Airbnb’s rallying cry, “live like a local,” is now being applied by hospitality brands to both hotel and restaurant chains, with owners happily embracing the idea by developing localised design that has extra Millennial appeal. All this is changing the face of hospitality, not just in the UK but across the globe. Millennials, with their desire for something new and authentic, are demanding a new style of venue that offers homely, comfortable and interesting looks, often with a retro or vintage twist.
It may all be artfully designed, choreographed and perhaps even ‘curated’ but it certainly has the gravitational pull to attract the right audience and keep them coming back for more. The evidence is certainly there for all to see with successful ventures like the Hoxton group expanding each year.
Hoxton now has two hotels in London and one each in Amsterdam and Paris. Actually inspired by a neighbourhood, closely associated with graffiti artist Banksy and the original White Cube Gallery, the Hoxton ‘brand’ majors on the looks and ambience that intellectually, emotionally and physically engages both the laptop and latte hotel guest and locals who come to enjoy the restaurant and bar. Hoxton and other brands like Ace are taking design to a hyper-local level by using themes that closely mesh with the locality of each site.
Firmly in the vanguard of hospitality’s new radical chic they both challenge their designers to create a venue for guests and locals and above all to create something that enriches the neighbourhood itself. Like others in the new hospitality vanguard, the brand realises that it needs to imprint a strong brand on each of its venues and this is done largely through typography and a ‘look’ that is rendered, albeit with a twist, in every venue. LEON has even dedicated a page on its website to its changing faces which beautifully illustrates the point.
In conclusion, by tapping into the ‘zeitgeist’, with good interior design and excellent service, hospitality brands will be able to deliver the surprise, standout and authenticity that Millennials want, creating a unifying brand that will fit both the times and the audience.