9 hotel trends in 2016

Van concept hotels tot flexibele check-outs, Jade Conroy van de Engelse krant Telegraph ziet de volgende  nieuwe innovaties die we dit jaar in de hotelsector mogen verwachten. Vevolg artikel in 't Engels :-)

1. Hotel restaurants get interesting
Michelin stars and hotels have long been an apposite pairing (Paris and London hold constellations), but in 2016, many hotels are saying goodbye to cloches and cheese carts and turning the idea of a resident hotel restaurant on its head. 

2. Hotels go smart
2015 was the year that saw Japan successfully pull off a hotel manned solely by robots. Hotels will continue in a techie vein this year, focusing on a smoother experience for guests. 

3. The year of the Palaces
Luddites will be glad to hear that it’s not all about technological advancements in 2016. It's also going to be about appreciating historic hotels, too. Most notably is The Ritz Paris reopening in March. After it was declared unsuitable for ‘Palace distinction’ – a plus-five-star status enjoyed by hotels such as Le Bristol and Le Royal Monceau – it began a three-year, €200 million refurbishment. It includes a full update on rooms and suites (especially bathrooms), subtle technological improvements, a new chef, Nicolas Sale, and the arrival of the world's first Chanel spa. Loyal fans of the hotel will be relieved to know that the hotel's Bar Hemingway remains largely untouched. 

4. More beds for millenials
As hotels continue to fight against the popularity of Airbnb, they are expanding their appeal to ‘millennial’ travellers (18-35 year-olds). And we’re not just referring to emoji room service. Big-brand hotel groups are tapping into the youth market by launching diffusion brands which come at a cheaper price point, and often have a strong focus on lifestyle, locality and insider knowledge, compared to their bigger siblings. They’re more likely to be located in Brooklyn over Manhattan, for example, or in up-and-coming destinations. 

5. Hotel group shake-ups
At the end of last year it was announced that Marriott and Starwood are merging to create what will be the world’s largest hotel company. The union of the two industry mainstays means that the gamut of hotel brands will range from the EDITION and Autograph Collection to the W and St Regis. The newly created group will have more than 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. 

6. Wellness reaches new heights
Yoga retreats and lavish hotel spas are nothing new, but hotels are getting serious about their health offerings this year. Equinox, the premium gym group, is reported to be launching a hotel brand for ‘health-conscious travellers’ with its first property slated for Manhattan, followed by Los Angeles. A standard gym offering this will not be, considering that their campaign is shot by fashion photographer Rankin, and that many of their outposts are in architecturally impressive buildings. Expect cream of the fitness crop, with interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg, a 60,000 square-foot gym and indoor/outdoor pools. 

7. Everybody loves a concept
In a world of countless choice, hotels are making themselves stand out. A tight theme helps. The newly opened Book and Bed in Tokyo joined the city’s coolest independent book publisher, Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers, to curate its 1,700-strong library, which you can read in your ‘bookshelf bed’. 

8. Eco gets serious
Long gone are the days when reusing towels and automatic lights rendered a hotel eco-friendly. The standards are, sensibly, a lot higher now, as hotels continue to commit to sustainable practices. 16 New York hotels have just signed a commitment to lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent in the next decade.

9. Exclusivity is the new luxury
Two Parisian nightclubs with cultural cachet reopened as hip hotels in 2015. Once largely inaccessible to the regular common folk, they are now readily bookable – Les Bains, a former hangout of 80s and 90s hipsters and rockstars, is now a boutique property, while former 1950s jazz-turned-nightclub Le Montana (popular with the likes of Grace Jones and Jerry Hall) reopened as a six-suite hotel designed by fashion polymath Vincent Garré. 

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