Future Hospitality Trends: Hilton Building The Hotel of the Future

As part of its 100th-anniversary celebration, the Hilton Group has published a report setting out its view of what the hotel of 2119 will look like: a vision in which virtual reality and sustainability in technology and materials will be central to the guest experience.

Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has been a pioneer of the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Moving forward towards its vision of the future, Hilton is already putting in place practical versions of some of the principles that will likely govern the hotel industry in 100 years' time.

An Incubator for Innovative Technology

As part of its efforts to architect the future, Hilton has set up a technology hub in the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in northern Virginia. Described as an "incubator", the Hilton Innovation Gallery is a design and creation center for products and services that may soon roll out to the hotel giant's brands.

Now entering its third year, the Innovation Gallery features everything from lobby enhancements to meeting-space ideas and guest-room improvements — some of which are already being implemented.

A Space-Saving Approach to Fitness

As its own interpretation of the growing trend for in-room fitness options, Hilton offers Five Feet To Fitness: an ergonomically designed room that features an indoor bike, gym rack with weights and mats, other health and fitness amenities, plus a kiosk loaded with over 200 exercise tutorials.

(Image source: Hilton)

At the Hilton's McLean location, there are five rooms equipped with Five Feet To Fitness, while the chain has several at the Parc 55 in San Francisco, with more locations on the way. It's anticipated that the feature will become standard at all Doubletree locations.

Sustainability in Materials and Technology

Hilton has a firm commitment to sustainability — and an intention to more than halve its 2018 "carbon intensity" (a metric that includes carbon emissions) by 2030. In July 2019, Hilton eliminated the use of plastic straws on its premises, and the company is looking at other ways of reducing plastic waste. For example, free water bottles in guest rooms are being phased out in favor of offering refill stations in public spaces.

At a larger scale, Hilton is looking at solar and water recycling options for its various properties around the globe.

Hilton Is Putting Its Virtual Reality Building Blocks in Place

Hilton has developed an LED lighting technology that mounts behind a veneer of any transparent or translucent material — even thin layers of wood, brick, or stone. The lights can display a wide range of designs: anything from a welcome sign for an event or party to presentations. They can even serve as a platform for digital art.

These displays may ultimately help to create the kinds of immersive virtualized environments that Hilton sees as integral to the hotel landscape of the future.

Looking Ahead

For its report predicting the future trends set to dominate the travel and hospitality industry in the next 100 years, Hilton called on insights from experts in the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations, and nutrition. Their findings reveal how climate change and the growing sophistication of technology will affect the hotel industry in the future.

The report predicts that technology will allow every space, fitting, and furnishing in the hotel to continuously update in response to an individual's real-time needs, giving each guest the perfect, personalized welcome. Using digital tokens or microchips embedded under their skin, guests will be able to wirelessly control the setting of everything around them — from temperature and lighting to entertainment and beyond.

Hilton's report is illustrated by striking visualizations of the various elements that may meet and mingle in the hotel environment of 2119.

(Image source: Hilton)

Autonomous shooting travel pods will drop guests off at mesmerizing destinations, while miniature ecosystems covered by protective bubbles will mirror their surroundings.

(Image source: Hilton)

Through real-time responsive technology, all areas in the hotel will instantly morph into a guest's perfect, hyper-personalized space. Children's bedrooms will transport them to underwater adventures, with sand for carpet, and a submarine for a bed.

(Image source: Hilton)

Information from embedded chip technology will provide chefs with a guest's food preferences and nutritional requirements upon arrival. Chef-consultants will be able to create personalized dishes bursting with alternative and plant-based proteins.

(Image source: Hilton)

Virtual reality will allow personal trainers to beam into any location on-demand. Guests can receive training sessions at any hotel location, picking up their workouts from previous regimens with the same trainer, whether taking a break on the Moon or unwinding in the desert.

(Image source: Hilton)

VR technology will enable workouts to become limitless. Guests will be able to climb the face of Mount Everest or beat a virtual sea turtle at a 100-meter swim. What's more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing sustainability via a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on achieving workout targets.

Simon Vincent, EVP & President, EMEA, Hilton sums it up nicely. "We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world."

You can hear Hilton's Director of Offer Strategy, Stevie Stevenson, speak at Digital Travel US 2020, taking place in May at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA.

Download the agenda for more information and insights.

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