Have Your Say: What is the most extraordinary thing happening in the hotel sector right now?

At Design Insider we recognise the expertise within commercial interiors and we are proud to instigate conversations which inform, challenge & inspire the people who make our sector thrive. 

As we begin our summer campaign which will look in depth at the hospitality sector, we took the opportunity to ask leading commercial interior designs and suppliers to help us celebrate the current triumphs within the sector, we asked what is the most extraordinary thing happening in the hotel sector right now?

‘There is an extraordinary convergence of market forces and conditions that will result in the greatest demand for hospitality design services and materials in our lifetimes. Most renovations of hotels have been postponed for the past three years as a result of the pandemic. This equates to nearly 50% of all hotels in the world requiring delayed and scheduled renovations. The capital markets which fuel these renovations will (eventually) reopen, pricing could normalize and we may all find ourselves faced with the most envious of challenges, how to do so much appealing work.’

Ron Swidler, Chief Innovation Officer, The Gettys Group Companies

‘We are witnessing a more diverse use of hotels, transforming them into everyday destinations. Hotels now integrate co-working spaces equipped with tech-savvy facilities and digitalized guest experiences. The design typically involves using symbiotic materials that cater to both typologies. For instance, soft furnishings and fabrics provide comfort while enhancing the acoustics within the co-working environment. Natural and warm materials like timber create a sense of warmth and brightness, eluding a soothing ambience for the hotel and a calm outlook for co-working.

There is a fine line separating the two functions to maintain wellness and balance. Transition spaces, such as the office reception merges with the hotel lobby making it less uptight and formal; less mundane. Simultaneously, common areas serving both users allow hotel guests to feel comfortable and co-working users to feel productive.’

Kenny Teh, Lead Designer, STAY

‘First impressions really count in hotels and when guests walk through the door they expect to be ‘wowed’ by the space they’re entering. Specifying fabrics in intricate patterns and using vibrant bursts of colour can really captivate guests’ attention and add visual interest to these interiors.

At Panaz we are seeing a real lean towards co-ordinating sumptuous patterns with plains and different textures to provide truly statement designs that tie in with the hotel’s brand and image they want to convey. This combination is showcased perfectly in Panaz’s recent collaboration with Timorous Beasties, demonstrating how bold patterns and colours can be incorporated into great hotel spaces.

Commitment to sustainability is also really high on the agenda when it comes to creating beautiful hotel spaces. Designers are looking for creative ideas that enable them to stay on trend but with a focused and conscious approach towards the environment. This is leading to some really exciting approaches, focusing on sustainability whilst also ensuring that aesthetic appeal is still achieved.’

Diane Chadwick, UK Sales Director, Panaz

‘In 2023 the hotel industry is embracing personalisation like never before.  Utilising data-driven insights, hotels are creating bespoke experiences tailored to each guest’s unique preferences. Advanced technologies like AI and machine learning enable deep analysis of guest profiles, booking behaviour, and feedback, fostering unprecedented service customisation. From room selection to culinary preferences, every aspect can be tailored, enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction. Implementing technology like IoT enables seamless interactions, further enriching the guest experience. Personalised recommendations for attractions or restaurants nearby based on guests’ interests add another layer of distinctiveness to their stay. By harnessing personalisation, the hotel industry is setting a new standard in hospitality, transforming the guest experience into a unique journey shaped around individual needs and preferences. However, ensuring data privacy remains a critical concern in this transition. The challenge lies in personalising services while maintaining the delicate balance of privacy and personal touch.’

Rebecca du Feu, Founder & Creative Director, Studio du feu

‘Recent years have seen timber surfaces introduced within hotels beyond just the traditional flooring or cabinetry but also as a surface finish on walls. Whether this is smooth mix-match timber veneers, textured reclaimed cladding or more intricate 3-dimensional milled panelling. We are seeing a trend for timber to be used not by exception for a feature wall, but across all interior vertical surfaces including hotel rooms, corridors, stairwells, lifts and public spaces.’

Jenson Calder, Hotel Projects Director, Havwoods

For our August Have Your Say article we are asking: What is the most challenging hurdle the hotel sector is currently facing?

We would love to publish your opinion, please email your answer (50-150 words), name, title, company and portrait to alys@designinsider.ukstg8.rmaco.com Copy deadline 24th July.


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →