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Robots. 70’s Retro. Biophilia. Co-Living Spaces. Two leading architectural firms single out 18 trends for hospitality this year.

Hotel Facilities

Robots. 70’s Retro. Biophilia. Co-Living Spaces. Two leading architectural firms single out 18 trends for hospitality this year.

HKS and HBA even see a demand for hotels catering to “agritourism.” 


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | March 9, 2017

The 18-story, 350-room Hotel Indigo in downtown Los Angeles, which opens in June, will feature a grand lobby space with a playful design aesthetic that harkens back to the city's storied past, with references to a budding movie industry and the 1920s. Hirsch Bedner Associates designed the hotel. Image: Hotel Indigo 

Imagine a hotel whose design gives the extreme sports enthusiast an outlet to exercise his or her inner daredevil. Or a resort that caters to patients recovering from medical procedures. Or one whose graphics and murals aspire to be works of art.

These are some of 18 hot trends in hospitality design that two leading architectural firms—Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) and HKS Hospitality Group—have identified for 2017.

The firms divide their lists into two sections, each with nine trends. Hot architectural design trends include:

--Extreme Sports Retreats

--Gadget-free guest rooms

--Automation taking over some hotel staff work

--Greater use of LEDs to create decorative and mood effects

--Smaller guest rooms but larger gathering spaces

--Co-living spaces where groups can stay near each other

--Dual branding

--Curated leisure farming that allows guests to have greater input into what they eat and drink

--Wellness resorts where guests recoup from surgery, transfusions, and other medical treatments.

The interior design trends the firms call out include:

--Candy colors

--A return to 1970s-era kitsch

--The use of super graphics and murals

--An emphasis on wellness and biophilia

--Eclectic, playful, and youthful design

--Craft design

--Rooms within rooms that create intimacy

--A return to a midcentury aesthetic

--Live-work spaces

HBA and HKS use examples of their own recent work to illustrate some of these trends. For example, the HKS-designed Hyatt House/Hyatt Place project in San Francisco explores a hybrid model that blends extended stay with full-service. The 400-key hotel—which follows dual-branded Hyatts in Denver and Charlotte—includes two restaurants, a rooftop outdoor movie theater, and a bar-lounge that can accommodate 400 guests.

The budding “agritourist” might feel right at home at HKS’ Surf Beach Resort in Half Moon Bay near San Francisco, which is part of an existing farmland and a farm stand that will become a permanent part of the resort’s guest program.

Color and art are enlivening hotels, the firms contend. The recently opened HBA project, Aloft Guangzhou in China, features an engaging color palette filled with textured carpets and accented furniture. W Bellevue in Seattle, which opens in June, will include murals created by local street artists. And super graphics will come into play at the new Texas Live, the first hotel in Arlington, Texas, between the mammoth AT&T Stadium and the Texas Rangers’ stadium.

Biophilia and wellness are important vibes in HBA’s Four Seasons Kyoto in Japan, where guests are greeted by a bamboo forest that leads to a Japanese garden sanctuary. This hotel’s design was planned around the 800-year-old Ikeniwa Pond.

Authenticity is the key goal in the trend toward craft design. For the W Nashville residences, HKS’ design features layers of craft design as intricate, embroidered fabric pieces with sequins evoke the elaborate performance outfits of country legends like Patsy Cline, Elvis and Dolly Parton and are being used as art pieces that nod subtly to Nashville’s musical heritage. This hotel also features a range of jewel tones and an unusual mix of furniture that includes the midcentury reference and goes into ‘70s lounge with some industrial touches.

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