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The Future of Hotel Design – The New York Times

Mobile guest rooms, enhanced contactless room controls, robotic servers and pop-up dining areas are just a few of the ideas hotel designers are considering for the post-Covid travel world.

At Virgin Hotels in Nashville and other cities, guests can control room lights, temperature and television. And room configurations allow attendants to make deliveries without contact.Credit...Virgin Hotels
At Virgin Hotels in Nashville and other cities, guests can control room lights, temperature and television. And room configurations allow attendants to make deliveries without contact.Credit…Virgin Hotels

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Hotel occupancy is down 50 percent nationally in the pandemic-stifled world of travel. While hundreds of hotels nationwide remain closed because of the crisis, new hotels — from the sleek high-rise Joseph Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., to the Kimpton Armory Hotel in a 1941 Art Deco landmark in Bozeman, Mont. — continue to open.

Whether they are banking on the swell of tourism that many predict will follow the introduction of a vaccine, or bound financially to open, hoteliers are making plans for a future that now must consider new outbreaks and pandemics in the same way that public buildings permanently changed their security measures in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Boutique hotels that once acted as cultural commons with art exhibitions and buzzy public spaces will be toned down and disperse guests rather that draw them together, at least until the health crisis is over.

…We asked hotel executives, designers and suppliers to imagine how the hotel experience might change in the post-Covid world beyond the now very evident enhanced housekeeping. The following predictions span present practices and speculative solutions.

Hotels have long been moving toward automation with self-check-out and keyless guest-room entry via cellphone, especially at budget and mid-scale hotels. The pandemic has only heightened the importance of these features, which align with increased needs for social distancing and avoiding strangers.

Now, travelers can expect more automation. Google Assistant has created a hospitality application for its virtual assistant Google Nest Hub, rolled out this summer in a handful of hotels nationally, including the Gansevoort Meatpacking hotel in New York City, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Viceroy in Washington, D.C. (It’s not the first; Amazon’s Alexa assistant was launched in hotels in 2018).

Not every hotel can offer outdoor dining year-round. Neither can their restaurants thrive with the capacity restrictions forced by social distancing requirements. The solution: Make the entire hotel a dining area. And throw in robotic servers.

Read on >>>> Source: NY Times The Future of Hotel Design – The New York Times

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