Hotels can no longer afford to ignore the prevalence of mobile devices and connectivity, as it only plans to become more all-encompassing.
The hotels of the future will be armed with many high-tech features, including smart technology in rooms, touchscreen amenities and intelligent lighting systems. Guests and hotels alike will depend on them to provide a highly connected, intuitive experience. Outlets and connectivity solutions can no longer be disregarded as they will be supporting both guests’ devices and the technology that fuels their new, immersive experiences.
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Charging matters.In fact, 57% of guests (defined as Americans who have stayed overnight at a hotel/motel in the past 12 months) report that charging their devices is one of the first things they do upon entering their hotel/motel room. This shouldn’t be that big of a surprise, as over 85% are bringing smartphones with them. After long days of traveling, both business and leisure travelers look for ways to refuel their dying batteries. Outlets can no longer be an afterthought that is halfheartedly retrofitted into hotels; power and charging needs to be at the crux of the hospitality design process.
It isn’t simply enough to provide any means for charging: It also better be easy to find. For 74%, not being able to conveniently charge their devices when staying overnight is a “primary concern.” 83% report being frustrated if an outlet isn’t near them, directly by their bed or nightstand, when staying at a hotel/motel. Despite designers often choosing to tuck outlets behind dressers or along the walls, people are looking for them to be front and center. As reported to Business Insider, Zeev Sharon, a hotel development vet and the founder of Hotelied confirmed this idea: “Everyone wants a lot of outlets to charge everything, and that’s become a huge deal. Outlets need to be easy and convenient and there’s a lot of thought going into that.”
Guests are also losing patience with faulty outlets. It’s imperative that hotels provide functional ones, as a whopping 95% of guests expect outlets/light switches to function well at the hotels/motels they stay at and 61% notice if they do. Reliable, easily accessible power is what travelers look for and demand from the hotels they visit.
Looking at the lobby.
Other trends in hotel design will also influence the need for power and charging. Designers report that guest rooms will become less and less focused on extraneous features and spaces, stripping them down to the necessities. Instead, lobbies and other gathering areas will start to take over, becoming central hubs for mixed use. For example, the lobby might feature a restaurant or bar and the amenities required to make it a useful business center: easily accessible power outlets, fast WiFi and wireless printing capabilities.
This can only help a hotel’s revenue, as providing support for guest technology can encourage them to stay longer. Nearly half of guests (46%) would spend more time at a hotel/motel indoor common area if there was easy access to an outlet for charging. While they’re there, they may be encouraged to spend more on food and beverages. When looking at a hotel’s plan for lobby amenities, power and charging should be a top consideration.
Exploring the outdoors.
Additionally, outdoor and indoor areas are starting to merge, as more natural elements are being incorporated into architectural and interior design. As they are, providing power and charging outdoors becomes more and more important. Half of guests (50%) wish they had access to an outdoor power station in outdoor common areas when staying at a hotel/motel, while 27% would use an outdoor power station if it was available in outdoor common areas. Many hotels might not even know that outdoor power stations are a possibility, but there are safe, attractive options available on the market that can bring charging to any outdoor area, including the patio or pool
Smart, stylish solutions.
These trends, and the data that support them, demand that nearly every space within a hotel is designed with power and charging in mind. Previous design habits may have relegated electrical to the bottom of the priority list. However, the bottom line is that power and charging matters. It’s important to guests, especially if you consider their digital habits and preferences, and it’s important to hotels as they look to the future of hospitality.
Designers don’t need to fear electrical anymore. There are now many options stylish enough to complement any environment: switches and outlets with multiple finishes, power and charging centers that fit right into existing furniture and low profile, spill-proof outlets for horizontal applications like desks and tabletops. Solutions like these can support the growing need for power and charging in a way that’s considerate of the designer’s intentions, all while creating an atmosphere that works with both current and future hospitality trends.
As the hospitality landscape continues to evolve and develop, digital trends are simply a part of it. It’s an influential element of both today and tomorrow. Providing smart, functional and convenient power options can elevate a hotel’s offering and take it to new places, benefiting everyone.