The Future of Hotels. Have you noticed how fast the language is changing?

It is an often cited phrase to say that ” the industry is changing faster than ever before” but is it true?

It is certainly interesting to observe how many phrases have entered the daily narrative and have become accepted. It does indicate that change is happening at speed and impressively, the industry is keeping pace with the changes taking place. For example, consider the following terms which were not even part of the discussion a decade ago but are now mainstream:

· Smart rooms

· Digital reception

· Changing work patterns

· Delivered in food models

· Experiential social spaces

· Globalisation

· Chief Experience Officer

A decade ago, the debate across many forums was still whether hotels should charge for the use of Wi-Fi. Today it is far more about whether guests can bring their own streaming devices, tablet menus within rooms, keyless entry and voice-activated controls. Guests can even enjoy video chats with concierge and reception from the comfort of their rooms.

The overall experience is changing at speed and it is little surprise that the role of Chief Experience Officer is being more discussed. The consumer today does want to live an experience and to have their expectations met.

It will be interesting to see how hotels evolve services to meet the challenges of changing work patterns. Will there be far more co-working spaces opening up across hotels? Will we see hotel rooms simply evolve their in-room abilities? Will people mix work and play far more into the same day?

What else may be seen?

· Greater robotics within hotels in cleaning and room service?

· More developed fitness centres to meet the needs to the modern day guest

· New personalised services emerging to make the guest feel even more valued.

· Ever more advanced in-room facilities such as better coffee machines, even fitness

· New wellness features

· More delivered in food products

· Stronger energy management

· Interactive art and cultural experiences which reflect local communities

The industry is advancing at some speed. It can be argued that this is maybe a new golden era for innovation within hotels. It is certainly worth watching.