When hoteliers and members of the hospitality industry think of the latest trends, they usually look toward the future. Recently, some of the most exciting new hotels to open anywhere have done the exact opposite. Famed temples, prisons, and even elementary schools are being converted into luxury hotels and restaurants. Though amenities and location are at the top of a potential guest’s wish list, spending a night or two in what was once a Napoleonic prison can be a powerful draw. Locations like these are changing the future of hospitality.
Creating an Immersive Experience
A discerning luxury traveler can be temperamental and difficult to predict. Visiting Europe for many is about spending time among the historical architecture and feeling transported to the time when they were constructed. Knowing this, hoteliers have been snapping up historic structures to take that pleasure a step further: allowing guests to stay in that space rather than just enjoying the views.The response has been rapid and compelling.
Changing the Future of Hospitality
Conde Nast travelers ranked the Abadía Retuerta Le Domaine in Sardón de Duero, Spain and Portugal’s top hotel of 2017. The twist? This scenic getaway was once a Benedictine abbey. Today, visitors can enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant and acres of vineyard just out their window.
Off the shores of England, a cylindrical block of concrete and steel was once a fort. Now, it is a luxury spa accessible only by ferry or helicopter. With 360-degree sea views and just two dozen rooms, location and amenity work together for an unforgettable stay.
Not every hotel conversion project is about bringing history to life, though. Scottish brewers BrewDog opened the DogHouse hotel just this month, successfully converting part of their brewery into a hotel. Each room boasts with its own beer tap and even the showers feature a beer refrigerator.
A large craft beer museum and room windows overlooking the brewery operation itself keep guests engaged. One of the most unique aspects of the DogHouse project was its investor plan: crowdsourcing. A KickStarter project showed just how eager guests are for a unique luxury experience.
With countless more conversions in a variety of locations popping up globally, it is clear that standard luxury affair has become stale among some travelers. Hotels that rejuvenate history or simply answer a niche customer demand will likely be more appealing in the coming years.