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The Future of Hotel Design


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Illustration of a proposed hotel lobby design.

Robotic food and drink service in hotels is among the many ideas that The Gettys Group, a Chicago-based hotel design, development and consulting firm, is considering with industry professionals.

Credit: RC Aradio/BlueCore Creative

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.

"The biggest thing right now is this focus on health and wellness and making sure people feel safe and confident going back into hotels," said Tom Ito, the hospitality leader and a principal at Gensler, a global architecture firm. "Anything that assures that now and in the long term is here to stay."

 

From The New York Times
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