Future trends: Hotel design

The world's top designers converged this week to talk about hotel design.

Floating hotel

The world’s top designers converged at the Shangri-La Sydney this week to talk about hotel design.

Here are the five biggest trends set to hit in the next five years:

1. Mobile
Caravans are for grey nomads and gypsies right? Wrong. Caravans are the next wave in hotel-style accommodation. Think also flying hotels, floating hotel ‘pods’ and blimps that are fitted out for accommodation purposes. Cruise ships will hit a whole new high in terms of the ways they’re designed. Rather than the old-fashioned ‘floating RSL’, cruise ships will be floating 5-star hotels.

2. Modular
Pre-fabricated hotels that are trucked in and assembled on-site will pop-up more and more. Moving with the consumer demand at festivals and events, seasons in snowy/sunny areas, and the changing needs of the market in terms of business accommodation (ie as an interim measure until permanent hotels are built to cater for large convention spaces or sporting events), pre-fab hotels will become increasingly commonplace.

3. Light shows
Already immensely popular in China, expect to see more light shows – whether they’re 3D-mapped onto hotel façades or over water Macau and Vegas-style extravaganzas, the ‘theatre of light’ is going to become a design drawcard.

4. Brand collaborations
A Ferrari, Bugatti or Aston Martin hotel? Cross-referential designs where the features of a known-brand will be translated into accommodation and its furnishings are cropping up in Dubai and will appear more and more as a subset of ‘brand collector’ consumers chase luxury brands.

5. Pod and tiny hotels
Citizen M started it all in the cool design space, Japan has been doing it forever and Little National Hotel in Canberra is referencing this style of accommodation with it’s modestly-sized rooms set above a carpark. Small, affordable and with thriving communal areas, these hotels offer an alternative for business travellers wanting a quick fix.


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