In the US, over 30% of the workforce identifies with the creative segment, with the percentile increasing every year, according to urban theorist Richard Florida in “The Rise of the Creative Class”. This upcoming generation is transforming leisure, work, and now the hospitality industry is also experiencing a shift in demand. Demand for a standardized understanding of luxury and wealth is fading as a desire for design-led personalized products and services. Guests look for unique experiences based on originality, design, authenticity and cultural connections rises.
The Lifestyle trend can be found in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London and Miami, where the changes of wants and needs of travelers is more apparent. These hotels are contemporary, with a unusual design, architecture, and a high level of technology. Their services focus on life enrichment and wellness components.
Japan is following this trend, with a few international lifestyle brands entering the Japanese market. Promoted as the first branded boutique hotel experience, Hotel Indigo has announced two projects in Hakone and Nagoya, Japan. As millenials are replacing older generations as the most financially influential travelers, the demand for luxury branded boutique hotels is growing. With no two properties alike, Indigo aims to highlight the vibrant local community by connecting guests to an authentic local experience as well as modern design.
Hyatt Centric, which opened in Ginza January 2018, is also under Hyatts lifestyle series (others include Andaz Hotel and the Unbound Collection). Self proclaimed unique hotel for unique travelers, it overs stylish boutique rooms for those traveling for business, a quick vacation, or a tourist. Appealing to millenials, AC Hotels by Marriott has a focus on modern minimalistic design and open spaces. They have announced plans to enter the Japan market summer 2020 in Ginza district.
Nagoya is experiencing another lifestyle brand, with Nikko Style Nagoya, opening in 2020. Under the Okura Nikko Hotel brand, it will be an upscale, select service hotel, targeting customers interested in new and creative hotel experiences. Nikko Style Hotel airms to open in major locations worldwide. The facilities will be geared to satisfy the needs and preferences of millenials interested in culture, health, environment and creative experiences.
Japan is a country rich in culture, offering lots of unique contents for hotels to showcase.
An example of a hotel operator that is creating a truly Japan unique experience for their lifestyle seeking guests is Hoshino Resorts. Their hotel KAI Sengokuhara, which opened at the end of July in Hakone, is known as the world’s first art based hot spring water ryokan. The hotel is a blend between its usual Japanese traditional inn style, and a modern art space. The hotel itself is made with locally collected materials, and offers exclusive hot springs in all 16 rooms, and the hotel as well as rooms will have creative art pieces and installations crafted by local and international artists. For guests, there will also be the option to take part in artistic activities.