Post-pandemic, hospitality is taking a more meaningful turn, prioritizing affordability and accessibility. These new hotel ventures put inclusivity and wellness at the forefront.
James Tate, head of design & hospitality at the real estate firm Preserve Partners, was captivated by the idea of the American West, inspiring him to develop a new RV park prototype that differed from the staid lodging alternatives. With the help of Santa Barbara, California-based Anacapa Architects and Hannah Collins, founder and principal of ROY – A Hospitality Design Studio in San Francisco, Tate converted an old RV park near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah into Yonder Escalante. Mixing prefab units and restored Airstreams, the site also features a water treatment facility, an indoor-outdoor clubhouse, a pool, and a hot tub. Another perk is the preserved original drive-in theater, complete with classic cars. “We wanted something that felt like it wasn’t necessarily outdoorsy but was driven by nostalgia for Americana or the American road trip,” Collins explains. The simple, modernist Yonder Escalante is resonating so well with guests that it has led to the formation of parent company Yonder Hospitality, which is currently hatching plans for a second outpost just outside of California’s Yosemite Valley. “I’ve always been intrigued by alternative hospitality, and I love the boutique nature of this sector,” says Collins, who also serves as Yonder Hospitality’s CEO. “There’s a huge opportunity to bring great hospitality in and around national parks and monuments.”
In 2023, Kerzner International, the global developer behind Atlantis Resorts and Residences, One&Only Resorts, and Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, will unveil SIRO —Strength, Inclusive, Reflection, Original—its newest hospitality offering. “Holistic wellbeing is a lifestyle, not a trend,” says Kerzner CEO Philippe Zuber. “There are very few existing brands that have placed fitness and wellbeing at the center of the guest experience in the same way that SIRO will.” The first property in the collection will be the 96-room, 145-residence SIRO Boka Place in Montenegro. Designed by concept architect HMA and local architecture firm Arhi. Pro, its minimalist palette showcases exposed concrete and gray furnishings. Underscoring the hotel’s commitment to sustainability is a collaboration with LEED and the International WELL Building Institute that focuses on air, water, light, and sound quality. Even the guestrooms, designed for “recovery and restoration,” Zuber points out, will swap desk chairs for exercise balls and provide ample space for working out or reflection. A 4,000-square-foot Recovery Lab may be the hotel’s centerpiece, but another highlight is the array of trainers, coaches, and dieticians on hand who will curate health and fitness plans that “continue post-visit with vitality tracking and access to virtual training sessions and an engaged global community,” explains Zuber. “We hope SIRO guests will fully embrace our mission and become inspired to be the best versions of themselves.”
Patina, the more affordable sibling of the luxe Capella brand, made its debut in 2021 with the 90-room Patina Maldives, Fari Island. Although Patina hotels cater to a different market, they still embody Capella’s devotion to craftsmanship. At the inaugural property, for example, Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan of Studio MK27 incorporated myriad biophilic elements into the resort to harmonize with its environs. As Capella Group CEO Nicholas Clayton puts it, Kogan “conjures spaces and atmospheres that encourage deep connections with nature, as well as communion with other people. Delicate architectural lines remain respectfully low, never breaching the horizon of sea and sky, unfolding invitingly into the surrounding island life—a simultaneous experience of isolation and belonging.” Sustainability is also one of Patina’s core values, which translates to the likes of a permaculture garden that encourages guest interaction and kitchens that operate on a zero-waste basis. As a member of the Fari Islands Collective, the brand also contributes one percent of its gross operating profits to fund initiatives that support Maldivian women and children, focusing on communities impacted by climate change. “We call this perpetuity, our neverending journey to making a positive impact on people and places,” says Clayton.
Launched in 2019 as part of Accor’s extensive portfolio, the eco-centric economy brand Greet currently spans four properties in France and Germany, with 15 in the pipeline—including flagships in Vienna, London, and Lyon—and a bold 300 expected by 2030. It’s “about expansion, but with discipline,” says chief development officer Agnes Roquefort. Greet hotels are billed as being respectful of people and the planet, an ethos that is familiar in many Accor brands that likewise embrace a circular hospitality mission that promotes less production, less waste, and less environmental damage. Guests will always discover recycled and repurposed furniture in Greet hotels. At the Lyon Confluence location, for instance, French designer Franck Cousin salvaged hexagonal-shaped metal components from outdoor furniture that were being discarded. He then transformed them into mosaic pieces that appear on tabletops and in guestrooms. “It looked like it cost a fortune,” recalls Damien Perrot, Accor’s global senior vice president of design. “Thanks to that process, we brought something high quality to the hotel.”