On the rise in 2012, part 1: Hotel and spa trends

Over the next several days HOTELS will present insights from San Francisco-based Andrew Freeman & Co.’s annual report about upcoming restaurant and hospitality trends. What follows is part 1, which focuses on what to expect next year in hotels and spas.

Andrew Freeman & Co.’s predictions for hotels and spas run the gamut from high-tech apps to down-home turndown amenities. Here is the list of 10 top trends:

1. Warm front: Hotels are warming up by eliminating the formal front desk. Guests can enjoy a personal greeting at the door from a “welcome ambassador” and special gifts or treats in reward for repeat business.

2. Made to fit: Ultra-targeted personalized service includes not only catering to guests with special dietary requirements and providing culturally appropriate in-room amenities but also providing personal advice about off-beat galleries or avant-garde dining.

3. Classy vacations: Guests are seeking out experiential vacations and want to get involved with the likes of cooking classes, gardening opportunities, lessons on pickling or preserving and even massage instruction.. 

4. Phone home: Hotels should take advantage of smartphone technology that offers guests the comforts of home by providing downloadable custom apps to order room service, drinks, movies or even a local map.

5. Taking charge: Due to growing popularity, many hotels and resorts are offering electric-car charging stations for guest use. 

6. Bedtime sweets: Customized turndown sweets recreating childhood favorites can include hot chocolate, Rice Krispy treats or cookies and a glass of milk. 

7. Cleanse-ing diets: Eco-conscious guests are cutting down on cleaning — saving hotels labor, time and materials — with elective daily cleaning programs. 

8. Shop and drop: New lobby bar/marketplaces offer enticing places to grab a quick drink, gourmet snack, espresso, light meal or edible souvenirs any time of the day.

9. The royal bedding: Sleep Number bedding, hypo-allergenic organic sheets and TempurPedic beds offer full customization.

10. Say spa-aaah: Spa goers will put a little more oomph in their relaxation regimen and undergo clinical treatments such as glycolic peels that focus on rejuvenation from an almost medical perspective.