In Review

Hotel launches project to make guests more ‘human’

What happened when a hotel encouraged guests to give gifts, tell secrets and leave messages for one another?

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With all the ways we’re able to connect nowadays – texting, emails, social media – we’re still somehow disconnected from one other, especially when we check in to a hotel. So what happened when one hotel group decided to run an experiment (with willing guests) to encourage interaction?

Room 301, a transformed hotel room at The Kimpton Everly Hotel in Los Angeles, was filled with activities designed to make guests both interact and reflect on themselves and their surroundings. The experiment aimed to explore the connections between people – no matter their background. The findings were variously hilarious, deeply emotional, sometimes sad and often hopeful.

Secrets

People were encouraged to leave messages for future guests and asked to leave writings on the wall confessing their deepest, darkest secrets. People chose to say all sorts of things to a perfect stranger, including positive, encouraging or inspirational phrases (26%), words of wisdom (32%), and fun, playful sayings (39%).

Guests were also invited to write their deepest, darkest secrets on a Confessions wall completely anonymously. Most of the secrets involved relationships, with 13% expressing their love for someone, confessing infidelity or sharing a light-hearted relationship secret (i.e. a candy stash hidden from a husband). 

Gifts

Kimpton presented each Room 301 guest with 10,000 IHG Rewards Club Points (like a hotel version of air miles) and gave them a choice — keep the gift for themselves, or “pay it forward” to someone else. 70% of guests chose to keep the points for themselves, although many defended their choice by providing explanation of why.

Shared humanity

Room 301 also asked guests their thoughts on what makes people uniquely human. Responses ranged from the ability to make choices, free will, the capacity for compassion and sensitivity and feelings. Overall many boiled down to a common thread: the complexity of our emotions and the human experience.Ultimately, according to guests, no amount of data and technology can replace the value of one-to-one connections.

Stay Human

Following on from Room 301, the brand has since launched the Kimpton Stay Human Project, which sees several Kimpton hotels transform one room with the aim of connecting guests to one another and to locals. The experience is now available to book at the brand’s four hotels in the UK and the Netherlands until the end of the year. 

The project will offer ‘idea of the day’ cards suggesting challenges and experiences to guests, as well as instant cameras and guestbooks; perfect for leaving messages for future guests and understanding the stories left behind by past guests. 

 Stay Human is available to book now until the end of the year

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