September 16, 2014

Dream merchants: The future of hotels has arrived

Hotels can no longer rely on custom-made furniture and Aesop soap to make an impression; the likes of Airbnb mean travelers have never wielded more power through the choices they make. Which raises an important question: what are travelers looking for now?

Nowadays, as Claus Sendlinger, founder of Design Hotels, remarked, it's all about content - all of the "things that surround the experience". Another way to think about it: if boutique hotels have been getting attention for their good looks, now they're having to grow up and show they have something substantial to say about their favourite themes of art, fashion, and music.

This is more than mere gimmick. These features represent a new step beyond the boutique trend, a step that is the logical response to a society radically altered by the proliferation of social media and smartphones.

Everybody is now a potential editor of their own life, tailoring a personal image with Instagram, calling up instant service on Uber, and connecting to the cultural zeitgeist through the internet. Hotels are evolving to meet this strange new normal. Just as the media, music and publishing industries have been forced to innovate over the past few years, now it's hospitality's turn.

Get the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald