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How Will Hotel Rooms of the Future Change?

Where: Various Locations
April 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM | by | ()

We've talked a lot about the hotel room of the future in terms of technology -- such as walls that talk and bathrooms that double as spas -- but let's put aside the gadgets that may or may not become mainstream and focus on design decisions being made and incorporated on a daily basis.

While individual preferences and personal differences still exist, the way we utilize hotel room space and amenities, in general, has changed over the past few decades. It's something you might easily overlook until you step back and analyze your behavior. When was the last time you set the alarm on the clock radio? Or listened to the radio? Or threw your jacket on the desk chair instead of hanging it in the closet? Has there ever been a time when you've needed more electrical outlets? Do you work at the desk, or on your bed?

Though we may be oblivious to our new tendencies, hotel corporations have been analyzing us likes rats in a lab. Believe it or not, they even have prototype rooms in the bowels of their headquarters where they test new ideas, including placement/inclusion of furniture, room layouts, outlet placement, furniture mobility, and the appearance/usefulness of amenities like throw pillows and sheets.

A recent article in the Washington Post walked us through a tour of the testing facility, highlighting some of the new ways hotels are responding to changing guest tendecies and perferences. It talks about why the duvets are white (you can tell when a white linen is dirty), why closets and drawers aren’t going to be included in some future rooms (according to the article, two-thirds of travelers don't unpack), why there will be more electrical outlets near the bed (we're addicted to technology), why furniture will be on wheels (to give guests more control over the space), and how the bathroom layouts have changed (toilets are separated and quarantined as much as possible).

"There’s no closet in the rooms (of the future)," says the article. "Instead, they have open shelves and a space big enough to slide in a suitcase for the non-unpackers and a rod for hanging clothes for the unpackers."

We're all for more mobile furniture -- sometimes we like to move the desk so we can work and look out the window -- and there's no downside whatsoever to having more outlets, both by the bed and in the bathroom. We are also guilty of not truly unpacking, so some shelves and a hook or two would be fine by us (perhaps the ladies might disagree).

We want to turn the question to you: What do you want to see in future rooms? What changes would make your life easier and your stay more pleasant? Is there something that comes to mind that isn't on the above list? Let us (and the industry folks who read this) know!

[Photos: Will McGough for HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:

Jason via Facebook

Nice article... As a regular traveler, there were definitely items on your list that struck home instantly. Outlets near the bed being #1, a big annoyance these days when I can't find an outlet anywhere without moving the nightstand and unplugging the useless clock radio!

Ryan via Facebook

I don't unpack ever, but I do like to have a closet to keep my dirty laundry behind closed doors