Hotel experts see the shift to catering to millennials not as an age group necessarily, but a mindset. Rose Anderson, vice president of global branding and innovation of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group told the Washington Post, “It’s not so much about the age; it’s more about the behaviors that have been kind of pegged to the millennials: very social, online, connected. We are very much targeting a millennial mindset versus a generational audience.”
So, how are hotels changing to meet this new mindset? Why is the millennial traveler different? 87 percent of the generation looks to social media for inspiration, and 97 percent will post online about their travel experiences. Thus, hotels are constantly monitoring and tracking trends and information on the market in new ways.
The Micro-Hotel Trend
The micro-hotel trend has been popping up in major metro areas. The idea behind this niche is a hotel that does not skimp on style and has a high-value price point. One of the newest of these micro-hotels is the Moxy in Times Square, a Marriott property that is its adaptation of the balance of amenities and style with the budget of a millennial traveler.
One of the designers of the Moxy Times Square, Glenn Pushelberg, a renowned hospitality designer, shared this about the millennial inspiration: “We’re not trying to appeal to you by thinking, ‘Oh yes, Millennials like bright colors, they like that nightclub approach.” Pushelberg went on to say that the design is a “different approach.”
Planning Based on Millennial Preferences
In the planning stages of a new property, there are many decisions that will shape hotel’s success or failure. Today that includes understanding millennial preferences.
The Canopy brand of hotels, owned by Hilton, spent three years researching and interviewing prospective clients before breaking ground. The research confirmed what was most important was the room, check-in and greeting on arrival. Gary Steffan, global head of Canopy by Hilton, added, “Then for millennials, you would add on free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and in-room fridges.”
However, millennials aren’t the only ones that would enjoy those amenities. The layout of the room and the features of the stay, even though influenced by millennials, is really a win for any traveler. In fact, the Canopy team regularly monitors social media for mentions and takes any feedback to heart about room layout. The hotel was designed to be modular, so adjustments can be made easily.
Changing Amenities for the Millennial Traveler
The AC Hotel, a new Marriott property, is not shy about its desire to appeal to millennials. The design is focused on beauty with architectural delights and convenience. On-site, guests can enjoy a continental breakfast, bar service and late-night stacks in lieu of room service. The brand is a supporter of entrepreneurs with its partnership with Startup Grind. There are also Fitness On Demand classes and filtered water on every floor.