For many, summer brings the promise of hard-earned and well-deserved vacation time. Weary from the stressors of everyday life, today’s travelers are seeking a reset for their physical and mental health, with wellness being top of mind for vacationers. Specialized amenities, soothing design features, expert staff and atmospheric locales offer an appealing respite for hospitality guests.
The American Society of Interior Designers tracks these and other trends impacting interior design. In its 2023 Outlook research report series, ASID details societal and economic trends, and the related implications for interior designers. In 2023, across all sectors of the interior design industry, clients, companies, and institutions are assessing how interior spaces can be reimagined to reduce negative environmental impacts, while improving health, safety, and wellbeing. Lifestyles have changed for many reasons, and interior design is responding to the new ways we live, work, travel, and unwind. Aesthetics are important, but ASID’s research shows the critical role design plays today in living—and vacationing—well.
As the worldwide preoccupation with health and environmental safety has shifted to a broader concern with wellness and wellbeing, customers across all sectors are modifying interiors in ways demonstrated to guard against threats to health, alleviate stress, promote a sense of relaxation and calm, and better align the body and mind with natural rhythms and cycles. Hotels are no different, and as guests return in greater numbers, hotels are upgrading, with an emphasis on interior environments that promote feelings of wellbeing.
Hospitality properties, especially resorts and spas, are reporting increased demand for wellness programming, offerings and spaces. Prospective guests are now curious about a schedule of wellness retreats, the topics of wellness lectures, the highlights of wellness-inspired medical programming, the nourishing goodness on restaurant menus, and the steps that wellness staff can take to guide them toward mental and physical wellbeing.
Luxury experiences top leisure travel plans, and exclusive private wellness services are a hot new trend. Despite the current economic uncertainty, vacationers are considering it “worth it” to spend on them and indulge in relaxation and wellness retreats to give their minds and bodies a break.
After more than two years in near isolation, travelers are now feeling safe and eager to socialize at hospitality properties, creating a resurgence in demand for impressive lobbies and common spaces. Top trends in hotel design include the integration of smart and touchless technologies to give guests more personal control over their experience; the addition of relaxing outdoor spaces; room designs that reflect the local culture and history; the addition of food and beverage areas such as boutique speakeasies, food halls, and bars, particularly those on rooftops, that encourage guests to stay onsite. Hospitality design is trending toward unique experiences at individual properties, rather than familiar, repetitive design that reflects a brand universally.
Guests are also gravitating to hospitality properties that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Hotels are declaring their commitment to it by switching to natural materials and incorporating greenery into their spaces, using healthier finishes, increasing natural light, and providing more access to nature and nature views. The hospitality sector has embraced green and biophilic design, and properties are incorporating them into their renovations and remodels.
As a result of the energy crisis and the effects of climate change, customers and travelers are embracing this breed of eco-friendly design. Consumers favor companies that strive to make a positive impact on society and the environment. From the products they purchase to the hotels and resorts they patronize, consumers and vacationers are requesting more sustainable products, services, and spaces, favoring businesses and brands that demonstrate a sense of social purpose and a commitment to good stewardship of the planet.
For more detailed analysis of current social and economic trends and the corresponding impact on interior design, visit asid.org/resources/research.
Lindsey Koren is the Director of Communications for ASID.