100 Years of Hotel Trends
PHOTO: A miniaturized replica of the classic Holiday Inn roadside sign, on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. (photo by Monica Poling)
Was it just a few years ago that everyone was talking about free Wi-Fi as the hottest new "thing" to hit the hotel industry?
How quickly the conversation has shifted to robot butlers, wallet-free payment systems and "immersive" experiences!
Indeed, hotel trends are indeed fleeting. So fleeting, in fact, we thought it would be interesting to take a step back in time and identify some of the top hotel trends over the past century. Some have come and gone (whatever did happen to all those vibrating beds?), while others, like chocolates on our pillows continue to be a mainstay today.
Average daily rate (1900): $2.00
In the early 1900s, more people were indulging in cross-country travel as rail travel started to hit its peak. To accommodate this new class of traveler, luxurious hotels opened nationwide. In Canada, many of the rail hotels of this era were built to replicate the grand chateaus of Europe.
The early 1900s also marked the emergence of customized, in-room offerings. When it opened in 1904, the St. Regis in New York City became the first property to provide adjustable heating and cooling in every guest room. By the latter half of the decade, phones and radios also started to make their first in-room appearance.
Notable openings: Fairmont San Francisco; Moana Surfrider (Waikiki, Hawaii); St. Francis (San Francisco, California); Taj Mahal (India)