A new chapter in the hotel industry: modern architecture for contemporary hospitality


Compared to other sectors, the hospitality industry has a broader base. Hospitality includes a wide range of businesses such as “hotels”, “catering services”, “restaurants”, “pubs”, “bars”, clubs and so on. The driving force in the hospitality industry is “customer satisfaction”. This is not surprising, as the hospitality industry is primarily a service industry.

As the world evolves, the hotel industry is also evolving to meet different needs and preferences. This explains why the topic of “hotel modernization” is worth considering.

In modern hotels, for example, lobbies are more than just waiting areas. They have multifunctional rooms that can be used as “mini-workspaces”, “coffee stalls/spots” or even as a local art gallery.

The development of hotel modernization and how it shapes architecture

Hotel design and architecture have come a long way and have also undergone a series of developments.

In the early days of the hotel industry, travelers and locals relied on simple accommodation structures, popularly known as “inns or caravanserais”.

These buildings offered travelers and their companions (mostly animals) something more than just a bed for the night. These inns are located on popular travel routes so that travelers/passers-by can easily recognize them. At that time, inns were built around an inner courtyard and were usually divided into two areas: First floor and upper area.

On the first floor there were stables where travelers could keep their animals, while the upper floor usually contained rooms for travelers/guests to rest in.

It is similar to a modern hotel where you can park your car/vehicle in the garage/parking lot. There is also a separate room where you or your family can relax and unwind. In the 18th and 20th centuries, large railroad hotels came onto the scene. Large railroad hotels were to accommodate growing numbers of travelers around railroad stations and transport hubs.

At the beginning of the 20th century, modernization of hotels took a different turn, affecting their architecture and design (thanks to the industrial revolution).

Modern hotels began to stretch (literally) into the sky, imitating the structures of skyscrapers. In hotel architecture, there were also thematic designs that focused on creating the best and most memorable experiences for guests.

With every wave of (cultural and technological) development, there has been a corresponding change in hotel architecture and the range of services on offer. For example, the accessibility of air travel in the 20th century led to the emergence of “resort-style” hotels.

They were especially popular near tourist destinations and featured amenities such as spas, golf courses, gyms, pools, etc. Eventually, resort-style hotels emerged to offer travelers/guests a complete vacation experience.

Contemporary hotel designs and architecture today combine past and present.

With the help of qualified hotel architects, hotels can preserve historical or cultural heritage of buildings/sites while incorporating modern elements to meet changing guest demands.

Personalized experiences through hotel modernization

Recently, more and more hotels in the hospitality industry have been offering their guests individual experiences.

Through a successful blend of design, aesthetics and first-class customer service, modern hotels create unique and personalized experiences for their guests.

The hotels in question can be divided into two broad categories: Boutique hotels and lifestyle hotels.

Designer hotels

Designer hotels are a type of no modern hotel facilities, working on a small scale. Sometimes they may have no more than 100 rooms. Nevertheless, design, furniture and even every piece of art are well thought out and carefully selected to tell a story.

The attention paid to hotel architecture makes it an experience and not just a place to spend the night.

Here are some architectural and design elements that can be found in “designer hotels”;

  • Individually tailored services

In contrast to the large hotel chains (mostly offering universal services), “designer hotels” focus on creating experiences that meet the personal needs of individual guests/travelers.

  • Introduces sustainable practices

Design hotels or so-called “boutique hotels” attach great importance to environmental friendliness.

They therefore focus on sustainability in the construction and design of hotel facilities (e.g. use of environmentally friendly building materials, installation of solar systems, etc.).

  • Contains technically adept equipment

“Designer hotels” focus on culture and traditional heritage. However, they also use modern technology to transform the guest/traveler experience.

  • Shared rooms

In addition to very personal spaces for guests to enjoy, they also have access to stylish communal spaces (such as garden courtyards or cozy lounges) to work or meet with others.

  • Top rated culinary experiences

“Designer hotels” are known for offering culinary experiences “above the roof”, such as Michelin-starred restaurants, rooftop bars (or restaurants) and cool cafés.

  • Offers authentic experiences for guests

Besides the normal sightseeing, most travelers or guests enjoy during their stay, some “designer hotels” also offer intimate services, such as “cooking classes”, “local tours” or “art exhibitions”.

Lifestyle hotels

Lifestyle hotels differ from “designer hotels” in that they offer more specific services and are tailored to the lifestyle and mentality of their guests.

Hotels that fall into the lifestyle category offer health-oriented services such as yoga sessions, organic meals (for healthy eaters), vegetarian meals (for vegetarians in the house!), etc.

In addition, lifestyle hotels also offer special fitness services for “gym rats” (people who exercise as a normal way of life), spas – with massage parlors, pedicures/manicures, hairdressing salons and much more.

The difference between “designer hotels” and “lifestyle hotels” lies in the degree of personalization. While “designer hotels” strive to create personalized/customized experiences for their guests, lifestyle hotels go one step further with very specific lifestyle services.

So let’s explore some modern architecture/designs that both designer and lifestyle hotels have in common. Let’s dive in!

Common trends in modern architecture

The general motto for companies in the hospitality industry is: “Serve the customer in such a way that greater customer satisfaction is guaranteed”.

  1. Building data modeling

Like any other industry, the hotel industry is also largely influenced by technology. An important technology trend influencing the development of hotel architecture is the use of (BIM).

BIM is an intelligent technical tool Hotel architects can visualize designers final appearance architecture of a hotel even before a single brick is laid.

2.intelligent rooms and devices

Nowadays, smart rooms or rooms with smart gadgets are a matter of course (not a luxury) in hotels.

Smart rooms have systems that give guests full control over everything. This includes lighting in rooms, entertainment and even room temperature – gone are the days when you need “room service” to regulate the temperature. Best of all, these intelligent systems work by simple voice commands residents/guests in rooms.

2. functionality of the rooms

In contemporary hotel architecture/design, “functionality” takes center stage. Hotel modernization is not just about beauty and visual appeal, but also about what makes a good hotel/living space in a hotel.

When it comes to creating memorable guest experiences, the usefulness and practicality of hotel spaces is just as important as their visual appeal.

3. blending spaces (inside and outside)

Blending spaces is another notable trend in the modern hotel industry. An example of mixed spaces in hotels (including “design and lifestyle hotels”) are open terraces/balconies integrated into rooms.

It also has floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer breathtaking views of the city and ocean from the rooms and also allow natural light into the rooms.

4. cultural influence

With growing demand for authentic experiences, modern hotels are incorporating cultural elements into their architecture and design. This creates an inviting atmosphere for locals and travelers alike. It also promotes a sense of belonging for locals and travelers.

5. sustainable technologies

It is almost impossible to talk about modern hotel design without mentioning the implementation of sustainable practices.

Modern hotels integrate sustainable features into their architecture to adapt to changing climates (or environments) and lifestyles of guests.


In addition, hotel architecture has undergone a series of evolutions, adapted to changing environments and different guest preferences.

As explored in this article, the biggest factor for modernizing and transforming hotels into modern hotel designs is the need to create memorable experiences for guests.