By Kacey Bradley
Planning for a major property renovation can give any hotel management team a major headache. Still, keeping your hotel property fresh and inviting increases guest satisfaction, leading to more repeat customers, referrals and a major boost in revenue.
When planning a major hotel renovation project, industry leaders recommend keeping the following five elements in mind. As the old saying goes, failing to plan means planning to fail. Planning your renovation around the following five key elements ensures a successful return on investment (ROI) from your property improvement dollar.
Strive for Timelessness
While trying the latest trends may tempt hotel owners, exercise caution, as the whole point of renovation means making your decor fresh. Aim instead for a design that offers timeless, classy elements.
For example, recent renovations to the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., entices guests with room color schemes in classic blues, ivory and grey with just a touch of gold accents. This subdued scheme invites rest and relaxation after busy city days. The classic colors pair perfectly with the hotel's target market of politicians and international figureheads.
Indeed, the factor of paramount importance in any design scheme requires keeping your target guest market in mind throughout the renovation process. Cozy country inns may incorporate quirky design elements such a chicken, romantic honeymoon retreats benefit from rose and burgundy tones, while chains frequented by business travelers demand cool, neutral, classic color schemes.
Consider Comfort Factors
Comfy, cozy guests often return to their favorite rooms year after year. They're also more likely to share positive online reviews and provide free advertising via their social media postings.
Easy, inexpensive changes include thoughtful touches such as adding USB charging ports along with extra outlets for guests to plug in electronic devices located both on the desk area as well as on end tables next to the bed, so your guests can surf the net in comfort. Replacing traditional coffee pots with Keurig machines and offering an assortment of flavored coffees and teas add smiles to busy mornings.
Get picky with fabrics and pillows. Unless you're running a B&B in farm country, patterned quilts and bedspreads scream cheap and tacky. Opt for cuddle-worthy down comforters in solid colors. Providing extra pillows costs little yet makes a huge difference when it comes to preventing guests from waking up with a painful crick in the neck!
Nothing destroys a hotel manager's best day like having to start to replace furniture and amenities before renovations even conclude. Investing in high-quality furnishings costs more initially but pays dividends in terms of longevity.
Consider furnishings such as couches carefully. While fabric couches are prone to tearing, quality leather couches and chairs offer long term durability while adding a luxurious feel to decor. Bureaus and dressers which conceal amenities such as in-room refrigerators likewise add an upscale feel to guest lodgings.
Bed bugs have become the bane of the hotel industry. Consider investing in high quality mattress covers intended to halt infestation and keep your guest beds bug free.
Don't Overlook Cheap Chic
While spending extra on durable goods makes economic sense, the artwork you select to decorate your guest rooms need not be pricey Picasso's. Do remove those tacky and bland pictures of boats and ships, but don't break the bank ordering expensive prints. Instead, frequent local art shows to find pieces that capture the flavor of your location for far less than you'd spend buying art online.
Other creative ideas include adding a single fake flower in a decorative vase to bring a touch of elegance to guest bathrooms. Sometimes your local dollar store boasts vases, decorative rocks and flowers. Avoid large, fussy arrangements that collect dust, making your guest rooms feel dingy.
Keep Guests at the Forefront
Above all, the hospitality industry revolves around providing a memorable guest experience that keeps folks coming back to your hotel time and again. How do you discover what guests like? Easy — simply ask them!
Provide guest satisfaction surveys and train hotel desk staff to request them from guests upon checkout so that you can gather insight into what guests want while addressing any potential problems prior to your guests' departure. Some hotels have begun utilizing scented cards that sweeten your guests' luggage while reminding them to write Yelp reviews. Other establishments offer discounts on future visits to guests who recommend their establishment on social media.
Undergoing a full hotel renovation can seem daunting but reaping the rewards of increased revenue and improved guest satisfaction makes the process worth the time and effort. By planning your renovation wisely, your hotel's reputation will skyrocket, and guests will leave happy and well-rested.