Airports can learn from innovative hoteliers

Airports can learn from innovative hoteliers

Mark Elliott looks at some of the new facilities being rolled out at hotels

Mark Elliott looks at some of the new facilities being rolled out at hotels

Design Hotels' Luna2 Studios in Bali has its own cinema
Design Hotels’ Luna2 Studios in Bali has its own cinema

A few weeks ago I posed the question: ‘what facilities would you like to see at airports?’ I suggested golf (simulators, driving ranges, mini-golf – take your pick) and the world plumped for cinemas, so I’ll admit I was slightly outvoted.

And continuing the theme, in recent weeks there have been some fantastic innovations in the world of hotels. For example, those clever folk at Rydges have designed a new type of family room that includes bunk beds embedded with games consoles for kids, and extra large minibars for adults, presumably in case the stress of sharing a room with your kids becomes too much.

Then last week, Pentahotels unveiled its new hotel in Hong Kong, which is adding a bit of fun to meetings (if endangering productivity) by include table football in the breakout areas of its meeting rooms. And Mandarin Oriental Shanghai has started offering Segway hire to guests wanting to explore the city’s riverside area, but are too lazy to walk.

All of which gives you the impression that: a) customers are demanding much more nowadays than a safe and showercap, and b) hoteliers are trying to outsmart each other to stay ahead of the ever-expanding pack.

So this week I’ll pose a new question: what would you like to see offered by hotels? Mini-golf, tennis and squash are great but they have all been done. In-room yoga mats have been introduced by some hotels, but is that how you want to spend those long, lonely evenings? How about getting out of the room for a spot of rock climbing (on one of those indoor walls, of course), or even a shooting range, to work off the tension?

And then, once again, we come back to our love of movies. Design Hotels’ new property in Bali has its own cinema, while a property in Thailand is screening movies on a big screen, as guests relax on floating couches in the pool.

To be honest, when it comes to entertaining guests, there’s not much that hoteliers haven’t thought of. Perhaps the world’s airports should take a look at how the hotel industry looks after its guests; they might learn something.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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