Hospitality in 2022
The Latest Trends Aren't Just About Design

It is no surprise that the biggest trends in hospitality are largely influenced by behavior seen over the past few COVID-filled years. Though we’re not nearly as locked down as we were in 2020, it is clear that in order for people to feel comfortable to be on the move, they have to feel safe. It’s predicted that travel will recover in 2022, so the demand to design seamless and purpose-filled experiences is key to attracting and retaining the next on-the-go type.

The top trends of the year are predicted to include things like digitization and tech-related upgrades, personalization for the varying traveler profile, maximalist design with earth-tones and grandma-chic styles, as well as supporting sustainability and/or purpose-driven companies.

A major trend that’s here to stay in 2022 is the self-service and personalization model. Travelers nowadays are more hands-on throughout the entire lifecycle of their adventuring process. This means, pre-travel, they’ve become their own agents and DIY everything from carefully researching a location, diving into price comparison, use tech bots and 360-degree views of hotels to evaluate indoor and outdoor amenities, etc. In a sense, tech and social media allow for travelers to virtually experience a hotel without ever stepping foot inside the building.

The purpose of travel, of course, will differ for each individual visiting a hotel. A business traveler, for example, will need secure and reliable Wi-Fi, private workstations without disruption, easy-to-use and sanitary fitness centers and a good nights’ rest. They may also appreciate a barista-style coffee shop and/or restaurants with healthy bites and drinks to start the day without ever leaving the hotel. A leisure traveler may want a homey feel, wellness features like meditation rooms or teacher-led classes, walkable access to local restaurants and excursions, bicycles or even an outdoor area like a calming pool.


Visually, 2022 is all about making what’s old new again. In the latest trend reports, we’re seeing less minimalist and more maximalist inspiration like “Grandma-chic” or escapism design. Much like last year, you can expect to see wall papering and murals in addition to the use of reused and repurposed materials.

“We are going to continue to see a rise in more layered, traditional interiors that are cozy, warm, and inviting,” said Interior Designer & Entrepreneur Ariel Okin in Forbes 2022 predicted hospitality trends list (see "latest trend reports" link in previous paragraph).  “A blend of old and new: contemporary artwork and lighting paired with classic furniture silhouettes like an English roll arm sofa, for example. [These] are a good representation of this ‘new traditional’ aesthetic, freshened up for today’s young families.”

Color-wise trend reports are anticipating warmer, earthier tones like tans and light browns to present themselves again as the industry moves away from cooler tones like grays and natural blues. That, paired with rounded shapes, glass windows, patterned furniture and softer silhouettes makes a traveler feel cozy and at home while still escaping day-to-day life.


Ethical and sustainable switches are also on-trend in 2022 as travelers are making more purpose-driven decisions when choosing a place to stay. Wall mural designed by a local artist, check. Organic cotton sheets, check. Construction materials re-used or made from recycled materials, check. Renewable and clean energy, check. Support for local, community initiates, check. The list goes on. Even large corporate brands like HOST which owns Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, and many more, are setting aggressive and science-based environmental targets to reverse its operational carbon and embodied carbon impact on the environment. HOST is measuring things like greenhouse gases, energy, renewable energy, water, and waste.

When it comes to design, as we’ve learned, what’s old is new again. Repurposing an old space and converting it into new, like The Langham in Boston, was the city’s original Federal Reserve Bank. In addition, paying homage to a space like Maine’s The Press Hotel, which used to be a newspaper printing plant from 1923-2010. Not only is this building redesigned and repurposed, but “its rooms have vintage journalist desks, has an art gallery which features work by local artists and includes a unique installation of vintage typewriters,” as mentioned in this AFAR article.

Savvy travelers can appreciate the service of a traditional hospitality experience, but as they get back into their groove again in 2022, it’s important for hotels to use more than just design to continue to attract and inspire.

Interested in reading more about 2022’s hospitality trends? Check out this article from EHL Insights. 

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