Trends in Hospitality Design That Appeal to All Ages

Hospitality design trends

Exhausted from a cross-country trip, a grandfather checks into his hotel room in Boston and sits down on the bed. His two grandchildren are eager to hop in the pool, but he wants to take a minute to relax in the familiar surroundings.

Out west in Seattle, an experienced businesswoman checks into her hotel room and immediately scans the place for cultural calling cards. She’s traveling for work, but she really wants to explore what makes this hotel, within this modern city, so wonderfully unique.

Down south, an elder Millenial couple with their young family are getting settled in their room that offers the perfect amount of togetherness and privacy at the same time.

And in the mid-west, a Gen Z’er has just finished posting selfie of her room to social media before heading out for an evening of exploring (and livestreaming) downtown Nashville. 

Because these guests are all of different generations, it should come as no surprise that each has a different level of expectations for a comfortable hotel stay. And thus, the trends in hospitality design vary by the generation you’re trying to appeal to. 

Modern hotel room design plays an important role in meeting guests’ wants and needs. While it may seem like a tall order to create a facility that gives guests – regardless of generation – everything they expect, understanding what appeals to each demographic is key to finding a middle ground. 

Trends in Hospitality Design That Bridge Generational Gaps 

No two guests are the same. This is especially true when it comes to generational differences and trends in hospitality design that suit them. But as research shows there are amenities that the young and old, and everyone in between, appreciate in hotel design. 

Giving a broad base of guests everything they want within one design – from tech accessories to trendy casegoods furniture – is very possible by being conscientious of their expectations. 

Let’s look at the generations who represent the majority of your guests.

Hospitality Interior Design Trends for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers, which represent those born in America between 1945 and 1964, are travelers of refined taste. They know what makes them comfortable, and they gravitate toward familiar, predictable hospitality experiences. The last thing a baby boomer wants is an experience that leaves them feeling disappointed and wanting. That’s why it’s not uncommon for this generation to pick a hotel chain and stick with it for accommodations while traveling. 

A few key traits to be aware of in baby boomers:

  • Most by now have retired or are approaching retirement

  • They’re one of the generations with the highestspending power in history 

  • They’re likely to travel with children and grandchildren (making multigenerational delight all the more important)

That last point is critical. Since they’re likely to be traveling with (and paying for) younger friends and family members, they want a hotel’s design to include 21st-century amenities and creature comforts:

  • Easy-to-use, in-room technology (casting options, video games, etc.)

  • Close proximity to local dining and attractions

  • Health and wellness options

Hospitality Design for the Generation in Between

New Call-to-actionConsidered America’s “Middle Child,” Gen Xers are indeed the middle ground between baby boomers and millennials. In fact, your next hotel project’s design may mean emphasizing what millenials and baby boomers want to meet Gen Xers’ expectations. 

Gen Xers, defined as those born from 1964 to roughly 1980, are arguably the most highly educated generation (at this point). Millions of them have earned their college degrees, sought further education, and are now reaping the career benefits.

As such, they’re spending their hard-earned money on business travel and family experiences. But they’re smart about how they spend it. They research, and then they research more (good reason for a great, eye-catching hotel marketing strategy).

Through that research, they’re just as likely to choose the more economical “cookie-cutter” option as they are to book a pricier hotel with a unique design. Your best bet is to make the juice most worth their squeeze with hotel amenities that speak to the generations immediately before and after theirs.

What Do Millennials Want From Hotel Design? Function 

The millennial is loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 2000. They represent the largest generation in America right now.  A key characteristic of millennials is that they’re all about the experience. And they’re keen to share what they’ve done and how it was with the world – so don’t let down this switched-on, online, on-demand generation.

The last generation to have an analog childhood has grown up. They have good money to spend on travel: some $5,000 apiece on average annually. (Disregard that they collectively shoulder the greatest student loan burden ever.) It’s essentially a life choice in their eyes.

When it comes to hotel design, millennial hotel trends are less about creature comforts as they are about time spent exploring their destination of choice. Let their guestroom (their temporary home base) serve as cultural inspiration from the moment they walk in or open their eyes. Decor and amenities must include regional aesthetics:

  • Local artwork

  • Regional themes (from mountain retreats and beachside resorts to urban ambiance)

  • Combined work/living/social spaces

  • Openness

This is where boutique hotel trends tend to shine, as their hotel bookings increase among millennials.

And, no, we did not forget the urgent necessity for technology with the most connected generation ever. At this point, it’s simply implied. In addition to being a home base, their hotel room should be equipped to meet their technological needs, whether it’s having chagrin ports in casegoods or using their smartphone to control lighting. And by adjusting your hotel’s design for Millennials, you’re effectively preparing for every future tech-geared generation.

Gen Z: The Newest Guest 

Members of Gen Z are just starting to be where Millenials were a decade ago – being just established enough to start traveling a bit more ambitiously. Their influence over hospitality design decisions is only expected to grow. 

But while they’re essentially the new kids on the block and spending less on travel, their needs and expectations aren’t dissimilar from their generational predecessor. 

Born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is significantly influencing the hotel industry by driving changes in technology, social responsibility, and personalization.

 As the first digitally native generation, Gen Z expects seamless digital experiences in their travel, including mobile check-ins, keyless room entry, and AI-powered concierge services. Hotels that can offer these technological conveniences will have a competitive edge.

Additionally, Gen Z places high importance on social responsibility, seeking out hotels that prioritize sustainability, diversity, and inclusivity. This generation values businesses that demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental causes, which can include using locally sourced products, reducing waste, and supporting local communities.

Personalization is another key area where Gen Z's preferences are shaping hotel strategies. This generation desires travel experiences tailored to their unique interests and preferences, such as customized room amenities and curated local activities.


Hospitality Design Trends in 2024 & Beyond That Appeal to the Broadest Range of Generations

Blending comfort and familiarity with culture and technology is key to making a hotel that’s as appealing to a recent retiree traveling with grandchildren to the career-driven 20-something on a business trip. With luck, you’ll likely find that delighting guests of all generations isn’t that hard to accomplish, and you'll begin to increase your hotel bookings in no time.

Finding Hotel Design Balance With Value Engineering 

With value engineering it’s easy to create hotel spaces that meet the needs of all your guests. Book a free consultation today: 

New Call-to-action