From concept to reality: how architecture is reshaping the hotel industry


Architecture is the oldest form of human activity. It has been around for centuries and is constantly evolving.

On a fundamental level, architecture serves the most basic human need, namely to have a roof over one’s head. In the early days of construction and architecture, dwellings such as “caves”, “huts” or “dugouts” were created.

These “mini-houses” served as protection from storms, swirling winds, cold and wild animals. With further development of mankind, other types of buildings/architecture (including residential buildings) emerged, serving different purposes. Some of them were “hotels”, “warehouses”, “marketplaces”, “harbors”, “churches” and theaters.

In some contexts, architecture could simply be defined as the construction of buildings from the ground up.

However, modern hotel architecture goes beyond the mere construction of buildings. At its core, it is about creating spaces that serve guests in a comfortable way.

Thus, architectural landscape has evolved and encompasses different styles, concepts and designs to reflect changing environments, cultures and guest needs.

Development of hotel concepts/What you should know about hotel architecture

Hotels have been perceived differently recently. First and foremost, hotels are known for offering guests/travelers a comfortable place to sleep.

In most cases, guests/travelers stay in hotels mainly for one night or a few days before returning home. Today, the way in which hotel areas are designed and used has changed.

They serve not only to provide a comfortable bed to sleep in, but also to provide “vacation and relaxation services” that completely transform the guest experience.

With this in mind, architects/designers have a responsibility to create designs that offer guests a seamless and enjoyable experience.

This has led to the development of hotel concepts with carefully curated design that resonate with guests and stimulate specific cultural themes/narratives.

Development of the hotel architecture

Development Hotel architecture simply reflects how society (and people) have developed over time. It is not surprising that society plays a central role in influencing hotel architecture, as every development in architecture aims to satisfy the needs of society (or in this case guests).

The direct influence of society on architectural developments explains trends and technological advances that hotel architecture has experienced in recent decades.

In the early years of the 20th century, hotels were built for purely functional purposes. The focus was on efficiency Rooms to satisfy basic needs such as “sleeping”, “cooking”, “bathing”, etc.

But as airlines became more accessible and tourism emerged, the focus shifted to aesthetics, luxury and creating memorable experiences for guests. Towards the end of the 20th century, architects used high-tech building materials and techniques to develop avant-garde designs for “boutique” and “lifestyle” hotels.

Common trends in hotel architecture development

There is no doubt that the focus of hotel architecture has shifted away from mere construction or functional rooms. Not because the practicality of hotel areas is no longer important. But because of growing demands and constantly changing needs of society/guests.

One of the most notable trends in modern hotel architecture is therefore the creation of hotel areas that cater to different guest preferences. Today, hotel areas and rooms are being redesigned to serve multifunctional purposes. To meet the needs of guests at all times, architects create flexible designs so that rooms can be used for different purposes.

Lobby areas, for example, can be designed to serve not only as waiting areas, but also as meeting points for guests, travelers and tourists.

Factors that characterize modern hotel architecture

An important task of architecture is to create unforgettable/pleasant experiences for residents. It is therefore the task of architects to create functional spaces that are not only suitable for everyday use, but also create an emotional connection with residents.

In hotels, rooms are not only created as places to sleep. Rather, they are designed in such a way that they adapt to different people’s preferences. To achieve this, several factors must be taken into account. In this section, we will uncover some of the factors that characterize the architecture of hotel buildings. Let’s dive in!

1. naturalistic design

Naturalistic design, or what is commonly known as “biophilic design”, is an emerging hotel concept that contributes significantly to improving the overall guest experience.

As the name suggests, naturalistic designs incorporate natural elements into hotel areas to create a welcoming and happy environment for guests. Natural elements in this sense are the use of bamboo, natural fibers, stones, creation of garden courtyards (or living plants, interior decorating), natural light sources, pools, fountains, etc.

Incorporating this naturally induced hotel concept offers the following benefits

  • It creates a sense of calm and connection with nature, enhancing the overall guest experience.
  • Studies have shown that biophilic/natural elements help to reduce stress and ultimately promote relaxation.
  • Breaks down the barrier between indoor and outdoor spaces – allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in and connect with their surroundings.
  • A nature-oriented hotel design also means you participate in sustainable activities that promote environmental well-being. This helps you to reduce your ecological footprint.
  • Integrating naturalistic (or biophilic) design into hotel architecture gives hotels a competitive edge in the market. Especially because guests are looking for hotel areas that focus on wellness and sustainability.

2. ecological sustainability

It is almost impossible to talk about trends in hotel architecture without mentioning “environmental sustainability”. To reduce the impact on the environment, modern hotels use environmentally friendly building materials.

Some examples of renewable materials that architects use are aluminum, steel, tiles, reclaimed wood from demolished buildings, cork, bamboo and others.

Some examples of energy-saving systems are LED light bulbs, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, thermostats, solar panels, low-flow taps, etc.

3.intelligent rooms

Integrating smart technology into hotel areas/rooms is a completely new approach to hotel architecture. It raises the bar for hotels and offers guests highly individualized services. Comfort at the highest level!

Are you curious to see what cool, intelligent technical devices can be found in these rooms? Below you will find some examples:

  • Smart thermostats: Allows guests to control room temperature remotely using their smartphone or apps
  • Automated lighting systems
  • Intelligent blinds/curtains, controlled via smartphones,
  • Voice-controlled assistants,
  • Sensor-controlled rooms, automatically adjust room temperature, lighting or other settings as soon as guests enter rooms.
  • Tablets for in-room control to access hotel services.

4. culturally inspired designs

Hotels draw inspiration from different cultures/traditions (including cultural themes in the area/far away) to create memorable experiences for guests/travelers seeking authentic and unique experiences.

Outlook for the future: what to expect in hotel architecture

As with earlier development phases in hotel architecture, the developments to be expected look promising and absolutely exciting.

With rapid advances in technology, sustainability and innovative design, hotel architecture is set to enter a new era.

Architects are starting to create unimaginable and breathtaking hotel concepts that I have never heard of before.

Some of these concepts range from floating resorts and underwater hotels to space tourism. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Expect it!


All in all, the days when hotel architecture was primarily geared towards meeting basic accommodation needs are over.

Nowadays, hotel areas are designed to appeal to the hearts of guests, fulfill their different needs and enhance their experience. Hotel architecture is at the forefront when it comes to shaping the hotel industry and creating unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on guests.