Businesses are always looking to be at the forefront of innovation. Without improving and enhancing a product or service, companies get left behind in the eyes of consumers. The hospitality industry is a prime example of this mindset, particularly in the luxury space, where the next great experience is being created everyday.
However, sometimes the past can provide the best future for hotels and restaurants. No businesses wants to be labeled old and tired, but a few techniques can provide a nostalgic feeling, blending a historic past with modern amenities. This sweet spot has been found by several hotels and has become one of the most significant trends in 2018.
With its distinctive banana leaf decor and vintage curved counter, our much-loved Fountain Coffee Room can be reserved for private events up to 20 people. pic.twitter.com/AqtYeVbR0T
— Beverly Hills Hotel (@BevHillsHotel) September 11, 2018
There’s no better backdrop to soak up the sun than our iconic resort-style pool, complete with luxurious private cabanas and underwater music. pic.twitter.com/g1Hu4JMQmh
— Beverly Hills Hotel (@BevHillsHotel) August 22, 2018
The Beverly Hills Hotel looks much like it did in the mid-20th century when it began hosting some of Los Angeles’ biggest names. It did not rest on reputation though. By constantly updating the hotel with amenities, including four different restaurants, pet care, a salon and new suites, the hotel stayed at the top of many travelers’ lists. The hotel is a model of blending history with the expectations of modern luxury.
The Sagamore Pendry, a 1914 Beaux Arts building, and its historic pier are restored and given new life as a luxury hotel on the Baltimore waterfront.https://t.co/NDdWpLm8fR @BHC_Architects @PendryHotels #restoration #BeauxArts pic.twitter.com/SboxnURkcd
— Traditional Building (@TradBuilding) September 10, 2018
The vintage hospitality trend does not just mean restoring old hotels to modern standards. The Sagamore Pendry is a hotel that re-imagined what an old waterfront pier could be. Occupying a formerly vacant warehouse, the hotel provides harbor views and other amenities including a wellness center, water taxi and signature restaurant.
The hotel was specifically designed to harken back to Baltimore’s past and capitalize on the recent trend of nostalgic travel experiences.
— Classic Collection Holidays (@ClassicHols) December 12, 2016
Castell d’Empordà was just an abandoned 13th century castle perched on a beautiful hill in Spanish Catalonia until it was lovingly restored to become the beautiful luxury hotel we now call home on our Pyrenees to Costa Brava Bike Tour. #spain #costabrava https://t.co/q7rxFtJz3C pic.twitter.com/RFOBQqsdEg
— Backroads (@BackroadsTravel) September 6, 2018
The Castell d’Emporda takes restoration to a new era. The structure dates back to 1301, but was abandoned for years when it was purchased in 1999. Located halfway between Barcelona, Spain and the French border, the hotel offers rooming options that can only be found in a castle.
With two restaurants on the premises, Castell d’Emporada was an early pioneer in the historic trend so many modern hotels are trying to capture today.
Oldest Building in San Diego / The Cosmopolitan Hotel… Today, the Cosmopolitan is a piece of history and a hotel with vintage luxury ambiance within the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park…details at…https://t.co/4iCAJobv3Y pic.twitter.com/0S43SWeBhp
— WesternTrips (@WesternTrips) September 5, 2018
Restoring or updating a property is certainly a way to invoke a feeling of the past in a tasteful way. More than a physical building however, hotels are about experience. The Cosmopolitan Hotel in San Diego dates back to the 1830s but it is not attracting guests strictly off of its age.
Tradition is part of the experience at the Cosmopolitan and one way the hotel has stayed popular is through its association with afternoon tea. By immersing guests in a traditional experience, the hotel sticks out as more than a historic site.
— Eater LA (@eaterla) August 1, 2018
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs capitalized on an abandoned Howard Johnson’s and retrofitted it into a nostalgic, mid-century resort. Opened in 2009, the hotel used recycled materials during renovation and continues to source food locally. The site features modern features like mood lighting and Wi-Fi but also includes vintage vinyl record players in some rooms.
Palm Springs, California was a prominent escape for Los Angeles’ biggest stars in the mid-20th century. The Ace Hotel has capitalized on the city’s golden era by invoking the past without remaining stuck in it.