Rise of hotels as social destinations resulting in exclusive enclaves for guests only

by | Apr 3, 2018 | Design

Since hotels have started to be marketed as social destinations to attract members of the public, guests have started to feel increasingly like they are staying less in a hotel and more like in a social club. This has started something of a trend in the creation of more exclusive spaces within hotels that only guests staying in the hotel have access to. We find out more.

Private versus public spaces

The traditional hotel model was upended long ago, and now hotels are constantly trying to reinvent themselves. One of the main drivers of this search for a new identity for hotels are sharing platforms like AirBnB, which have completely transformed the way that people travel. Far from wanting an isolated room in an inaccessible hotel, guests are instead seeking to connect more with local communities and are shunning the stuffy stereotype of the common hotel. Hotels have tried to combat this by trying to make their establishments more open and public-friendly, often pitching them as a destination for people to come and hang out in a signature bar or restaurant.

However, it is becoming apparent than not all hotel guests are happy with this new dynamic. In a move that might be considered similar to an airport lounge for premium passengers, or the idea of a concierge club within a hotel that only admits paying guests, many hotels are starting to offer private areas for customers to escape to.

Game rooms, libraries and private bars

These new spaces being generated by the lack of exclusivity that hotels are now exhibiting tap into the idea that quiet and privacy are something that those loyal to the traditional idea of a hotel still cherish. Many of the private spaces are taking the form of secluded libraries, which are particularly popular with business travelers who want a quite, less populated space to do some work or to have a meeting. Libraries straddle the line between a space of formality and intimacy, allowing guests to retreat into them or to use them for more professional purposes.

Privatising public spaces

Some hotels, however, are taking another route: they are making spaces that have been taken over by the public for guest use only. This is particularly common in hotels where rooftop bars afford impressive views out over cities, so much so that they become a draw for the public and are overrun with people who are not patrons of the hotel. The case with rooftop pools and tea rooms is the same, and some hotels are limiting the hours when the public can access these popular facilities to try and claw back some exclusivity for their loyal customers.

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