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Three Trends for Hip Hotels in 2014

National Hotel

While we like to consider ourselves experts on hotels (in so much as navigating room-service menus), we leave the trendcasting to trusted advisors. Here's what you'll be seeing next year:

1) Food & beverage makeovers


Hotels are focusing on more attractive food and beverage spaces, especially in urban markets, HVS Global Hospitality managing director Hans Detlefsen, snapped with his family, tells us. (In that case, they should just line the walls with pictures of Tom Selleck.) It's playing out through rooftop bars and specialty chefs. Kimpton properties like the Hotel Palomar also do a great job at creating unique experiences, Hans says, putting an end to the "hotel food" stereotype.

2) Multiple brands under one roof


Developers are testing out multi-branded hotels to see if the ROI is there, like White Lodging's 664-key aloft (above), Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Hyatt Place in Chicago's River North. The logic: compared to building brands separately, you can save on construction and operating costs. For example, you'd build one swimming pool instead of two and consolidate staff. The brands then offer exposure to more channels of customers at a wider variety of price points. But it's too soon to tell if the idea makes sense compared with building a single-branded hotel with a larger room count and if the extra demand makes up for the added cost, Hans tells us.

3) Shrinking room sizes


Experimentation with smaller hotel concepts and room size is a medium- to long-term trend, Hans predicts. (Ok, they probably won't take it this far, above.) We might see a hostel-inspired hybrid that blends the micro-unit concept with successful common-area elements of traditional hotels. Reducing amenities to have a more efficient product will get developed and tested over the next decade. We'll likely first see it in markets oriented toward leisure travel, like gateway cities with lots of international visitors. European and Asian customers are already accustomed to lodging products with very small guest rooms, Hans tells us.