- Some high-end
hotels are making a move towards “lean luxury” with smaller
room sizes and fewer amenities,
- While the change is driven in part by cost-consciousness,
another factor propelling the change is Instagram:
Simple designs photograph well.
- The trend is complemented by other luxury hotels — such as
the $1 billion Burj Al Arab in Dubai — that
are still offering expansive rooms and lavish amenities to their
There’s a new look among some luxury hotels, and it’s a whole
lot smaller — and barer — than it used to be.
It’s part of a move towards “lean luxury,”
Quartzy’s Rosie Spinks wrote, and while the pared-down room
sizes and simplified amenities are cost-conscious decisions,
there’s also another factor at play in the change.
“By cutting back on both the size of the rooms … and some of
the more costly amenities of a traditional luxury hotel,
hospitality companies can offer better locations, a design-led
sensibility with higher quality materials, and an altogether
elevated experience — for a pretty damn reasonable price,” Spinks
reported. “They also tend to look way better on Instagram.”
The goal with lean luxury hotels, Spinks continued, is to be
“far more functional and user-experience-oriented than a standard
grand hotel room.”
Instagram is changing the look of luxury
The effect Instagram is having on luxury hotels isn’t all that
surprising when you consider the way it’s changed the way people,
many of them millennials, travel at large. As Robb Report
people are planning trips around the world specifically for
Instagram photos; similarly, some previously under-the-radar
like the now-famous blue city in Morocco — are suddenly
seeing upticks in tourism because they are so
Spinks writes that “clean lines, minimal fussiness, and
functional design lead the ethos” when it comes to the look of lean
luxury hotels. Much like the
NYC penthouse that was designed specifically as a backdrop for
Instagram influencers, hotels are being designed with
photography at top of mind.
And in an era where Instagram exposure can bring in enough
a luxe hotel in Switzerland was able to entirely eliminate its
marketing budget, it’s a logical point for hotels to turn their
One such hotel featuring pared-down room aesthetics is Arlo
Hotel, a microhotel in SoHo, NYC.
Business Insider’s Katie Warren visited the hotel in 2018 and
found that the careful design of the 150-square-foot rooms kept
them from feeling cramped.
“The rooms were definitely small, but for someone who doesn’t
plan to spend much time in their hotel room and isn’t traveling
with multiple large pieces of luggage, I think it would be a fun
and memorable place to stay,” she wrote. Despite its diminutive
room sizes, though, the hotel is still on the expensive side: Room
rates start around $330, compared to the NYC average of $216.
The other end of the luxury hotel spectrum
That’s not to say that over-the-top amenities are disappearing
from hotels at large. Lean luxury hotels aren’t necessarily
replacing the traditional luxury hotel — instead, they’re opening
up a new type of aesthetic on the other end of the spectrum.
Some hotels are pivoting towards
customized amenities that personalize a guest’s stay, primarily
in the form of hotel staff remembering guests’ food, drink, and
product preferences, and delivering those upon the guest’s
Others are still leaning into the traditional vision of luxury
and all its over-the-top trappings. In December, Business Insider’s
Harrison Jacobs visited the
Burj Al Arab in Dubai, a $1 billion hotel that’s been described
as the best hotel in the world and “the world’s first seven-star
hotel.” Every room in the hotel, he wrote, is a duplex suite that
comes with a butler, an extensive mini bar, fresh fruit upon
arrival, and a luxe mattress that can cost up to $15,000.
“I’ve stayed at many five-star hotels at this point,” Jacobs
wrote. “The Burj is undoubtedly a class above them all.”
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
Cushy hotel rooms and fussy amenities in luxury hotels are the latest casualty of Instagram