Would you be open to the idea of sharing a space with total strangers on your next trip? That’s what popular hotel chain Marriott is banking on as they gear up to introduce communal rooms.
According to a press release provided to TODAY.com, the company’s Element brand — a development which caters to longer-stay travelers — is piloting this concept.
The thought of a communal room might bring flashbacks of your college travel days, although this sounds much different and more luxurious than those hostels you may be remembering.
Element’s communal room will feature a block of about four private rooms with an en suite bathroom, surrounding a common living area and kitchen. So, if you’re the type of traveler who loves meeting new people, this could be a great way to do so.
This new feature is similar to other travel trends that cater to those who want to part of the sharing economy. For example, Lyft and Uber both offer carpooling-with-stranger options; EatWith lets you eat dinner with people you’ve never met; and sites like Airbnb give you the keys to someone else’s house.
“It's much more about socializing and a sense of community when you travel," Toni Stoeckl, a global brand leader at Marriott, told KTLA.
If the idea of sharing a hotel space with strangers is not quite your style, the communal rooms can also be rented for groups traveling together — kind of like a vacation home, except with the amenities of a hotel. Some features of Element include breakfast, happy hours and Wi-Fi — all complimentary.
According to the KTLA report, Marriott is also testing out a self-service wine bar, Siri-controlled guest rooms and made-to-order breakfast pots.