Marriott International has gone to the lab—the pop-up lab—to test new hotel innovations.
On Jan. 23, the Maryland-based hotel giant launched its first Pop-Up Innovation Lab in downtown Los Angeles, providing a new twist on crowdsourcing. Think of it as an interactive model hotel.
The lab opened its doors to industry pros, hotel guests and the general public to weigh in on the company’s latest concepts. Visitors can “see, touch and taste” innovations soon to arrive at the company’s trendy Aloft and Element brands.
The lab offers travelers a chance to influence the design of their favorite hotels. Aloft and Element “are always evolving as guests, lifestyles and technology changes,” says Eric Jacobs, chief development officer ¬- North America, Marriott Select Brands, Marriott International. “We’re also eager to collect and use feedback from the ownership community.”
So what’s cooking in the lab? Here are three of our favorite concepts:
1. Communal living spaces
Element is trying out a new guest room design that’s communal, but not too communal. The design groups four guest rooms around a shared space in the middle, allowing guests to get together in a kitchen, dining room and lounge. Business travelers can collaborate. Families can bond. Everyone can retreat to privacy.
2. Customizable “pots”
These customizable meals will give Aloft a healthy boost to its food and beverage program. Ingredients such as spinach, avocado and quinoa will be in ample supply. Travelers can follow their dietary hearts when they order customized pots in colorful to-go containers. They can be ordered and paid for at a digital kiosk. In an informative and personal touch, each meal will be labeled with a time stamp and the chef’s emoji.
3. Portable wine carts
Wine lovers will get to unwind the high-tech way at Element Hotels. Guests will be able to belly up to wine carts, insert their room key and dispense their favorite red or white. And they won’t even have to tip.