A Hotel Room Designed by You

  • July 3, 2013
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A major hotel chain is making use of a bold new strategy to increase customer satisfaction with implications for the disability community. Marriott customers are being given a remarkable opportunity to design their hotel experience, perhaps signaling an end to the days of old fashioned cookie cutter hotel rooms.

Marriott recently launched a website that allows their customers to submit ideas for the hotel room of the future.  The ideas are clever, environmentally savvy and smart updates to the traditional hotel model. A woman submitted an idea for energy saving automatic lights that has received nearly 100 votes. The idea helps customers (no more searching for a light switch in an unfamiliar room) as it saves the company energy and money.  These ideas represent the power of  collaboration between a company and its customers: in the end, everyone wins.

The image is a screenshot from a website. The header reads "Zoned music and speakers throughout guest suites". Under that, in white text over a gray background, reads Think Sonos system meets your hotel suite. Zoned music speakers allow you to play your music library or favorite streaming radio station on the go. Or in the shower. Or while you're relaxing on the balcony sipping wine staring at the ocean. Or watching a movie late at night. If WiFi connections to the room are problematic, phone can be docked on a docking station centrally located in the room.An example of a user submitted idea for zoned music in hotel rooms.


Why is this important to UCP and Life Labs? The user driven designs have the capability to make a huge difference for people with disabilities.  For example, one of the suggestions being considered at Marriott’s lab in Bethesda is the concept of a room that the guest can reconfigure. This would allow guests to place their furniture in a way that best fits their needs, increasing accessibility in every hotel room.

Perhaps the most useful idea for people with disabilities has yet to be submitted. With this new campaign, people of all abilities have more power than ever before to advocate for themselves and ensure that they have the best hotel experience possible. Check out the site and submit your own idea. Who knows, you may see it come to life at a hotel in the future!

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