The Evolution of Hotel FF&E through the Pandemic
Things changed quickly in the hotel industry to keep up with shifting guest preferences and needs once COVID took hold. As we emerge on the other side of the pandemic, it’s important to acknowledge these furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) trends and analyze which will pass—and which are likely here to stay.
In some cases, the pandemic accelerated the direction hotels were already taking with their FF&E. In others, hoteliers will likely replace pandemic-specific changes as soon as COVID concerns subside.
In this post, you’ll learn about the evolution of hotel FF&E through the pandemic and what our team anticipates as we move forward.
Pandemic Travel Trends & FF&E Evolution
During the pandemic, hoteliers needed to provide cleaner spaces and adhere to social distancing recommendations. In addition, the guest demographic changed because government restrictions led to the cancellation of conferences and work-related travel. As a result, hotel guests were often destination travelers, nearby residents looking for a staycation, or even remote workers looking for a change of scenery or a quiet workspace.
To service these guests, many hotels began offering:
- Contactless check-in kiosks
- Mobile apps & QR codes
- Roaming staff with tablets
- More outdoor space/access
- More in-room amenities
- Less clutter for a cleaner appearance
- Multi-purpose furniture
- Biophilic design
- More hard flooring for a cleaner appearance
- Improved air filtration systems
Hotel FF&E Trends to Stay
Many of the technology-enabled shifts that occurred during the pandemic were already underway at a slower pace. Before COVID, some hotels had begun to use these technological innovations, but there wasn’t a great sense of urgency to adopt things such as check-in kiosks, apps, and QR codes. The pandemic accelerated this evolution and now they are here to stay.
Many businesses—not just hotels—have embraced maximizing the use of their outdoor spaces and bringing the outdoors indoors with biophilic design. Guests also love the increased functionality of hotel FF&E, whether they’re there to work, play, relax, or do a bit of all three. These trends are also likely to stay.
Hotel FF&E Trends to Go
Certain hotel FF&E changes were very specific for when people were spending more time in their rooms and less time in proximity to others. Our experts at Innvision predict that guests will want to spend less time in their hotel room and more time in shared areas as we emerge from the pandemic. For this reason, they predict that efforts to make guest rooms more flexible spaces were just a temporary solution. Public spaces are better revenue drivers for hoteliers and make socializing easier, so it makes sense to entice guests back there as soon as we are able to safely.
At Innvision, we monitor FF&E and pandemic trends closely to help our clients find the best products for their current and anticipated hotel FF&E needs. We work with hotel owners and developers to select design-driven furnishings that cater to the evolving needs of their valued guests while adhering to their budget and brand. To learn more about how Innvision can help you with your next hotel project, reach out to us!