Comment: Longevity of hotels is treading on the wrong side

Comment: Longevity of hotels is treading on the wrong side

With so much push towards sustainability, it seems contradictory that hotels are now expected to undergo refurbishments within a short span of time

 Sweta Parida
ITP Images
Sweta Parida

The current crop of hotels do not last beyond seven years before they have to go through the refurbishment exercise. Why has the constant need to have new elements, which feed our digital nomadic lifestyles, become a trend catalyst in hospitality spaces?

Historically, luxury properties have maintained the same brand image for decades before being renovated. With blurred boundaries between work and play, hotels, too, are mimicking what happens at work and private residences.

Buzzwords such as community and social spaces reflect how modern-day lifestyles segue into diverse realms, and nowhere is this more evident than hotels. Lobbies, for example, have turned into clubhouse-like facilities where you can have a meeting, mingle with your friends, stay, eat and partake in leisure activities. From offering visual eye-candy with references to pop culture, to housing art galleries, luxury spas and cinemas is becoming de rigueur for hotels, both big and boutique.

Not to mention, avant-garde food and beverage concepts, which also must be constantly updated to retain guests’ interest. This again links back to the relentless demand for new and fast experiences that travellers nowadays demand.

Experiential stays have become almost synonymous with Instagrammable moments. The more such social media opportunities hotels can provide guests with, the higher their popularity ratings. So this brings us back to a very fundamental topic: Is such an oft-refurbished property sustainable?

With owners, operators and designers stressing on the need for environment-friendly spaces, is there a need to educate guests about slowing down a bit? For instance, Interface’s biophilic carpet tiles not only adhere to strict environment protection guidelines, but it can be replaced only in the affected area. This helps prevent wastage and further adding to the landfill.

Using locally-sourced materials in the projects has also been gaining ground among designers. Not only does it make economical sense, but I reckon, it’ll also provide a sense of social responsibility to everyone who comes into contact with such hotels. Opting for hotels with strong sustainability ethos has never seemed better.

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