What Guests Found Inside Marriott’s Pop-up Hotel Innovation Lab
It’s an interesting time for hotel design. Trends are changing. Where they once emphasized all out luxury and brand consistency, so that travelers could rely on a familiar comfortable experience that made them feel fantastic and doted upon, a newer generation has emerged, craving more authentic travel experiences that include environmental efficiency and hotel properties that incorporate touches of the locations in which they are located.
With this in mind, earlier this year Marriott International created its first ever pop-up hotel innovation lab, an interactive model hotel experience located in downtown Los Angeles. The goal of this interesting concept was to crowdsource real-time feedback from the public, further pushing what Marriott International has already established as a progressive and innovative vision of its own future.
The lab was a truly fresh idea, one that brought global hospitality industry professionals, hotel guests, hotel associates, and the general public together to touch, taste and hear some of the most exciting enhancements that Marriott’s best designers and considering for the company’s innovation incubator brand Aloft, as well as for its environmentally friendly green extended-stay brand Element.
Some of the touches that those who attended the pop-up hotel innovation lab in downtown Los Angeles were:
- Aloft will be overhauling and revitalizing its entire food and beverage program, instituting a new emphasis on fresh and healthy ingredients that appeal to the younger generation of travelers, such as spinach, quinoa, and avocado. Guests at Aloft will also be able to order custom built “pots,” which will be healthy meals that are available in colorful to-go containers. These meals will also contain food that accurately reflects the local tastes of the area in which the hotel is located. A personalized pot can be custom ordered by a guest and paid for at a digital kiosk, time-stamped and adorned with the chef’s emoji. It’s a far cry from the days of ordering a steak and having it delivered on a silver tray and a cart.
- Tech-centric beverage concepts that included a portable wine cart for the eco-conscious brand Element. This beverage concept automatically pours wine when a guest goes ahead and activates it with his or her room keycard.
- As business and leisure travelers alike find themselves searching for more special and individualized unique spaces, Element will be piloting bold new guest room concept designs that feature a communal room in the center that will be shared by four guest rooms, allowing the travelers within to then share one kitchen, dining room and lounge area. Basically, it will create a more collaborative space for groups who prefer to spend their time together in a private setting that they can all access.
“We’re excited to unveil Marriott’s first-ever, pop-up innovation lab for Aloft and Element – two phenomenal brands that are always evolving as guests, lifestyles and technology change,” said Eric Jacobs, chief development officer – North America, Marriott select brands, Marriott International. “We’re also eager to collect and utilize feedback from the ownership community, which has expressed tremendous enthusiasm for both brands.”
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