A hotelier’s quick guide to what’s trending in prototype design
Pivoting toward technology and younger generations, the hospitality industry is seeing frequent changes in the various prototype designs. Today, these design trends are easily recognizable and appreciated by not only individuals working in the A/E industry, but also your hotel guests. In this article, our architectural aesthetics expert, Rick Muniz, discusses some important design transformations.
Staybridge Suites, Tru, Hyatt Place, and numerous other brands made headlines with the launching of new designs. Following these trends, the hotel industry and franchises drive their products to stay in and ahead of anticipated shifts of design. As Senior Architect, I continually notice how brands update their architectural designs to reflect these innovations and contemporary design trends.
These Before/After images show the need for continuous design evolution:
These images highlight some of the changes and improvements in prototype designs. Different methods and systems are being incorporated to capture the eye and elevate guest experience. In addition to optimal comfort and amenities, the overall physical appearance of the product is also making its own unique design contributions.
All branded hotels follow a certain prototype—and while these brands work hard to improve the prototype, some off-script design elements bring out the beauty and individuality of a hotel. The following trends have been all the rage in hospitality design:
Nuanced Architectural Features
- Elements that make a building quirky or edgy continue to trend.
- Cantilevered details—in which one end is attached to the building and the other is free hanging—have become popular. Cantilevers efficiently utilize vertical space to add a fun, 3D element. One of the more diverse design elements, cantilevers also are used in rooftop pool design.
- Below you can see an example of a Courtyard by Marriott exterior featuring cantilevered corners. Element also includes a distinctive cantilever in its building design.
There’s always room for creativity with cantilevers
- A thoughtful blend of different materials and textures never goes wrong!
- As you can see, we have used as many as five materials to diversify the exterior appearance for a recent Hyatt Place.
- A variety of finishes, like textured fiber cement siding, brick, reflective glass, external insulation finishing system (EIFS), and matte aluminum composite metal (ACM), together create a never-boring exterior for the project.
- Choose a design team that regularly researches into new products in the market.
A smart combination of exterior finishes will improve your hotel’s first impression
Dynamic Building Shapes
- We all recognize and remember a few buildings with unusual and memorable architecture. The same is true for hotels. For example, this Bavarian-themed Hampton Inn visibly stands out.
Always ask your designers for more possibilities
- Since most branded hotels are prototyped to some extent, designers create unique elements in accordance with the brand’s standards and identity.
- For example, an unconventional entrance, cantilevered details, or a particular theme—as seen above—mark this trend.
- Similarly in the rendering below, this entrance to an Avid demonstrates some unique elements, creating a relaxed—yet dynamic—appearance.
Think beyond porte-cochère for a welcoming entranceway
Improved Lighting and Technology
- A good play of lights can dramatically transform your hotel.
- As with the Aloft hotel, many brand prototypes feature exterior light panels for a more modern look.
- Some millennial-focused flags like Moxy and W even utilize neon lights to create interest and allure.
Use exterior lighting to attract and draw in visitors.
Blurring the Lines
- Designers have been bringing outdoor elements to indoor spaces for a while now, and this trend continues to advance.
- An increasing number of hotels now integrate elements from both inside and outside—blending and overlapping elements from both spaces.
- Our Base4 interior design team utilized these blended elements for an upcoming Courtyard by Marriott (below). Hoteliers all over are loving this trend!
Unconventional use of greenery keeps interiors fresh and unique
For an industry as competitive and dynamic as hospitality, staying informed on the latest design trends is vital to success. However, keeping tabs on the many franchise updates and prototype design requirements is no easy task! I recommend reaching out to your Design Team frequently to make sure you have the latest updates.
If you are not sure, feel free to reach out to me with questions on any current or upcoming hotel projects.
Director of Architectural Aesthetic Design
and Review, Base4
Check out some inspiration in virtual reality!