New Trends In Hotel Bars


As co-founder and creative director of the acclaimed Thompson Hotels for 12 years, hospitality innovator Jason Pomeranc developed, rebranded and renovated more than 13 hotels throughout North America and the UK. In 2013, he and his partners sold their interests in the brand, and in 2014 they co-founded SIXTY Hotels, an innovative brand of six luxury lifestyle lodgings in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami (debuting spring 2015) and Montreal (opening in 2016).

“I believe there’s a movement away from overly aggressive nightlife in hotel culture. For a period of time, nightlife controlled the preface of hotels in the global capitals, but there’s been pushback. Guests now want to be socially engaged and they want a qualitative social experience that’s more subdued and sophisticated. The first trend I foresee is the focus on quality, be it through the cocktail list, the bar menu, the aesthetic,service culture, uniforms, music… It’s all getting much more purposeful. Some new hotels have underwritten their financing based on the idea of disproportionate revenue numbers in the bar culture, and they became beholden and somewhat enslaved to volume. This new trend will shift the hotel bar scene back to quality rather than volume, so you’ll see smaller venues rather than one very large venue.

Also, cocktail culture is going to get even stronger, and there will be a revived emphasis on wine, with more approachable wine lists. You’ll see entertainment change, with a shift toward classical bar culture that integrates live music. So while the DJ culture will still stick, there will be more jazz programing, catering to people seeking a more sophisticated experience – more piano, saxophone, etc. Another thing: you’ll see the layout and the design aesthetic of hotel bars become much more residential in vibe, with smaller clusters of comfortable seating groups, modeled after private members clubs. People work and socialize in a different way these days, it’s not just about liqueur and nightlife. So hotel bars and lounges will start to offer a whole day experience. It’s essentially a move toward the European culture of café-bars. We’ll also see a rise in more thematic experiences, like tiki bars and karaoke bars, very specific concepts that are trying to stand out in a very crowded marketplace.” –