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Three Trends For Hip Hotels In 2014

Chicago

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While we like to consider ourselves experts on hip hotels (and navigating room-service menus), we leave the trendcasting to trusted advisors. Here’s what you’ll be seeing next year:

1) Food & beverage makeover

Three Trends For Hip Hotels In 2014

Especially in urban markets, hotels are focusing on more attractive food and beverage spaces, HVS Global Hospitality's managing director Hans Detlefsen (snapped with the family) tells us. (In that case we'd suggest lining the walls with pictures of Tom Selleck.) That's playing out through rooftop bars and specialty chefs. Success stories: ROOF at theWit and celeb chef Paul Virant's Perennial Virant at the Hotel Lincoln. (Not to mention Paul Kahan's just-opened Nico at the Thompson Chicago and the Godfrey Hotel Chicago's 15k SF indoor-outdoor lounge in the pipeline.) Kimpton properties like the Hotel Palomar also do a great job at creating unique experiences, Hans says, putting an end to the "hotel food" stereotype.

2) Multiple brands under one roof

Three Trends For Hip Hotels In 2014

Developers are testing out multi-branded hotels to see if the ROI is there, like White Lodging's 664-key aloft (above), Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Hyatt Place in River North. The logic: compared to building brands separately, you can save on construction and operating costs. For example, you'd build one swimming pool instead of two and consolidate staff. The brands then offer exposure to more channels of customers at a wider variety of price points. (Economics lesson: 65% of business is just directing traffic.) But it's too soon to tell if the idea makes sense compared with building a single-branded hotel with a larger room count, Hans tells us, and if the extra demand makes up for the added cost.

3) Shrinking room size

Three Trends For Hip Hotels In 2014

Experimentation with smaller hotel concepts and room size is a medium- to long-term trend, Hans predicts. (Ok, they probably won't take it this far, above.) We might see a hostel-inspired hybrid that blends the micro-unit concept with successful common-area elements of traditional hotels. Reducing amenities to have a more efficient product (does this remind anyone of the airlines?) will get developed and tested over the next decade. We'll likely first see it in markets oriented toward leisure travel, like in gateway cities with lots of international visitors. European and Asian customers are already accustomed to lodging products with very small guest rooms, Hans tells us. He'll be hosting his extended family for dinner over the holidays.