Travel-savvy kids share vision for hotels of the future

NEW YORK—A recent Marriott Kids Roundtable on Travel turned the spotlight on kids at the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Midtown.

NEW YORK—A recent Marriott Kids Roundtable on Travel turned the spotlight on kids at the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Midtown. 

Residence Inn by Marriott was traditionally a business traveller brand. Realizing the same amenities—on-site laundry, hot breakfasts, in-suite kitchens, and grocery delivery—appeal to business travellers and families alike, they have expanded branding to highlight that, including celebrating mothers for the entire month of May. In an effort to continue enriching family travel, it seemed they should hear from the children, said Meredith Lovera, account supervisor at Laura Davidson Public Relations. 

About 10 well-travelled children, ranging in age from eight to 12, took part on Aug. 3 and shared their imaginative vision for hotels of the future: guest rooms that recognize your fingerprint for entry, alterable wall colours, design elements predetermined by guests and robot butlers, were some of the things dreamed up by the participants. 

The key findings conveyed a need for hoteliers to focus on personalization and customization. Highlights include:

  • Customized experiences: kids want to be in control of their travel experiences, from pre-ordering in-room snacks to deciding hotel room amenities.   
  • Technology is ingrained in children’s lives. 
  • The emotional experience of time on the road and sharing memories is what children cited when asked about the best part of travelling with their families.
  • If parents let them pick the next family trip they would choose Colorado, Paris, Australia, Hawaii, Antarctica, Florida, the moon, Alaska, Spain, the Galapagos, Egypt and Canada.
  • Future transportation methods-—teleports and flying or driverless cars, for example–—will make getting there half the fun. 

“These children have very different expectations, views and opinions of travel than our guests today. Their world is technologically advanced and there is no limit to their imagination,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn, in a release. “We host a lot of families with children at Residence Inn. Who knows, we might test some of these out-of-the-box ideas in the near future.”