Hybrid hospitality has been around for many years, growing steadily but largely remaining on the fringes. But now, it’s firmly hit the mainstream and the experts at Mews advise on the importance of embracing the evolution of hotel spaces.

Spaces around the world are becoming infused with hospitality. Offices are adding concierge services and F&B options. Apartment groups are introducing hotel services. This hotelisation of public and private places reflects our growing need for flexibility. Besides, multi-purpose is both more practical and more profitable.

If you’re running a traditional heads-in-beds hotel, there’s no need to panic. Properties are still figuring out the most operationally efficient and guest-satisfying ways to enable blended living. It’s not too late to jump aboard the blended bandwagon.

So, where do you begin? As with most changes, it starts with a mindset shift. That means rethinking how you measure and sell space and time. Moving away from the ‘night’ as a unit of time is usually one of the first steps in becoming more flexible and more profitable. Why only sell nights when you can sell days too, or even by the hour?

Your goal is to provide a combination of space, time, and services in the most flexible way possible. But embracing the new doesn’t mean you have to throw away the old entirely. With blended hospitality, you can still have night stays as a good proportion of your bookings – only now you can supplement these with additional revenue as well as reach more demographics.

The other big mindset shift is putting guests at the centre of your experience. Hybrid hospitality demands that you think about the different guests you want to attract. There isn’t one unified set of guest desires and expectations, but it’s critical to think not only of what you want to sell, but what and how guests want to buy.

For instance, one Mews-powered hotel generated close to £90,000 in less than a year thanks to managing and selling their parking spaces through our platform, while also making big time savings by cutting out the need for manual data entry. All they had to do was make these spaces easily bookable to guests and non-guests, and hey presto. Simple, no friction booking across multiple services is often the difference between a room-only reservation and a hybrid one.

Successful hybrid hospitality also largely depends on creating an engaged community. This can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s key to have a hospitality cloud that allows you to build and manage this community easily, whether that’s through tools within the platform or through open connectivity.

Innovators like The Social Hub are leading the way when it comes to community building. They let their community of users define what services they offer, whether that’s flexible co-working spaces or pop-up barbers. While traditional hoteliers think solely about ‘impact travel’ when people have a specific need to go somewhere, hybrid hospitality requires a more holistic outlook. You could be looking after someone for as long as a year, so reaching other aspects of their lives is essential.

This guest-first approach is key to how Mews operates. We’ve developed new system architecture that uses different space types, such as parking spots, meeting rooms and offices. We’ve built new time units such as day use and month stays, all of which ultimately give guests more choice in what they can book and how they can book it.

Of course, hoteliers benefit too. These new features and services can be easily managed from within a single platform, streamlining operations and saving huge amounts of time. Add to that the additional revenue from a wider, more varied customer base, and there’s an awful lot of upside.

We’re already working with the likes of edyn, Ennismore, The Social Hub and Generator Freehand Hotels, and their success is a live demonstration that hybrid hospitality is more profitable and more resilient. We’re seeing more hoteliers branching out into extended stay options as their first step into hybrid hospitality, which is a good place to start. Our own data shows us that despite lower ADRs, long stays end up being more profitable for the hotel, as well as much less likely to cancel.

Over a fifth of all Mews properties now practice hybrid hospitality by offering additional bookable services, from day use to parking spots, meetings rooms to wedding tents. This has generated over £73m of additional revenue for these properties, proving the demand for hybrid hospitality – and the rewards for hoteliers that embrace it.