In addition to the Wall Street Journal feature, here's the Washington Post's take this morning:
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Folks might be interested in this Wall Street Journal feature about Marriott's evolving room design:
here's a video: How Do Hotels Design the Ideal Room?
here's a print story: Secrets to Creating a Better Hotel Room - WSJ
This is really interesting stuff:
Results from the traveler surveys revealed that most people don’t unpack their suitcases anymore. So Marriott is shrinking the size of closets and reducing the number of hangers, particularly in hotels that get a lot of business travelers staying just one or two nights....
Desks are shrinking. Over the past three years, Marriott has shrunk the desks in its guest rooms by about 25%, from about 8 square feet to 6 square feet. ...
In its AC and Renaissance brands, Marriott is moving to what it calls deconstructed bathrooms. The toilet and shower remain in the bathroom. The sink is open to the rest of the room, with a frosted glass divider providing some separation.
Another must: speedy Wi-Fi and the availability of outlets to plug in devices. (About a combination of 10 electrical outlets and USB ports, are needed ... since the typical traveler totes five devices.)
If this interests you, you might also want to check out this thread:
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end of 2015 addendum/supplement, offering a unique (and, frankly, unhelpful) perspective) from the WSJ - Homey Hospitality: Lessons from Luxury Hotel Rooms - WSJ :
HOMEOWNERS MAY NOT realize how much a sojourn at the Four Seasons can teach them about decorating a spare room. Jacksonville, Fla.-based interior designer Phoebe Howard, though, knew to heed the lessons of luxury hotels when she set up this guest room for a couple in Madison, Ga.
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Message was edited by: ssindc
Problems abound with this design.
The design may work for a single business traveler but it does not work for couples.
1. There is not enough closet space for two people.
2. The frosted glass separating part of the bath from the room is a problem when one person turns in earlier than the other. My wife may want to sleep but the light from the bath (filtering through the glass keeps her awake. Bad idea!
If Marriott wishes to create one person rooms, that's fine but don't put a couple in that room!
I think Marriott may well be onto something here with its conference guests. However, many millenniums, as well as us long-timers work, and will always work in trades/professions where our employer/client/customer places an over-riding value on confidentiality. Even of I wanted to prep up my clients highly-confidential behind-close-doors court cases on a bar-table, I think I'd find myself struck off as soon as a client found out and reported me! Marriott needs to beware of a one-size-fits-all view of Millenials. Working and privacy issues, which are becoming ever more important both legally and practically mean whatever millenials want to do, I suspect much of their non-conference working will ever increasingly take place behind closed doors in the privacy of their room. And many will want desks to do it at!
Does anyone remember when Bill ran the show Marriott pioneered "The Room That Works" which featured the two-level desk and panel connectivity. That was an absolutely brilliant design and put Marriott a cut above their competition.
Don't believe for a moment their corporate spin that this new room design was to appeal to millennials (or "millenniums" ). It was done to CUT COSTS plain and simple. The loyalists will continue to stay at the new design properties (for a while, at least), but people will see that there are other choices out there that may work better for them.
Marriott is fast on their way to destroying a once-invincible brand. It reminds me of what happened to Cadillac in the 80's and 90's. Millennials won't know this, of course.
A business hotel brand without a work desk in the room? I can't see how that will ever work and reminds me of the Austin Allegro designer who thought it would be a corking idea to put a square steering wheel in the car!
No-desk-business-hotel = Square steering wheel
If Marriott wants to discover how that worked out then they should visit the British car museum. In the 1950's Britain exported more cars than any other country in the world via our "British Motor Corporation" stable of brands. 20 years later they designed the square steering wheel and 20 years after that the whole enterprise was dead with foreign rivals picking over the few worthwhile brands left.
I think the British labor unions may also have contributed! I remember an article in Forbes where union workers were asked to fill a basket with parts they assembled and then push the basket down a track to the place where the parts would be used. One worker said that pushing the basket on a track must be done by a transportation worker and the union went on strike. The factory never reopened.