Millennial vibe: hotels tune to into millennial wavelength to get customers

If you want millennials, then you have to provide space for them to work and meet. The hotel puts an emphasis on open space. Puro Hotel

As companies vie for millennial customers, hotels are upping their game. Now forced to compete against Airbnb, with its endless options and range of price points, they are adapting to changing tastes.

In Poland, one of the young brands chasing the millennial is Puro, which offers guests a “holistic experience encompassing rest, work and play”. With hotels in several major cities in Poland already, the brand has just opened a second one in Kraków, in the historical district of Kazimierz.  

The expectations of millennials – typically people born between 1980 and 1999 – about what a hotel should be differ from their parents’. As the Wall Street Journal noted earlier this year, they want “high-tech amenities, bigger, hipper lobbies and a cleaner, more minimal look”. This is forcing hotels, from multinational chains to boutique establishments, to rethink design – both of guests’ rooms and public spaces.

Puro’s new hotel on Halicka Street, a short walk from Kazimierz’s popular bars and cafes, conforms to these millennial expectations.

Going for the “Instagrammable” look. The proliferation of photo-sharing apps is changing the way hotels look.Puro Hotel

First, it fits the growing emphasis on design by brands catering to millennials. This is visible from the hotel’s minimal brick exterior to its furniture by recognisable European designers and Danish light fixtures. The interior is peppered with accents in blush – that colour known as “millennial pink” – from upholstery to throws.

Art, too, is more than an afterthought. A graffiti mural by Kraków native Nawer decorates the reception, while rooms feature works by Polish illustrators “inspired by their emotional reflections on Kazimierz”.

The result is thoroughly Instagrammable – reflecting how the photo-sharing social media platform is shaping hotel design around the world.

Second, the hotel offers visitors experiences beyond a just good night’s sleep. For millennial foodies, a snack is right downstairs, at one of the hotel’s two eateries, MAK Bread&Coffee which promises fresh bagels, and Halicka Eatery&Bar.

It also taps into the millennial emphasis millennials on “self-care”, covering everything from pampering to exercise, which has spread from the United States. The hotel spa offers facials and massages to the scent of essential oils. Meanwhile, visitors in search of more structured activities can choose from a morning running club to pilates sessions.

Rooms come with original art and technology that talks to you. Puro Hotel

Third, tech is part of the scenery. Upon entering their rooms, an automated voice tells guests to insert their room-card into the holder. Rooms are equipped with a tablet, which can be used to put the room in “do not disturb” mode or order room service.

Finally, in a nod to work and solo travellers, the hotel provides public spaces where guests can tap away at their laptops or mingle. A photogenic sofa area at the far end of the lobby comes with a machine dispensing takeout coffee and tea, complete with a choice of regular, soy or almond milk — so that a latte is never far away.

After Kazimierz, Puro plans to continue expanding in Poland’s cities, with hotels in Warsaw and Łódź set to open next year.