Looking at the key hospitality trends and an exclusive conversation with Grand Hyatt Mumbai General Manager, Dietmar Kielnhofer.
In the recent past, the hospitality industry has transformed tremendously. While the pandemic gave rise to travel for longer durations and domestic travel, individuals also realised the importance of personalised experiences and experiential travel became the norm. Hospitality is about exceeding guest expectations and creating positive memories. Technology has been evolving at breakneck speed, and the hospitality industry will be utilizing technologies in many new and wonderful ways in 2023. Increased consumer awareness of all things sustainable, purposeful and wellness has set new benchmarks for hospitality enterprises.
However if one were to shift our focus on some of the key hospitality trends for 2023, they can be broadly categorised into the following: Bleisure travellers & hotel workspaces, Holistic hospitality, a focus on wellness, sustainable choices, Digitalized guest experiences and Hyper-Personalization.
Bleisure travellers and hotel workspaces
Working remotely has today become commonplace for many employees and is forecasted to become more than just a passing trend. This means that hospitality venues are turning themselves into remote working hotspots for locals and travellers alike.
Digitalized guest experiences
Another trend that has been gaining traction in the hospitality industry is the increasing use of technology to enhance the customer experience. This includes the use of mobile apps and other digital tools to make reservations, access hotel services, etc. Apps are increasingly important in the way hoteliers manage the services they provide to their customers and can now control many aspects of the guest cycle and experience. Traditionally, customer-facing services are being given an overhaul thanks to the more widespread use of technology-assisted options, such as mobile check-in, contactless payments, voice control and biometrics. The use of virtual and augmented reality to provide immersive experiences for guests, such as virtual tours of hotels and destinations will also see a boom.
Focus on wellness
Wellness will continue to be a priority for many guests. The concept of wellness has gained significant popularity in recent years, and many people are seeking out hotels and other hospitality businesses that offer wellness-focused amenities and activities.
Some examples of wellness-focused amenities and activities that hotels and resorts might offer include fitness centres, yoga and meditation classes, wellness retreats, healthy dining options, spa services, and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. There is a rapidly growing demand for health diagnostic technology and bespoke treatment plans delivered by experts who conduct personal or group sessions to develop vitality, healing, stress management, emotional balance, mindfulness and better sleep. Additionally, many hotels are incorporating wellness principles into their design and operations, such as using natural materials, promoting natural light and fresh air, and offering in-room amenities that help the guests unwind and relax.
Hyper-Personalization and authentic local experiences
As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, the demand for personalised and customised experiences is growing. Today’s travellers, want to make their trips unique and tailored to their individual preferences. Hospitality businesses can implement hyper-personalization by using technological platforms such as CRM and CEM which use big data to create highly customized one-to-one interactions between the guest and the host at scale. Hotels, Travel providers and Restaurants are able to draw on data to utilise insights into customers' past browsing or buying habits, enabling hotels to tailor their offers and promotions, and automatically provide services the individual is searching for. From personalised recommendations for activities and experiences to customised room and amenity options, the hospitality industry is working to deliver the personalised experiences that today’s travellers crave.
Millennial customers in particular place highly value authentic and unique experiences. They want to dine on locally sourced food and drink locally made beer and wine. Many are also looking to interact with local people and participate in activities that make them feel like locals themselves.
Many hotels, resorts, and other hospitality businesses have implemented eco-friendly initiatives, such as reducing water and energy consumption, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, and sourcing local and sustainable food and materials. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years, as consumers become increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their travel and hospitality choices.
Grand Hyatt Mumbai General Manager, Dietmar Kielnhofer spoke exclusively to The Style List to share some industry insight.
Throw light on some of the key trends in the hospitality industry for 2023 and how has the industry changed in the last decade.
The hotel’s business has not changed fundamentally over the last couple of decades. What we have recently witnessed is merely a natural evolution of technology and booking trends. We have experienced considerable changes over the past few years with a special focus on technological improvements, gained a better understanding of shifting customer behaviour and consumer trends and a growing desire for environmentally friendly practices. The development of online travel agencies (OTAs) has also altered how clients book and research hotels and plan their vacations resulting in increasing competition and an emphasis on delivering unique experiences. Furthermore, Grand Hyatt Mumbai is a luxury hotel which provides a variety of services and amenities to meet the demands of bleisure travellers. The hotel provides feasible workplaces such as a business centre and conference rooms, as well as high-speed internet access and audio-visual equipment. Guests may also use the hotel's concierge services, which can assist with transportation, local activities, and other requirements.
The hotel also emphasises holistic hospitality and offers a variety of facilities that encourage health and well-being. It also offers a fitness centre, yoga sessions, and a spa with a selection of treatments to assist clients relax and revitalise. The hotel's restaurants also provide healthy eating alternatives, with menus that extend local as well as international cuisine.
Personalized experiences that respond to guests' unique requirements and tastes are becoming increasingly popular. At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, we have been purveyors of curating experiences that have been unique. Be it our Grand Mangalorean Oota with Chef Shriya Shetty, Frontier Soma with Vikas Khanna, MasterChef Australia’s Sara Todd – Wine Dinner, Onasadya with Chef Marina Balakrishnan and bringing in guest chefs from overseas. These experientials not only allow guests to experience different delicacies but also gives the property a chance to connect with the audience and cross-train our chefs in new culinary trends. Grand Hyatt Mumbai also provides amenities that contribute it to being a stand-out destination in the evergreen wedding market. A case in point is our specially curated bespoke wedding initiative #PerfectlyYours, tailored to unique preferences and visions. We offer a range of customizable wedding packages, ensuring that your celebration is personalized and reflects your individual style and taste.
At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, we are proud and committed to staying ahead of the curve with trends and creating excellent experiences that exceed our guest's expectations.
There has been a shift towards personalisation, luxury and fine dine experiences in the recent past, how are you incorporating the change?
At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, personalisation and experientials are at the heart of everything we do and offer our discerning guests; we only strive to innovate and better ourselves with every new activity. We prioritise client service and authenticity and feel that this offering is vital to providing our customers with a memorable experience. For that purpose, we have extensively trained our team to guarantee that they are informed about our food and beverage offerings and that they can deliver personalized attention to each and every visitor. Without falling into clichés, hospitality is about exceeding guest expectations and creating positive memories.
In addition, we have an in-house team of ex-pat chefs that provide a taste of various cultural backgrounds through their culinary skills. This enables us to elevate an authentic eating experience that is distinct from other restaurants. We strive to be as authentic, without being presumptuous as possible.
To cater to our visitors' selective drinks preferences, we stock a range of high-quality and some of the best brands in the world. We also organise on a regular basis for a small group of eclectic connoisseurs wine tastings for aficionados and diverse niche groups of individuals. These events not only generate interest in our restaurants but also bring together like-minded people to form communities.
We believe that by incorporating these changes, we can stay ahead of the competition and provide the luxurious and personalized experience that our customers expect from us. At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, we strive to sync an unparalleled dining experience.
With a focus on experiential travel, tell us about some new experiences introduced by the brand.
We take pride in providing our guests with a genuinely engaging and unique travel experience. In keeping with this idea, we have launched a number of innovative experiences that appeal to the different interests and tastes of our patrons. One of the highlights of our hotel is our signature dining outlets. We have a variety of dining establishments that provide one-of-a-kind and authentic gastronomic experiences. China House Restaurant delivers traditional Sichuan cuisine and is recognised for distinctive dishes such as peking duck, handmade dim sums, and black pepper tofu/crab. Soma serves some of the best authentic Indian dishes and our live kitchen holds a court for our customers where they can see their food being prepared. Celini brings authentic Italian ingredients, flavours and warmth to our guests. Our sommeliers have elevated the art of wine. They meticulously handpick a variety of high-quality wines and not only recommend wines that complement our cuisine but also take you down the road where the journey of each grape began.
Patio rooms are a unique feature of the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, allowing guests to enjoy the rich foliage and peaceful environment of the hotel's planted gardens. These rooms include their own patio with a peaceful outside place for leisure and enjoyment. The hotel installs a Water Bottling Plant as well that would eradicate the use of over 1 million bottles annually.
Yoga and health are also essential features of the hotel. The hotel has a fitness centre and yoga sessions, as well as a spa with a variety of treatments that encourage relaxation and renewal. The hotel's comprehensive emphasis on wellness extends to its restaurants, which provide healthy eating options and products acquired locally.
The stunning scenery and picturesque sights, notwithstanding horticultural arrangements, provide a fully immersive holistic experience - we have thus created an oasis in the middle of Mumbai. At Grand Hyatt Mumbai, we are committed to providing our guests with an authentic experience to cherish for a lifetime.