Trens hotel last year

1. Hotel restaurants get interesting

Michelin stars and hotels have long been an apposite pairing (Paris and London hold constellations), but in 2016, many hotels are saying goodbye to cloches and cheese carts and turning the idea of a resident hotel restaurant on its head.

Following Rene Redzepi’s successful Noma residency at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo last year, chefs of similar acclaim are setting up temporarily at hotels. Grant Achatz, three Michelin-starred chef at Chicago’s Alinea, will take over at the new Faena Hotel Miami Beach, while Albert Adrià, of the inimitable elBulli in Spain, will host a 50-day dining concept at London’s Café Royal.

Over in Dubai, the new Palazzo Versace opens restaurant Enigma in January, where the chefs will change four times a year. Likewise, east London hotspot the Town Hall Hotel is planning to host a rotating list of global mixologists at their award-winning cocktail bar Peg + Patriot, alongside their existing ‘bed and beverage’ offering, whereby rooms are stocked with homemade cocktails straight from the bar.

2. Hotels go smart

2015 was the year that saw Japan successfully pull off a hotel manned solely by robots. Hotels will continue in a techie vein this year, focusing on a smoother experience for guests.

Arrive hotel, opening in Palm Springs, is the creation of Facebook millionaire Erza Callahan. It’s a hotel for the social media age, with easy check-in at the hotel bar, multi-functional staff (all will be able to do check-ins, park your car or deliver room service), and in-room Netflix and Apple TV. Rooms won’t, however, include landline telephones – instead all services will be available by text message. Similarly, in Baja California, guests of new hotel Mar Adentro will have personalised tablets in rooms which control everything from the air-con, to ordering room service, to declaring any dietary requirements. Wi-Fi will also be as strong on the beach as it is in the hotel.

Hopefully stronger Wi-Fi will trickle down into the mainstream: Best Western, the first hotel brand to introduce free Wi-Fi, is leading the industry once again with its new Li-Fi technology. Showcased last year, it would mean that 5g technology could be transmitted through lights, meaning an unprecedented connection speed in rooms – and no more having to visit the hotel lobby to get a decent connection.

Check-in and out will also be a big focus. Late check-outs for no extra charge are becoming more popular (Only You in Madrid already live by this rule, alongside an all-day breakfast), and hotels will start experimenting with the 24-hour blocks (already adopted by The Patina hotel group). This would mean that if you check in at 4pm, for example, you will not be asked to check out before 4pm the following day.