Hybrid hotel designs are now a leading trend within the hospitality industry, with many big-name hotels looking to integrate flexible spaces within their grounds. Whether it’s coworking spaces, restaurants or leisure and activity spaces, hotels are looking to redesign their spaces to develop and construct these hybrid areas which should, in theory, expand their guest base.
Businesses have gotten used to adapting over recent years, and the hospitality industry has had to change and revolutionise the most. As a result of the pandemic, the hospitality had to adapt and change more than most at short notice, with changes to dining areas, reception lobbies and communal spaces made throughout the various lockdown periods and then the following easing of restrictions.
Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in bleisure travel. This is where travellers are wanting more than just a place to sleep during their hotel stay. The days of the most important rooms of a hotel being the guest rooms are long gone. Now, guests are looking to spend more time in areas which, pre-pandemic, were transient – lobbies, rooftop spaces, patios and business spaces, which are all areas which have become a place for working, socialising and relaxing.
This, as well as many other changes in dynamics, have brought the trend of flexible hospitality space to the forefront of many hotel owners’ and managers’ minds. Let’s take a look at 4 ways in which you can create flexible hospitality space within your hotel.
The Rise Of Remote Working
Before 2020, remote working was simply an emerging trend which just a few companies were offering. Covid turned remote working from a lesser heard of trend into the dominant business model. Now, it’s clear that remote working is here to stay and, whilst some employees have returned to working in the office full-time, there are other businesses which have chosen to continue to work remotely.
The flexibility which remote work offers employees has, in some way, unveiled a new desire for a better work-life balance. This is something which can be achieved with the new remote working model and now, 76% of Gen Zs and millennials prefer remote or hybrid work.
Focus On Acoustic Comfort
Hotels have the ability to offer a wide variety of spaces that are ideal for different uses, from private business meetings to community events, as well as flexible working spaces. But, when guests are at a hotel and are committed to working for example, then they need to know that the space is limited in terms of disturbance. When creating a flexible hospitality space, be sure to consider the acoustic element of the room and whether further adaptations can be made to ensure that limited noise is able to get in and out, reducing disturbances for those using the flexible space and hotel guests.
Al Fresco Spaces
If the restaurant and bar within your hotel is popular with guests and you have the capacity to expand, it’s always worth looking at adding or updating your outdoor dining and seating spaces. When the weather is nice, there is nothing better than sitting outdoors and enjoying the weather with a refreshing drink or a nice meal – especially when staying in a hotel! If you expand your al fresco outdoor spaces into a welcoming and relaxing area, then you also then open up the opportunity for non-guests to come in and enjoy the area, spending money in your hotel and increasing the potential of them becoming a guest in the future.
As well as creating a space for guests to enjoy drinking and dining, you can also offer the space out for events such as weddings, networking, business meetings or parties, further increasing the revenue your hotel sees. If you have a large, unutilised space or a current outdoor area which is in need of a refurbishment, then it could be a no brainer in terms of future financial success.
Create Connections With Local Communities
With more tourists looking to stay in one place for longer periods of time, this means that your guests may be looking to build connections within the community in which your hotel is located. This means that, when considering your hotel decor, interior design and availability of flexible hospitality spaces, you should look to make people feel connected to both the destination in which your hotel is and the surrounding culture.
An example of this could be to create an environment which immerses guests in the surrounding location, or customising the location in line with a certain ethos or interest that you think your guests could hold. You should also be sure that, if you have certain quiet days in your hotel and have the hospitality space to accommodate, offering the space to local groups and community meet ups. This could be for exercise classes in your gym or parent and baby groups in conference rooms.
Why Should Hotels Consider Creating Flexible Hospitality Spaces?
Whilst catering to different travellers and guests isn’t something new in the hospitality industry, expectations from these guests have changed in recent years. For many people, working remotely in a hotel no longer needs to be done in a uninspiring hotel room, or in a tired and dated business centre. By expanding and improving your hospitality spaces, you can provide collaborative, open and tailored spaces which meet the needs of your guests and beyond.
Demand For The Space
Demand for flexible office and hospitality spaces has increased substantially in recent years and this trend shows no signs of slowing. With the number of flexible workers now exceeding around 4 million, this means that there are more guests who will need spaces to work when they travel.
Work Will Need To Happen Somewhere
At the end of the day, guests who are staying at your hotel who need to work will find a space in which they can do so comfortably, even if this means venturing elsewhere. Coffee shops, cafes or shared coworking spaces will be utilised if needed, which is another reason why hotels should consider creating flexible hospitality spaces. You can then market this space to local remote workers, local companies and guests staying in your hotel.
Renting out your flexible workspace, whether by the hour or day offers different forms of revenue streams and which might not follow the typical cycle of your hotel revenue. This added revenue stream could protect your finances from the seasonality cycles throughout winter and summer and large events.
Utilise Empty or Unused Space
Almost every hotel will have empty or underutilised space which, after a considered hospitality fit out and redesign, can become the flexible hospitality space you desire. Whether these are open outdoor spaces or event spaces which can be easily converted, there’s sure to already be space within your hotel which can be transformed into flexible working environments.