The future of ‘Instagrammable’ hospitality: what next for traditional hotels?

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Guests want to show their friends and family that they are staying somewhere which is authentic, unique and exclusive through platforms such as Instagram. Star ratings by local authorities are becoming irrelevant as travellers now rely on guest reviews on Booking.com and Instagram images which resonate with their own lifestyle.

This trend is becoming increasingly important as guests stay for longer periods in co-living or extended-stay concepts such as Locke, Staykooook, Alex Lake Zurich and Nest Geneva which embrace their expectations in terms of guest experience.

At Locke Leman in London, guests find the best coffee bar in their lobby where locals queue every morning on their way to work. Eric Jaffari, creative director and co-founder of Locke, scouted the area to partner with a local coffee maker in London and a nightclub operator in Manchester. Facilities at Whitworth Locke in Manchester include co-working spaces, a gym and yoga studio, speakeasy and cocktail bars, all-day dining and a Foundation Coffee House.

“We’re focused on re-shaping hospitality, that’s why Locke continues to identify the ever-evolving needs of the modern traveller,” Jafari says. “We know that simply providing a place to rest is no longer enough, travellers increasingly value social experiences and personal connections. This ethos underpins the Locke brand and is evident in the design of our venues.”

Stay KooooK is opening in Bern, Switzerland in early 2020 by SV Hotel, where guests will to cook together, share stories and learn skills from locals, from cheese making to creative writing. According to SV Hotel’s COO Beat Kuhn, Stay KooooK is not a hotel but a lifestyle house for travellers looking for practical accommodation during longer stays, as well as city trips: “We have brought together the best of modern accommodation concepts: the cosy environment of a private apartment with inside knowledge from a local host. He will mix with residents in a common area called The Backyard to connect guests and recommend locations, restaurants, bars and clubs. This is a central part of Stay KooooK, as social exchange is very important among the new generation of travellers.”

Alex Lake Zurich by Campbell Gray Hotel provides guests with recipes from onsite restaurant The Boathouse, to recreate in their own kitchen. The restaurant was designed by Montana Fog and is managed by one of Zurich’s leading restauranteurs. At the latest Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit 2019, Campbell Gray Hotels’ managing director Alan O’Dea explained that “every Campbell Gray property is unique, as we partner with the best possible brands and concepts to create the ultimate experience for locals, residents and guests.”

Finally, Nest Geneva, is a luxury lifestyle apartment hotel concept furnished in partnership with Vitra, and was voted the No.1 accommodation in Geneva by Monocle Magazine in 2018. After renovation in summer 2019, co-owners Christoph and Tara Wondraczek will reopen to include a private club lounge and concierge services providing guests with tailor-made experience during their stay. All of these concepts allow guests to mix work and pleasure while sharing experiences, which reflects the preferences of today’s modern traveller. Through extended-stay and co-living concepts, residents stay engaged for longer periods of time.


Jonathan Humphries is course leader of the MSc in Finance, Real Estate and Hotel Development and Head of International Hotel Development at Glion Institute of Higher Education. As Director of consulting company HoCoSo, he and his team have advised on Locke, Stay KooooK, Alex Lake Zurich and Nest Geneva and used the concepts as business cases for Glion students

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