The key thing about hotels is being timeless. That doesn’t mean being classic and traditional. It can be timeless in a modern way.
Having a design that is timeless gets you around the fact that you’re designing something that may not be completed for four or five years.
From an aesthetic point of view, we’re really crystalballing. And it’s changing much quicker.
Technology is one of the big things we need to be mindful of.
A good example is ballrooms, meeting rooms and function rooms. We’re looking at spaces that are adaptable and changeable, and using lighting and technology to be able to change those rooms. Everyone who comes in and wants one of those spaces wants something different.
I’m not seeing any 3-D printed furniture of any description, but we’re starting look out for that – it could possible go down that way.
There’s also the way you construct rooms – how rooms can be made somewhere else and brought in and put together in a very very fast way.
So I don’t necessarily see changes coming in aesthetics, because we’re always seeing changes in aesthetics coming from establishing a sense of place, or from the operator and so forth.
Perhaps the change will come from the way rooms are constructed, and the technology that’s going into them. These will be the changes that really affect the business.
What influences design is time, money, budget. If you can build something in a very efficient way, creating these wonderful theatres and stage sets in a way that‘s very fast and efficient, and getting them to the market quicker, that’s got to be good for the owner.
Also, designing different food & beverage experiences.
Some properties now are not necessarily including three restaurants, unless they’re required for star rating. They’re only putting in one restaurant – an adaptable three-meal restaurant. They’re not designed just for the guests either, but for the wider community.
To make it work, it’s a combination of the environment, the staff and the food. Those things have to go together.
But designing a three-meal restaurant is a real challenge. It comes back to the flexibility and adaptability and how you can change the look and feel of the space through the different times of the day.