From the boom of Airbnb and boutique hotels to the emphasis on “farm to table” eating, the hospitality industry has to fight for their guest’s business by providing, not just a service, but a holistic experience. Hotel- and restaurant-goers in 2018 want curated designs and amenities tailored to their needs and desires, but also ones that tell stories and connect them with the local community, the environment, and the world in general. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top hospitality trends for 2018.

A Connection with the Local Community

When it comes to offering guests an experience they won’t forget, getting to know the locals is a must. Whether it’s the museum across the street, that co-op down the block, or that local woodworker that handcrafts furniture, get friendly with your neighbors and ask about working together. Imagine saying to guests, “We offer beers from our local brewery at the bar, and a free brewery tour is part of your stay here. Want me to book it?” They will remember you for these details, and tell their friends.

Catering to “Bleisure” Travelers

Combining business travel with leisure, the “bleisure” trip makes up about 43 percent of business trips in the U.S., according to a recent study by Expedia. Bleisure travelers not only need uninterrupted Wi-Fi and access to meeting areas, but they are also likely to grab some time in the hotel gym and want to experience the local hotspots. They may even have brought their spouse and children with them in anticipation of their off time. Accommodating their mixture of interests and needs is key: special promotional packages and late check-out options are important. Consider offering co-working spaces with comfortable chairs and access to multi-port chargers. On-site activities for kids and spa treatments are also great options for the “leisure” portion of the trip.

Nature-Centric Design

From living green walls to on-site herb gardens, hotel and restaurant design is all about being surrounded by (and utilizing) local plant life. And though this trend is not new, designers like Ray Chung of The Johnson Studio don’t anticipate it going away anytime soon. As Chung told Architectural Digest, “We will likely see more ornamental plants integrated into interior design as an antidote to the machine-made world.” Not only are hoteliers and restaurateurs using potted plants and hanging gardens of trailing greenery to bring natural elements indoors, but they are also incorporating recycled wood, organic materials, and handcrafted and repurposed furnishings into their designs.

Speaking of natural elements, the return of wood paneling in 2018 has been experienced across the hospitality design sector—from resorts and local eateries to theme parks. From rich, white oak to the warmer, rustic tones, hospitality designers are using decorative wood paneling to create warm and inviting areas for their guests.

“Maximalism” and Millennials

It has been argued that the minimalist design trend has reached its saturation point, and this year’s turn toward designs with eclectic colors, textures, and patterns seems to support that viewpoint. Hospitality interior design trends for this year cater to a more “maximalist” design approach, with its joyful, expressive colors, and touchable fabrics like velvet. Bold, graphic wallpaper and a boost of color that includes fun pastels and strong jewel tones are geared towards millennials, who tend to spend more time in bars, coffee shops, and restaurants than older generations. And since millennials have been known to choose their hotels based on the décor shown in online photo galleries, many hotels are opting for brighter, more eye-catching and unique design themes.

“Instagrammable” Moments

Being social media-savvy with marketing and décor is a no-brainer for any hospitality provider, but with recent research finding that millennials are expected to spend $1.4 trillion a year on travel by the year 2020, those in the hospitality sector need to be on their game. This means providing “Instagrammable” moments that millennials, and all guests, can share on their social networks, such as Snapchatting an authentic meal made by locals or Instagramming a selfie with the swanky hotel lobby as their backdrop. Colorful tiles, kitschy antiques, and unique cocktails at the bar are all worthy of a hashtag or two.

A Trusted Provider for the Hospitality Sector

For several years, Planters Unlimited has worked closely with some of the top hotels, resorts, restaurants, theme parks, and other hospitality providers, providing commercial-grade planters and site amenities in a variety of on-trend designs. From New York’s Plaza Hotel to Wolfgang Puck’s Jai restaurant, these industry leaders continue to look to us as a reliable resource for landscape solutions that stand the test of time, and remain timeless in their design. We are happy to help you find design solutions that meet your needs and match your brand. Call us today at 1-888-320-0626.

Photo credits (top to bottom): Erik Scheel@1hotels (third, fourth, and fifth photos), and Victor Freitas. Blog featured image courtesy of @1hotels

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