Travelers today are more connected than ever before. Devices of all kinds play integral roles in every facet of the travel experience, from booking a room to ordering transportation to checking in at the hotel.
In this current ultra-connected landscape, many of hospitality brands are developing new properties that bring exacting travelers the experiences and features that matter most. They are also capitalizing on routine renovations – typically on a five-year cycle – to incorporate modernized features in existing properties. These new builds and renovations create exciting opportunities for the integration of power and tech solutions in ways that will surprise and delight guests.
With this landscape in mind, Legrand has identified the following power-based trends in the hospitality market:
For travelers, having easy, convenient access to power when it’s needed most is usually taken for granted – at least until the process is made overly complicated or is unavailable entirely.
For hospitality designers, owners and operators, guest power solutions must be readily available, but should feel seamless in the overall design and intuitive rather than disruptive
1. DIVERSE DEVICES REQUIRE ACCESS TO POWER
Travelers are carrying more and more devices to stay connected and each device has its own specific charging needs. Across a property, power access must be flexible, universal and accessible to accommodate unique needs without limiting others.
- Ubiquitous USBs: When determining the best way to make power available, note the evolution of USB-driven power. Hotels and other properties have begun to offer power access via USB-ports rather than traditional AC power outlets. Multiple devices can be plugged into one source, saving space and offering a cleaner aesthetic.
- Increase Connection Points: Access to power as a common challenge in older properties undergoing renovation, as some old or historic hotels often only have two outlets in one guest room. Expanding the availability of power by integrating into furniture, like headboards, nightstands and desks, has dual benefits of bringing power to the guest where they are using it most frequently and eliminating multiple wires and plugs. When integrating power into furniture, codes and requirements need to be considered if utilizing this method as a retrofit plug-and-play solution, as power added into furniture must be “plug and play”.
- Anticipate The Future: Even with the endless array of devices currently available, manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Google create buzz-worthy releases every year. As long as consumer excitement and demand remains high, this trend will surely continue. Property designers and owners should keep their finger on the pulse of the consumer technology industry to anticipate the next wave of needs. Expert Tip: Keep an eye out for wireless power.
2. COMMON SPACES CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES
As properties begin to re-evaluate the way they approach guest experiences, common spaces offer a new area of opportunity. Spaces to work, socialize or relax outside of the guest room have become more desirable among hotel guests, especially millennial travelers, and the lines between hotel lobbies, bar/restaurants and business centers have increasingly blurred. Offering solutions to multiple needs – power, food and productivity - encourages guests to enjoy a coffee or meal while plugging in and connecting.
- Powerful Gathering Spaces: Designers and operators must consider how guests will use these new common areas, and offer varied seating arrangements that accommodate different working styles, such as communal tables, lounge areas or high-top cafe tables. Power access needs to be easily incorporated, without design interruption, into furniture goods or flooring treatments, making access regardless of location easy without being a visual distraction.
- Power in Outdoor Spaces: Providing power access outdoors– for example poolside or at a rooftop bar – is an increasingly important expansion, especially in seasonal or resort properties. Offering guests an opportunity to charge up while relaxing outdoors or making power for music or lighting easily accessible for event production is a differentiation point for properties. Unique environmental factors, like rain or splashes of pool water make it necessary to ensure these access points are housed in water and element resistant units with automatically closing doors for protection and code compliance.
3. INCREASE POWER ACCESS, REDUCE ENERGY USAGE
According to Energy Star, on average, American hotel properties spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy – representing about 6 percent of all operating costs. Across the country, energy codes are under review to reduce the amount of energy consumed by commercial properties like hotels, and for eco-minded guests LEED certifications add appeal. By implementing products or controls to manage and increase energy efficiency on-property, hotel owners and operators can achieve cost savings that benefit the bottom line.
- Improve Efficiency and Experience: While implementing energy efficient measures, designers and operators need to ensure guest experience isn’t compromised. Enhancements should be a continuation of the aesthetics offered by the property. For example, installing ineffective low-flow showerheads to reduce water consumption may negatively impact the guest experience, but smart lighting control systems that thoughtfully manage power when guests enter and leave rooms create a welcoming experience with the benefits of energy conservation.
- Control the Lighting Scene: Sensors programmed to operate lights or HVAC based on occupancy or dimmers that enable guests to create a pleasing light environment – especially challenging with bright LED lights – both reduce energy consumption but ensure guest comfort is not sacrificed. With small adjustments and careful product specification across property, net results can be significant.
As properties – and the teams that design, operate and own them – seek out opportunities to improve the guest experience, they must seriously consider the ways in which their guests stay connected and charged. By making the experience of accessing power unexpectedly intuitive and seamless, forward-thinking properties will be able to anticipate their guests’ needs and create delightful enhancements that guests will look forward to in future visits.
Through its diverse product portfolio, Legrand is a one-stop resource for the entire spectrum of a property, from meeting rooms and outdoor areas to guest rooms, lobbies and bars and restaurants.
Learn more about hospitality solutions from Legrand at http://www.legrand.us/hospitality