Hotel Design: A Trend Toward Transitional

By Warren Sheets President, Warren Sheets Design, Inc. | June 02, 2013

Everyone knows there's no place like home. For this reason alone, the very best hotels seek to capture the essence of home. In turn, luxury hotels, resorts and spas serve as great inspirations for residential projects with distinctive features designed to wow and attract visitors. From a design perspective, homes and hotels are invariably linked.

That's precisely why hotel design – like residential design– is always evolving to satisfy consumer demand.

Transitional Softens Hard Edge of Contemporary Design

Following the glitz and glam of the 1990s, the last decade ushered in sleek, contemporary hotels with muted color palettes and streamlined forms.

Much like the modernist era of the 1950s, architects and designers avoided bright colors and fancy finishes as well as complex designs or surfaces.

Because of the rapid change in thinking, there was little time to develop new styles, and it was easiest to reinvent the clean line styles of the midcentury often referred to as "Modernism" or "Retro" design.

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.