As the term “luxury travel” continues to be defined, we watch as the hospitality industry brings the guest experience to new heights. Welcome “new luxury”. The term new luxury navigates the vocabularies of those who believe that experience is taking becoming more valued than consumption. This new way to travel focuses on experience, they are the places we never forget. Places that spark curiosity, deep cultural exchange, and hold authenticity in high regards. The millennial generation’s impact on the world is growing along with their needs, values and spending habits. This has impacted every aspect of the hospitality industry, causing it to reinvent itself to more effectively accommodate the 21st-century guest. Thoughtful design isn’t something exclusive to boutique hotels anymore — it’s the basic price of admission these days. Whether your hotel is ultra-luxury or bare-bones budget, your guests are going to expect it to look good, and feel good. Today’s guests are intuitively attuned to interpret design to fit their conceptions of what a hotel is really like, and if it’s the right fit, or lifestyle, for them.

Gone are the days of stuffy lobbies and cordoned off hallways. Instead, luxury properties are more open and inviting, encouraging guests to mingle in public spaces instead of retreating immediately to their guest-rooms, creating a sense of community. It is time to challenge the status quo and bring the pursuit of excellence and style to the mid-market tier. It’s time to create hotel experiences that are not merely places to stay, but can also function as venues to connect.

It’s important for hotels to stay on the forefront cutting edge of technology and service to accommodate the ever-evolving guest experience. Hotels are now designed to serve as public houses where people are encouraged to spend entire days, weeks, becoming citizens of the brand’s stay and making it their own.

Guests have high demand for the latest smart technologies, with an emphasis on social media, and an insatiable appetite for information and sharing it. Given these characteristics, today’s designers and hotel operators are focused on providing guests with personalized modern spaces, the latest digital amenities and around-the-clock connectivity to social media. When it comes to leisure travel, millennials take photos of everything including their hotel’s lobby, the view from the room and all elements of the room including bathrooms and fixtures. This content is then shared with friends, family and co-workers and the impact is exponential. The lobby is the new living room for the new generation of hotel guests. While many hotels and brands have redesigned their lobby concepts, not all of them have done it to meet the needs of the new breed of travelers. It needs to be a place where people can interact with each other, an open place where people can have meetings, eat something, sit on the couch and read a book.

Travelers seek experiences because they want authenticity and truth. The luxury of your hotel and its ability to bring out the culture of the city will help guests feel at home. One of the most important jobs as a hotel designer is staying up-to-date with the always evolving “new luxury” design. Stay connected with your guests and always keep in mind the needs of the new generation of travelers.