HD Talks

Guest Post: Eat. Sleep. Refresh. Repeat.

Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Trends

By Rebecca Ruggles, associate, Gensler

In the ever-evolving hospitality industry, we’re all constantly wondering what’s coming next. Gensler’s hospitality team shared a peek at the hottest trends influencing design at an open house event at the Chicago office the morning of HD’s NextGen Forum in June. Here’s a look at some of the trends we’re seeing across three categories: Eat, Sleep, and Refresh.



The Maker Movement: Professionals and novices alike are flocking to fabrication labs, cooking classes, incubator kitchens, and DIY workshops to experiment and fuel their own creative ideas. Agriculturally based restaurant concepts and “maker” classes have become everyone’s favorite weekend destination.

Artisanal Bakeries: The next bread craze to sweep the nation started in San Francisco’s Sunset district. Toast is the new cupcake.

Mocktails and Mixology: Bartenders are the newest celebrities, and alcoholic free, low alcoholic, and wine cocktails are sweeping the nation. Bed and boîte concepts are popping up that feature bars as the main hotel amenity. Because who doesn’t want a perfectly made Manhattan when they check in?

A view of the outdoor lounge space at Plat 99 mixology lounge at the Gensler-designed Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.

A view of the outdoor lounge space at Plat 99 mixology lounge at the Gensler-designed Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.


Co-Working: Hotel owners are catering to more social, Millennial-focused styles of working and meeting; however, they’re gravitating toward rooms that are hospitality-driven dining and collaboration spaces. The more flexible, the better.

Conspicuous Un-Branding: The proliferation of lifestyle hotels from both independents and large conglomerates speaks to the guest’s desire for unique, local, and personal experiences.

The Technology Conundrum: Omnipresent, intuitive, and discreet. Although today’s guest is more demanding of access to the latest technology than ever, there is a movement toward discretion in placement and the ability to unplug as seamlessly as you can engage.


Multisensory Design: Touch and sight are common focuses in design, but there is a renewed interest in scent and sound as well. Both immediately evoke certain emotions and trigger positive memories that can improve mental well-being and help positively reinforce a brand.

Wellness Programming: Operators are expanding their offerings to include additional med spa treatments, in-house trainers and nutritionists, wellness clinics, fitness workshops, branded classes, and more.

Material Transparency: As people become more aware of chemicals and the carcinogenic properties in materials, new alternatives and legislation are being pushed forward. Manufac­turers will need to be transparent with their ingredients, sourcing, and fair production policies.

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