Travel’s different than it used to be. When you’re on a business trip, you’re on your iPad or laptop and not working with documents from a briefcase. At least, that’s the argument many hotels are making to explain why they’re doing away with items that used to be considered staples, such as desks. Hotel mini bars, desks and closets are on their way out at many hotels to reflect the changing needs of the modern traveler.
“Since the advent of the iPhone and the iPad, how business travelers interact with their spaces has changed significantly,” Michael Suomi, principal and vice president for interior design at Stonehill & Taylor, an architectural firm in New York that works with Marriott, Hyatt and other hotel brands told The New York Times. “In the past, people would travel with briefcases full of documents. They needed a lot more space to work, and they’d have to go down to the business center and print things out and fax it to somebody.”
Hotel chains are also getting rid of closet space because of the fact that fewer travelers seem to be taking the time to unpack. This has something to do with the quick nature of so many trips and the fact that unpacking can lead to a greater chance of leaving something behind.
“[Closets and drawers are] just one more place for a guest to leave something behind and then the hotel has to send it to them,” Suomi said.
While these changes seem to be happening rapidly in Marriott hotels and others, this isn’t an entirely new development.
According to Slate, these changes began in 2014 as a way to cater to millennial travelers, who are less inclined to use desks and want larger bathrooms in their hotel rooms. And the reasoning that millennials prefer communal spaces likely has something to do with the disappearance of mini bars as well. Presumably, they’d rather go down to the hotel bar for a cocktail than drink mini bottles of booze alone in their rooms.
All in all, the way folks travel seems to be changing the way people use their hotel rooms. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably start to notice desks, mini bars and closet space disappearing from hotel rooms.