel room was on.
In some instances, the lines between the home and the hotel have become quite blurred, with a reasonable chicken-or-the-egg argument regarding whether home design is driving hotel design...or vice versa. Delta Hotels, Canada's leading hotel management company, articulates the convergence of the home and hotel in a 2005 issue of its employee magazine, Connection: