Innovative interior design trends for resorts and hotels

by Karen Taylor, Director, Taylor Dade Consulting 09th June, 2017

Innovative interior design trends for resorts and hotels

The look and feel for 2017/18 interiors embraces a holistic design solution with deceptively simple sophistication. While providing practical convenience with wow, the pervading ambience is embracing comfort, tactile, and free of clutter. 


Airbnb has shown that many consumers are looking for more than the ‘typical’ hotel stay. In this increasingly dynamic and competitive space, hotel design needs to be much more visionary. A well-controlled, secure guest and staff experience is also becoming increasingly important. For public areas, interior planning should look well beyond providing classic lobby, foyer and guest amenities.


The evolution of advanced technology is enabling focus to centre around customer support and services, rather than on administrative ‘processing’ at expansive front desks; a dynamic public space that enables greater connectivity for guests. An interactive, homely space, which guests can share with others outside of their own room, offering a range of activities and experiences.

For examples of this new trend, look at The Getty’s Red Lion Hotels Corporation RL brand and Arlo Hotels, or even early innovators such as Post Ranch Inn.


Quick design trend checklist for room design considerations


Whatever the brand positioning of the project, any in-room design solution must strive to meet a set of criteria that will deliver an awesome, unique guest experience. Create a space that reflects the project location and history, as well as integrating the latest in technology. A space that works practically for operations, as well as being environmentally and economically sustainable.


  1. Collaborate early in the design process to enable requisite space allocations.
  3. Utilise innovations in tiles and cladding materials for wall and floor finishes. Innovative wall claddings can double up as bedheads or décor details add character and enable future updates with ease.
  5. Quality beddings and linens, are always ‘in’ but a good designer will consider practical service and operating costs when making these selections.
  7. Ensure all practical needs are accommodated.  Luggage, robe, iron and board, safe, new mini bar trends, coffee-making, TV, etc.
  9. Consider how to provide flexibility of room configuration for potential guest mix. Single, couple, family and special needs: optimise future potential with creative design.
  11. Optimise internal space by using glazing or decorative sliding screen walls to provide light and open the visual sightlines, or when required, to close for privacy.
  13. Choose a palette of colours that is soothing yet uplifting and reflects the palette of the location.  Avoid colour palette trends, especially for fixtures as these will quickly date the property. Instead, use loose furnishings that can more easily and cheaply be replaced.
  15. Get expert advice and integrate the latest, (reputable) hardware, electrical and technology for guest wow and convenience with ease-of-use touch points, to deliver a great atmosphere with energy-saving task lighting, temperature control, noise dampening, sound system, wifi and security.
  17. Ensure easily accessible international power outlets and USB ports for practical convenience.
  19. Bathrooms offer great potential for romance but don’t overlook practical vanity space for guest toiletries; a high magnification mirror, universal power outlet with USB port and great lighting. A shower timer can help guests conserve water-use. Design, walk-in shower and bathing experiences that are practical, safe, and add wow. Enable ‘specialist care’ access.
  21. Stylish and clever integration of room amenities into joinery, will reduce ongoing maintenance and replacement costs, and keep the clutter down.
  23. Add in-room kitchenettes for longer term stays if relevant to the location. Consider a cocktail bar as part of the mini bar experience.
  25. Use textures in fabrics and finishes to create contrast and comfort. If practical, offer a variety of themes that are nurturing, luxurious and commercially durable; or, plan into budget an annual replacement program. (Staining often necessitates replacement before wear-and-tear!)
  27. Integrate local culture into the décor and design details in quirky, meaningful ways to create character and a point of difference. These are the hallmark of the design and should not be underestimated for the message they will send to the future guests about the property.
  29. Keep the design simple yet sophisticated; uncluttered but very functional.
  31. Ensure all design elements are environmentally sustainable, and easy to service. 
  33. Wherever and whenever opportunity allows, seamless transitions from indoors to outdoor.
  35. Ensure safety compliance, from fabrics and furniture to steps, flooring, spas, as well as any local regulations in the early design stage.
  37. Create warmth. A spiritual, caring energy. How the guest feels is the ultimate test!


This set of criteria can be equally applied to all interior design concepts and solutions for the project.


Your design solutions will directly affect the ongoing viability of the project and your reputation, well past the first excitement of the opening launch! A great designer will ensure the daily service staffs can maintain the look created and understand the impact their design may have on operating and replacement costs as well as revenue opportunities.


Finally, whenever possible, try to collaborate from the earliest planning stages of the project. Once the planning is done, the opportunity to deliver an innovative design with appropriate consideration to these new trends, (whether public spaces or in-room guest experience), can be limited.



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