The best time to rethink the hospitality market: when a global pandemic has brought it to its knees. As part of its virtual offerings, hospitality trade show Sleep & Eat 2020, which ran from November 17-19, presented Hotel 2035, a series of 360 degree interactive tours exploring innovative ideas for the hotels of tomorrow.
The initiative’s nine virtual hotel concept spaces (areas include lobby, lounge, cocktail bar, restaurant, and guest room) are intended for the year 2035 and designed by leading architectural and design practices, often in collaboration with hotel groups. The spaces are virtually created by visualization expert Fumo Studios. From fashion designed for social distancing to walls made of mushrooms and in-room drone food delivery, we spotted a slew of future-forward hospitality ideas. Here are 16 of our favorites.
1. Socially-distanced changing room by Superfutures
The first stop in a futuristic concept bar by Superfutures is a socially-distanced changing room, where a dress code ensures safety first without dampening individualism. There, PPE offerings range from social distancing outfits to transparent shields. “The challenge now is to guarantee that the time spent in public spaces – especially indoors—makes us feel as safe as back home but also energizes us and lets us dream,” says Nadia Sousa, design director of Superfutures.
2. Contactless bar by Superfutures
“Design opportunities should celebrate the new restrictions,” Sousa continues. In the firm’s dreamy contactless bar, bar staff send down premixed drinks via a ceiling-mounted chamber and a central nest of tubing. Glasses are returned by customers to spaces under the cocktail dispenser.
3. Experiential veil by InsideOut.
In a lounge dedicated to Generation Z by InsideOut, networking is encouraged by a veil of natural woven rope, or a ‘veil of discovery.’ As the veil rises and falls, it reveals private and public zones defined by experiential vignettes such as Michelangelo’s David statue, slate stepping stones used as speaking podiums emerging from a stream of running water, and vibrant green hanging gardens. “Here you are encouraged to develop connections and find a balance between the sociological and anthropological aspects of networking,” says Jack Hoe, designer and marketing lead for InsideOut.
4. Smart mirrors with skincare advice by ReardonSmith Architects in collaboration with Suited Interior Design
Dry skin on a wintery day? The smart mirrors in the Sleep Set concept hotel room by ReardonSmith Architects in collaboration with Suited Interior Design will let you know, with helpful recommendations on what moisturizer you can use.
5. Ceiling-mounted bed by ReardonSmith Architects in collaboration with Suited Interior Design and Delight
Also in the concept room by Reardon Smith Architects, a space-saving ceiling-mounted bed which rises and falls via the track system in its headboard. “This converts what would be a standard king room with a bed and a bathroom, to a suite with a bed, bathroom, and lounge area,” notes Jonny Sin, director of ReardonSmith Architects.
6. Living grass rug by Chalk Architecture and Desitecture in collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
How about a room with your very own lawn? In the Sleep Set by Chalk Architecture and Desitecture in collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, that’s a circular rug made out of living grass nurtured by LED panels above that mimic sunlight.
7. Drone food delivery by Chalk Architecture and Desitecture in collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
The same team imagines a future with drone food delivery. At a secure parcel drop point on the balcony, guests can receive hotel meals or take-out from local restaurants. “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our world,” notes Paul Nicholson, director of Chalk Architecture. “Our present future is one where collaborative relationships will be key for economic survival.”
8. Bioluminescent lighting by Perkins and Will in collaboration with Accor
9. Kombucha-inspired ceiling skin by Perkins and Will in collaboration with Accor
The sustainable ceiling by this team is also living. It’s a microbial weave similar to the yeast and bacteria ‘scoby’ that emerges during the fermentation process for kombucha. “It can be grown into large sheets,” reveals Neil Andrew, head of hospitality for Perkins and Will.
10. Smart windows with integrated TV by Perkins and Will in collaboration with Accor
More than one team uses window glass as a surface for projection. In the Perkins and Will room, a window integrated with a mirror TV can be used for scrolling the channels or as a life-sized projection surface for a personal fitness trainer.
11. Transparent glass solar panels by Boxx Creative
The glass facade of Boxx Creative’s dome-shaped restaurant, inspired by biomimicry, opens like a clam. Solar panels hidden in the glass are completely transparent.
12. Flickable Smartglass facade by Boxx Creative
"The glass is also electrochromic, meaning it will turn from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch," says Nicola Keenan, co-founder and director of Boxx Creative. "The front- and back-of-house areas are controlled on separate circuits, so during the evening when it gets dark outside, both diners and staff have the option to feel more enclosed and have additional privacy if they wish."
13. Living wall made of mushrooms by Boxx Creative
In a self-sufficient concept restaurant by Boxx Creative, a textured living wall is made of mushroom mycelium—a fast growing renewable natural material. Boxx Creative developed the mushroom concept in collaboration with Innerspace Cheshire.
14. Brass detailing for social distancing by Atellior
Brass inlays in the concept lounge and bar by Atellior are not just decorative. They indicate exactly what lines should not be crossed to maintain social distancing. “What we are trying to do is design a space that is safe and comfortable for people to meet, with a focus on physical distancing,” explains Una Barac, founder and executive director of Atellior.
15. High sofas as soft social distancing dividers by Studio Arcibella
COVID-19 brought an influx of hard plastic surfaces. Studio Arcibella has a softer revamp in mind. In its hotel lobby concept space, the soft upholstered curves of seating are high enough to ensure safe physical distancing.
16. Touchless Barista Tap by AD Associates
Hot beverages appear on verbal demand in the Sleep Set concept room by AD Associates. The design team
incorporated TopBrewerVoice, a freshly launched touchless barista tap
by TopBrewer that generates coffee, hot
chocolate, and sparkling and still water via an app- and