Check into the future: Hotels are getting an upgrade

If there’s one word to describe what hotels will be going for in the 2030s, it’s this: frictionless.

When we hear the words “futuristic hotel,” it conjures up images of valets bringing our space luggage to our rooms via hoverboard.

The Atlantis hotel on a blue background with five gold stars.

It’s not quite that, but it’s cool nonetheless: McKinsey travel experts have predictions for how the hotel experience will transform in the 2030s.

Who needs hoverboards?

Forecasted changes include:

  • Automation: Instead of waiting in line to check in, you’ll receive a room assignment via your smartphone, and hotel apps will translate important information into a variety of languages.
  • Customization: Everything in your hotel room — from the intensity of the lighting to the type of coffee to the shower — will be customized and data-backed.
  • Differentiation: Hotels will reflect their surroundings and offer more unique experiences based on geography, moving away from standardization.

“The big change that I anticipate… is that every single pain point will be removed,” writes Caroline Tufft, a senior partner at McKinsey.

And future hotels will do more good

Experts predict that guests will increasingly choose hotels that prioritize sustainability, putting pressure on corporations even before regulators do.

Tech will help as well: Hotel room sensors will monitor who is in a room and what they’re doing, adjusting the temperature accordingly to limit energy use (HVAC systems are responsible for most of the energy consumption in hotels).

Beyond prioritizing sustainability, hotels will become more responsible employers, giving workers more role flexibility and better pay and training.

Now back to snazzy new tech…

While hotels today focus on spas and amenities, the future might revolve around customizable restaurant menu items or the technology and lighting used in rooms.

VR and 3D glasses could allow customers to look into different room options before booking, and the rooms themselves could be automated to transform furniture into various configurations based on the guest’s needs.

That’s all pretty cool, but we’ll be holding off on our excitement until there’s a voice-automated french fry dispenser on the bedside table.

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