"FutureHotel" enters a new research phase

»FutureHotel« enters a new research phase
© gee-ly, Zürich/Fraunhofer IAO


Project partners develop a vision for the hotel guest bathroom of the future

What will the hotel guest bathroom of the future look like? What are the expectations and needs of the future traveler? The “FutureHotel” innovation network is putting these questions at the center of its research, which is now entering its fifth project phase. By using different research methods – including online surveys, expert interviews and creative workshops – project partners are creating intelligent solutions for guest bathroom design that not only meet the needs of guests but are also economically feasible in their implementation.

What will the hotel of the future look like? Key developments and their effects on the hospitality industry have been researched since 2008. Outstanding partners such as Hilton Hotels, Motel One and TUI, together with industry partners and individual hoteliers, are building the think tank and innovative “FutureHotel”, which is led by Fraunhofer IAO. Their research focuses on the requirements of various guest types, the specific needs of hotel staff, the design of the different hotel areas, and the hotel operations and services with the potential for optimization.

Hotel design visions in practical trials

Looking at the four previous research phases, the opening of Hotel Schani in Vienna in April 2015 represented a major project milestone. Some selected solutions based on the “FutureHotel” research findings were put into practice there. What sets the project apart is how it combines application-oriented ideas with market research, trend analyses and future scenarios. Accordingly, the new project phase will not merely restrict itself to ideas for future hotel guest bathrooms, but instead it will feature real-world prototypes in practical trials. In addition, the fifth phase will evaluate what guests and staff think of the solutions for individual room selection by guests, mobile booking, and check-in processes based on the use of mobile devices as implemented e.g. at Hotel Schani and at SI Suites in Stuttgart.

It is clear from the results of a survey conducted by Fraunhofer IAO in 2011 that bathroom design is a key concern for hotel operators. “Hotel operators need specific, practicable future-proof solutions that meet guests’ needs in the era of digitalization and deliver benefits, costs, feasibility, as well as possible obstacles,” says Vanessa Borkmann, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO. Requirements for bathrooms are changing; we will soon see innovations in household bathrooms – and the hospitality industry, too, is facing pressure to adapt and keep up with new standards.

Focus on guest bathrooms, hotel catering and digitalization

Aside from the guest bathroom of the future, other focal points include food & beverage concepts and solutions, digitalization in hospitality, the “experience factor” of a hotel stay, as well as relaxation and stress factors for travelers during their hotel stay.

The fifth project phase of “FutureHotel” will run from April 1, 2016 until September 30, 2017. If you are interested in joining the FutureHotel network, please don´t hesitate to contact us. Partners benefit not only from the project’s practical findings but also from the research network’s strong public visibility, as well as the opportunity for professional exchange of ideas with other innovators in the hospitality industry.

Further information