four seasons minneapolis restaurant interior featuring a nature inspired colour palette

8 Hotel and Resort Design Trends Shaping 2023

As a hospitality designer, architect, or supplier, it is vital to keep up with the rapidly changing trends of the dynamic hotel and resort design sector. Driven by guests’ changing behavior and expectations, hotel and resort design trends are shifting. We are currently seeing an increased focus on wellness, sustainability and accommodating to emerging travel styles post-pandemic. Read on for our top eight hotel and resort design trends that will shape 2023.

1. Sustainability

Sustainability is arguably the hotel and resort design industry’s biggest current talking point. However, this is more than just a trend; sustainability is a movement. As climate change continues to be a pressing global issue, more guests are seeking hotels and resorts that prioritize sustainability in their design and operation. Designers have been taking steps to create more sustainable interiors, starting with sourcing from local suppliers. In addition to supporting the local economy, this reduces the costs of transport, both financially and environmentally. Hotel designers are also opting for ways to reduce waste including sourcing recycled materials such as terrazzo, cotton, and bamboo. These are set to become the key materials being used in hotel and resort design going forward as they also add authenticity and character to a space.

Renovating and upcycling furniture and structures within spaces are other great waste reducing strategies. These can include making improvements or entirely reinventing a design whilst maintaining some of the space’s original elements or features. Additional small changes that hotels and resorts can make include re-designing amenities provided within rooms. Designers can opt for wall-mounted shower gel and shampoo dispensers as an alternative to wasteful miniature plastic bottles.

2. Workspaces

Working from home is a familiar concept, but recently, new, more flexible ways of working have grown in popularity. These include working from anywhere (WFA). Increasingly, hybrid workers are opting to combine their travels with work. This has particularly seen a rise post-pandemic as guests are eager to travel now that restrictions have been lifted. As such, conceptualizing hotel interiors with the travelling professional in mind is a growing trend in the hotel and resort design space. Some of the key factors to consider in designing hotel rooms for travelling professionals include providing strong wi-fi connections, thicker, more soundproof walls and windows, and in-room features that allow for working. These include dedicated desk spaces, comfortable seating, and spare plug sockets. Outside of the guest suite, owners should also consider providing shared coworking spaces and meeting rooms for the WFA guest.

Key priorities designers should consider when conceptualizing shared coworking spaces include location. Shared coworking areas need to be in a quiet area away from noisy or crowded spaces within the hotel or resort. These include bars or restaurants. Other considerations include stable, speedy and secure internet access, plenty of available charging outlets, spacious desks and tables. Comfortable seating should also be provided for those working multiple hours at a time. Sofas can also be provided for those who prefer to work this way.

3. Nature inspired interiors

Following the pandemic, nature inspired interiors and biophilic design (the incorporation of plants and nature into design spaces) are on the rise within hospitality. Guests are looking to feel more connected to the outside, even within urban areas. And studies have shown that spending more time in nature improves wellbeing and mental health. In 2023 and going forward, we are expecting to see more green spaces incorporated into designs, bringing the outside in. This can be achieved through larger windows that frame the natural environment, an increased use of natural materials in design, nature inspired color schemes, and the incorporation of plants and indoor gardening in interior spaces.

We are also expecting to see a rise in more outdoor green spaces in hotels and resorts. These include gardens and rooftop terraces that offer a friendly, communal experience. These will see designers taking traditional indoor spaces outside, from bars and restaurants to other social gathering spaces.

Natural color palettes

With wellbeing, nature, and sustainability currently featuring heavily in interior designs, the peace and calm that come from nature-inspired tones play a large part in guests’ emotional connection with a space and largely impacts their emotions. Some of the key palettes of 2023 hotel and resort designs will include warm and welcoming earthy tones such as terracotta and tan, as well as lavender. This is a bright, cheery tone that evokes positive emotions. Neutral colors are also expected to dominate designs. These are made up of taupe, sage green, browns and greys. Neutral colors are ideal for creating a sense of calm and can increase emotional wellbeing.

Nature isn’t just inspiring our palettes; it’s also influencing our selection of materials. Designers are increasingly selecting more natural materials that not only bring the outside in, but also reduce environmental impact. These include engineered wood, which is replacing hardwood and offers a higher level of customization, cotton, ceramics, and clay. Another popular emerging material is mycelium, a new natural material produced from mushrooms. We are expecting to see these organic, more sustainable materials featuring more prominently in designs going forward.

4. Bespoke, destination inspired designs

2023 is the year we say goodbye to generic, brand-focused, chain hotel designs and embrace unique, destination-inspired hotels. The current trend is about standing out and providing a unique, once in a lifetime experience through interior design. Following a pent-up demand to travel and explore other cultures, guests are increasingly seeking bespoke, authentic travel experiences in 2023. This extends to the space they are staying in.

As part of this, guests are opting to stay in hotels and resorts whose interior décor evokes the essence of the location. This allows them to feel connected to local culture and become immersed in the destination. Some of the ways in which designs are evolving to emphasize the local area and its individuality include incorporating local art and locally sourced furniture, maintaining original authentic architectural features, and using local materials and design elements.

5. Flexible, personalized spaces

As we are presented with more choices and options than ever before thanks to the development of technology, personalization and customization are becoming more important to guests. One size fits all no longer applies and guests are increasingly seeking ways to curate their own experience. Hotel rooms are transforming to allow guests to customize a variety of aspects from lighting and temperature, to furniture, with foldable desks. Personalization is also extending to public spaces, with hotel lobbies undergoing a great transformation to become multi-use spaces. With less focus on the front desk and check-in, lobbies are becoming more inviting and welcoming spaces that can be used by guests for a variety of purposes, from socializing to working remotely.

6. Bold, saturated colors

This year, we are seeing hotel and resort designs move away from completely neutral color schemes and cold, technological designs to bold, saturated colors. Some of the colors now appearing in hotel and resort designs include jewel tones such as emerald, ruby and sapphire, combined with rich textures. These are a big factor in maximalism, which is becoming a prominent interior design trend. Offering a stark contrast to the past few years of minimalism dominating the design world, post-pandemic, we are increasingly seeking excitement in warm, inviting spaces.

7. Continued focus on wellness

Continuing into 2023 will be the fast-growing trend of wellness within hospitality interior design. Another pandemic-influenced trend, guests are increasingly focused on their happiness and health and are actively seeking experiences and spaces that enhance their wellbeing. Aided by nature-inspired interiors which bring a sense of peace and serenity whilst allowing guests to feel connected to the natural world, wellness goes hand in hand with these by designing multisensory spaces that allow people to immerse, pause and reconnect with nature. Wellbeing areas, including sunrooms, saunas, spas and gyms, are also being designed to combine mindfulness with social opportunities as guests look to reconnect with people post-pandemic.

8. Increased accessibility in hotel and resort interior designs

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, establishing a series of accessible design requirements for the construction of hotels and resorts. However, whilst this act was passed over 30 years ago, there are still many misconceptions around complying with the accessible design and construction requirements, with many designers and architects admitting it hasn’t been a priority in the past. But that is changing. Going forward, accessibility will become a central focus in designing hotel and resort interiors. However, this won’t be without its challenges. As many hotel and resort designs weren’t designed with accessibility in mind, ADA requirements will need to be incorporated into existing spaces. Additionally, the ADA states that accessible guest rooms and public spaces must provide a 5ft radius for wheelchair access, which will provide a challenge for designers and architects who are already working within space limitations.

Want more of this?

Check out the Hotel & Resort Design South blog for more design insights and the latest industry updates. Hotel and Resort Design South is a hotel product-sourcing and networking platform for those involved in the design of hotels and resorts in the South and LATAM regions. The next event will be taking place on 6 – 7 June 2024 alongside Cruise Ship Interiors Design Expo Americas at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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