New London Architecture

London's Hotels: expanding social spaces

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London is the third most visited city in the world, with one of the highest hotel occupancy rates of any European city. 

The capital has a pipeline of over 13,000 new hotel rooms but the sector faces new challenges due to cultural, technological and lifestyle changes. With political uncertainties and the disruptive forces of the sharing economy at play, hotels are adapting by expanding their offer of spaces for socialising and public interaction. What are the key trends reshaping hotels contribution to the city? 
This report looks at what lessons can be learnt from these spaces in hotels and how such spaces contribute to the city as a whole. It profiles a selection of London’s most innovative trends and responses within the sector, showcasing findings across three key themes – social spaces, technology and planning.


Part 1: Review
   Social spaces: physical
   Social spaces: virtual
   Planning for the future

Part 2: Viewpoints
   The Curtain
   The Standard London
   The Hoxton
   Welcome to the hotel of the future
   Ten Trinity Square
   Hub by Premier Inn
   Kensington Forum
   Green Rooms



In the age of the sharing economy, connection to local areas and genuine social interaction, aided by the latest technologies, have become central to customer preferences. Airbnb launched in 2008, promising visitors an authentic experience of the city, but only started to take off in London after 2014. That same year, WeWork opened its first space, refreshing the dull office into a platform for collaboration and creativity. This movement spread rapidly, with diverse brands and online platforms offering similar ways of blurring the boundaries between live, work and play. 

These new conditions have transformed the way we use temporary accommodation, work and leisure spaces in cities and have been driving the adaptation of hotels ever since. Urged to do better, the role of the hotel has evolved, reinventing itself by focusing on its local context and harnessing its ability to bring people together. Hotel lobbies have always functioned as public entrances to the building, but walking into a hotel without a room key in your pocket would have felt rather strange 20 years ago. As hotels have become more visible and accessible within the
urban landscape, people feel more welcome to use their spaces in ways they may not have in the past. Successfully turning outwards, hotels are opening up their social spaces for visitors, workers and the local community.

Consumer demands have driven greater choice, broadening the spectrum and diversity of accommodation and their offer. The upper end of the spectrum includes ultra-luxury, boutique and
lifestyle brands. These are increasingly the types of accommodation expanding their hospitality offer, including a diverse mix of uses aimed not only at guests but also at locals. At the other end, there are pod hotels, a new generation of hostels, apart-hotels and a raft of budget brands.


Released December 2019
Digital publication only

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