No demand for little knights?

No demand for little knights?

When I was a boy, my mother bought bulk packages of clothing patches. I managed to scrape my knees every day, my clothes got dirty and I didn’t even know what a “brand” was – there was certainly no desire for “Abercrombie & Fitch” jeans. I collected earthworms in my trouser pockets — that was what life was about. At that time, my reputation came from catching rats in the pond at my little friend’s backyard.  Later on, it came from how fast I was able to drive my moped… but I am starting to become nostalgic.

Today girls and boys want to become “superstars,” they are nicely dressed and boys seem to have the same ideals as girls. Yet still, girls are much better at school, they are even nicer than boys, they like learning, they like teachers and they like to design their own little nursery rooms. In summary, girls seem to like anything that I found silly and daft when I was their age.

Poor boys… in kindergarten, even the school nurse is already telling them to behave like girls, just like female teachers do at school and their mothers do at home. The father — who might understand that from time-to-time boys need to have tattered trousers — is often not at home or maybe doesn’t even live with his son.

At the same time, girls go to universities and become businesswomen — where they also become better than young men and, soon thereafter, hotel guests travelling for work. Meanwhile, men have discovered that taking a shower is not punishment (as I used to think many years ago) and that using antiperspirant doesn’t hurt.

So as hotel designers we need to keep this societal megatrend in mind and ask ourselves, “What do women want to have in hotels?”

Many results of this social movement have already been implemented in today’s hotels — although there will continue to be more. Bathrooms are much more important today than they have been. Washrooms have expanded into living areas for guests to wash and care for their bodies. For “putting on one´s face,” vanities must have focused lighting directed at the mirrors rather than just low levels designed not to disturb men in the early morning. There also must be lots of space around the basin for cosmetics. Security has also become a more important theme in hotels — corridors are lighter and more attractive and, for the most part, hotel bars are no longer dark corners where drinking a quiet pint might invite unwanted attention.

The best thing to come out of this trend for designers is that since a hotel’s “selling proposition” has increasingly become its atmosphere, the interior design — an interest of many female guests — has now become connected to the property’s status.

There are still a lot of changes on the horizon when you think of the female-driven wellness movement; the feminine openness to spirituality and emotions (versus the masculine tendency towards logic and facts); the indulgences which appeal to women (probably different than a simple steak and a beer); and their mental and cultural interests (which just might differ from football and car racing).

I don’t have the recipe for hotel design in the future, but it shall be interesting to see how it develops.