THE GENSLER
EXPERIENCE
INDEX:
HOSPITALITY

Design is a key differentiator between a good experience and
a great one.

By GAIL McCLEESE

EXPERIENCE

THE GENSLER
EXPERIENCE
INDEX:
HOSPITALITY

Design is a key differentiator between a good experience and
a great one.

By GAIL McCLEESE


 

Gensler’s Experience IndexSM: Hospitality report is the culmination of a multiyear, mixed-methods research effort leveraging ethnographic research and a 1,200-person survey to find patterns in how we interact with hotel environments. Conducted across a wide range of space types, Gensler’s Experience IndexSM is a framework and methodology for understanding experience and how we interact with physical space. 

WHAT MAKES A GREAT HOTEL EXPERIENCE?

The hospitality industry is in the midst of massive change, driven in large part by new customer expectations. The research detailed in the Gensler Experience Index: Hospitality report shows the myriad factors affecting the guest experience with hotels today, and reveals the factors that matter most — from design features to elements of service, technology, and marketing. It’s clear that guests want far more than just a place to sleep for the night. Here are a few of our key findings:

Take care of basics like comfort and safety first. Hotels that offer a great experience are optimizing basics like comfort and safety first, and then layering on technology, luxury amenities, and a beautiful and aspirational aesthetic.

Cater to both business and leisure travelers. The best hotels support business and leisure travelers, but they are also keenly aware of the growing blur between the two types of travel.

Plan for the hotel experience before guests ever arrive. Guests’ expectations of a hotel are set well before they walk in the door, so the best hotels understand how recommendations offer a better experience.


MILLENNIALS ARE THE MOST MULTIMODAL

Younger travelers report doing a wider range of activities in hotels today than their older peers. Chart shows percent of respondents who reported doing each activity during a recent hotel visit.


EXPECTATIONS ARE SET WELL BEFORE GUESTS WALK IN THE DOOR

Hotel recommendations determine which hotels we pick and prime us to have a better experience. How we get those recommendations varies widely by generation.


THE DESIGN FACTORS THAT MATTER MOST

Among the factors most predictive of a great experience, a suite of six design variables prove most important to creating a great experience:

AUTHENTICITY
LATEST TECHNOLOGY
COMFORT
BEAUTY
INSPIRATION
INTIMACY

To find out more, download the Experience Index: Hospitality report.


Gail McCleese is a Hospitality Leader based in Gensler's Houston office.