It might be surprising to hear this, but the trends in the hotel industry are usually reflections of the trends in our lives. In part, mostly because it is a hospitality service that is closely related to the most important aspect of our lives – how we live.

Even without the onset of COVID-19, the hotel industry was already on the cusp of emerging trends that promise to change the scene. Now, they must evolve even faster. The core values of hospitality (e.g. service, trust, care, commitment) are not expected to change, but rather, become even more important and apparent in the world of social media. And the changes in consumer behaviour in this modern world is taking the lead to bring new technology, philosophies and operational ethics onto the grounds.

As we begin to enter a new decade, let’s brace ourselves for the change by learning more of the current and future hotel trends below – observed by the onestop team.


Photo credit: YOTEL, Singapore

“Hey Google, tell me more about how hotels are embracing digitalisation in their rooms.”

With more and more home-owners starting to incorporate smarter technology such as Google Home into their own homes, they will expect the same from hotels they stay at. And it’s not just about convenience or efficiency, having a smart hotel room provides hotel guests with unprecedented personalisation. Controlling the lights, temperature, and even the music system might seem like a minor feature, but it is guaranteed to maximise their enjoyment of the room and in turn, improve the impression of the hotel for repeated visits. As a hotelier, what’s even better for you is that smart rooms can provide a luxurious feeling for your guests while cutting costs associated with the traditional operation of a hotel – just one tap and you can activate energy-saving features of the smart devices. That’s a win-win to us!


Oh yes, we’ve got to talk about sustainability. Little by little, society is becoming more environmentally conscious. And this consciousness is represented in every facet of a consumer’s life – even the way they choose hotels. All it takes is to try and reduce your carbon footprint by minimising consumption of natural resources, the expense of energy or emissions, and take special care of your waste treatment. Here’s a tip: start small, but get started. Most travellers don’t expect their hotels to be 100% eco-friendly, but they do appreciate the effort and transparency that’s offered to them. And it can be as simple as using low-consumption light bulbs, water-saving systems, organic textiles, or replacing toiletries with eco-friendly ones. The best part? Most of these sustainable practices have cost-saving effects too.


Photo credit: Hotel Indigo, Singapore

Travellers go around the world to have unique experiences in different cultures, to learn how others live in different parts of the world. And yet, why should it be any different in the hotels they stay at? Instead of settling for indistinguishably luxurious chain products and services, the modern traveller looks out for a completely local experience – even within the confines of their hotel room. Even just the use of local products, be it toiletries or bed accessories, are key to helping them be immersed in the culture at hand. Hotels nowadays should look into working with local artists, designers, musicians, F&B partners and retailers to tell the story of the country’s culture, the hotel’s neighbourhood and its physical and social history. All of this adds up to how a hotel can better differentiate itself and offer a truly unique experience, separate from the rest of its competition. It even boosts the Instagram-ability of the space as well. What’s more, locals will truly appreciate the support and might even want to hop onto the bandwagon with a staycation.


Photo credit: Huone Events Hotel, Singapore

There’s one thing travellers are looking for that hotels rarely offer – an experiential social space for different types of local functions and events. The number one thing travellers love to do is immerse themselves in their destination’s culture. While most hotels are able to do well with great rooms and incredible service standards, they can really distinguish themselves from competitors by having a social space for guests to experience the local sights, sounds, and flavours of the country they’re in. Having the space not only gives added value to the overall stay of your guests, but it also creates a venue for local businesses and gigs such as stand-up comedy or local musicians, which cater to both locals and visitors from abroad. And guess what – chances are, you don’t even need a major renovation to open up a space like this. A simple reorganisation might do the trick here and get you a functional space that will work for a variety of events to attract more crowds. Imagine being the hotspot for the latest local gigs in the area – now that’s a unique proposition no other hotel can offer.


It’s no secret that the key to success is a business that adapts to the future. In light of the developing world events, that rings truer than ever before. However, reacting to what is necessary is different from looking ahead and being prepared for what’s coming next. And these are the trends we predict will continue for a long time. As travel bans are carefully being lifted across the world, it is a good time for hotels to adapt to stay competitive. If you’d like to get started on making some of these changes work for your spaces, feel free to contact us here for a consultation.

28 August 2020