Hotels have been playing catchup over the past decade chasing after the proverbial Millennial carrot. It is theorized that whoever can cater their property to best suit the needs of this generation will find hordes of new business. This thought has led to lobbies evolving into gathering hubs with communal spaces for both work and play, but now this concept is being applied to guestrooms and where the inspiration for these projects is being derived may surprise you.
The idea of shared communal spaces in hotels has finally trickled into guestrooms. This is not a new idea, it is based on the hostel model that was created in Germany in 1909 and spread to the U.S. in 1934. Marriott is jumping on-board with their Element Hotels brand by introducing Studio Commons that have four private guestrooms with a shared kitchen and living room. The ROOM8 Design Challenge of Super 8 by Wyndham moves the brand towards a new hotel/hostel hybrid. It will have individual sleeping rooms with a shared common space that boasts an apartment-sized refrigerator, arcade games, 65-inch streaming-ready TV, and a foosball table.
One can’t help but be intrigued by the resurgence of the hostel model. It remains to be seen whether this is actually what the targeted consumers are looking for, but the model does go after market share that may have been shifted to Airbnb. Think of a group of friends wanting to stay together for a wedding, this model may be appealing instead of finding a condo or house and having people share beds or rooms to get their own private common area.
Do these revenues outweigh the potential liability of guests interacting with each other on a more intimate basis and the problems that could arise? Will this demographic get tired of this model and seek more privacy as they reach different stages of life? There are many factors to consider and only time will tell if the hostel/shared space concept becomes a broader trend.