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Looking Back On Our 2020 Design Predictions & Looking Forward Into 2021 & Beyond

This time last year no one would have guessed what 2020 would have in store or what we’d be walking into in 2021. With that said, we at Amerail Systems released our 2020 hotel design predictions in December 2019 and now we want to take a look back on those trend predictions, see if they were accurate and give our thoughts on what this new year may hold for hotel design.


Here’s what we predicted for 2020:

Did we see these elements through design? Let’s break down the graphic shown here.


Generation & Travel


1st we have designs focused around the Millennial Traveler. Elements of design that were geared towards an experience and “Instagram-able” spaces were and will continue to be present. But now the focus will shift to cater to those who are starting to take up space in the travel industry - Gen Z. This new generation of guests are also looking for that aesthetically pleasing photo op, especially with the growth of platforms like TikTok and Instagram where influencers are thriving. Aside from social media backdrops, guests are also looking for spaces with appropriate backgrounds for video calls, unique rooms to enhance the guest experience & design that will make them feel safe.


One design element that makes the 2021 guest feel safe is our next prediction from 2020 that we know will continue through 2021 and on.


Sustainability - Biophilia - Health


Our second & 3rd predictions from 2020 were the continuation and growth of Biophilic Design & demand for sustainability. We mostly saw this trend in the faux wood paneling on Hampton Inns & Courtyards and in energy-efficient window installments. Biophilic design makes guests feel like they are staying in a healthier, safer and more eco-friendly hotel. There’s no doubt of the importance of this going into 2021 and beyond.


Gen Z travelers may be even more concerned with eco-friendly spaces than their predecessor generation: Millennials. Eco-friendly design elements such as energy-efficient windows will not only help you attract guests & keep them comfortable during their stay but they can also help save hotel owners on energy costs. That is why our trend prediction for 2021 and beyond includes not just biophilic design but also eco-friendly, safe and sustainable design.


After surviving almost a year of a pandemic, hotels will be looking to design & implement specific spaces that cater to the new guest that emerges from 2020. A guest who is concerned with being safe & enjoying the experience of staying in a hotel. Hotels will need to design areas to convene for guests to use while social distancing. Some hotels took advantage of this trend during 2020 with the implementation of the “igloos” that were used for outdoor meetings.


Simplicity or Uniqueness


Our 4th prediction, simplicity was present in the clean lines on roofs and porte cocheres and the modern color pallets chosen by brands throughout the industry. Do we think simplicity will continue? With regards to exterior hotel design, it’s hard to say. On one hand, hotels will be looking to catch the travelers’ eye and a more complex exterior may be the trick to do this. Complex and unique design will appeal more to those travelers looking for the most Instagram-able and TikTok-able place to stay. But on the other hand, a simple exterior with modern and biophilic elements could appear more eco-friendly and safe. We think we’ll see a mixture of both simple and complex/unique designs going into 2021 & 2022.


Industrial Elements


Finally, our last prediction for 2020 was the incorporation of industrial elements into designs. In our prediction, we said “Industrial design gives a hotel a more raw and tangible look while creating a comfortable, relaxed environment where Millennials can feel the sense of innovation and be inspired.” in 2021 hoteliers need to also consider Gen Z when designing. Industrial elements are just one aesthetic that could appeal to this new traveler. If a design is pleasing and unique it will attract Gen Z.


With all of these design predictions in mind, we want to add one more prediction.


The Importance of Online Presence


Aside from the look and feel of hotels, Millennial and Gen Z travelers will be more likely to stay at the hotel who has a solid online and social media presence. A simple TikTok video showcasing new design elements or guests enjoying socially distanced experiences could be the deciding factor for the next few years. Influencers tagging your hotel in aesthetically pleasing photos of your biophilic design elements could inspire someone to take a trip and stay with you.


When designing for 2021 & beyond, hoteliers should keep these trends in mind while also working on their social media presence. Relatable businesses are more appealing and comforting and after 2020, travelers will be more focused on comfort than ever before.


One of your perks when choosing Amerail as your Hotel Renovation provider is that we have an in house team entrusted to promote our projects through social media. This includes showcasing before, during and afters of your property, as well as promoting your hotel by highlighting the things to do and attractions nearby & expanding your audience even more.


Read more about our 2020 design predictions here.


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