Designing Your Hotel For Great Guest Experiences

August 24th, 2017 Christina M. General, Hospitality Trends

Your guests are strongly influenced by the design of your property.

Research shows that guests remember the look of the lobby and the feel of their room more than any other part of a hotel experience.

Memorable experiences built around great design drive excellent reviews, higher sales at your property, repeat stays from happy guests, and more.

Strategic design decisions can lead guests to spend money at your restaurant, sip on cocktails from your bar, or retreat for a night of in-room entertainment. It all depends on the guest behaviors you seek, and then designing your spaces to encourage them accordingly.

So how can you bring design to your property that leaves a lasting impact, influences the way your guests behave, and increases revenue?

Design to attract your ideal guests

Each property attracts a different kind of traveler. To achieve great design on your property, cater directly to the needs of your ideal guests.

What are you guests hoping to get out of their stay?

If most of your guests are on vacation, the interior design should take them far away from everyday life. Aim to create a relaxed, inviting and even exotic feel to your hotel lobby, guest rooms, and communal spaces.

If your property strives to primarily please business travelers, focus on design that’s efficient, functional, and purposeful. Look for simple ways to prioritize practicality in design, like ensuring power outlets are readily available and that rooms are comfortable with easy access to in-room services.

With the recent rise in bleisure travelers, more properties are targeting guests that look for a mix of both business and pleasure. Bleisure travelers prefer a design experience that brings together the best of both worlds.

More so than other kinds of guests, bleisure travelers typically flock towards a “third space” where they can catch up on emails or enjoy the hotel ambience. While business travelers might prefer to work in their room, bleisure travelers are looking for a more exciting environment.

Design success: Hyatt Centric

Hyatt Centric, a new lifestyle hotel designed to appeal to the modern traveler, has created a lobby space they call the “Corner Library.” Integrated with a bar area, the Corner Library offers an intimate environment where you can work, flick through a magazine, socialize, or just soak up the flurry of activity.

Hyatt Centric offers a great example of a multi-functional space that fits the changing needs of a new generation of guests.

 

Tell your hotel’s story in design

Travelers all search for a unique story in the design experience on your property.

In Why Guests Stay in a Boutique Hotel, we noted that travelers today prefer experiences that immerse guests in a story, whether it’s fictional or inspired by the heritage of the property and surrounding area.

Hotels that do this well are not afraid to mix and match design styles, pairing vintage pieces with modern flair, or fusing past and present design trends to create a unique story.

Leverage your landscape and local culture

It’s not just history and heritage that guests value in hotel properties, they also want to experience what the local culture and landscape offers.

If you’re finding it hard to tell a historical story behind your property, tap into the cultural trends in your area.

Design success: Westin

Westin, as an example, built their brand story around health and wellness. They offer a workout gear-lending program, health-focused menu, and concierge service that highlights the local running routes.

Hotels located in fitness-first areas can offer guests the opportunity to engage with that culture. By providing information on local running and walking routes, guests can experience the surrounding landscape exactly like a local would.

You could take this approach one-step further by offering fitness classes on your property at an additional cost. That way, you’re improving ancillary revenue while also enhancing your brand story.

Guests love to see quality craftsmanship today, and there are more travelers choosing to support brands that are locally-driven and sustainability-focused.

Consider filling your hotel walls with paintings designed by a local artist, or partner with an independent designer to bring local furniture to your space. If you’d like to increase on-site revenue at the same time, sell paintings and organize a commission-model between you and the artist.

Running routes and guides for guest experiences at Westin Hotels

Make your rooms ‘smart’

The design of hotel guest rooms, like the rest of your property, should cater to the kind of guests that stay at your hotel.

Many travelers enjoy having everything at their fingertips. They value comfort, and prefer easy control over the lighting, temperature, and entertainment in their rooms.

Smart Hotel solutions, which allow guests to control every aspect of their stay from a single touchscreen, give guests the freedom to adjust their room temperature, select entertainment, order room service, and more. Smart rooms are increasingly popular with hotels that aim to please tech-savvy travelers while decreasing their property’s utility bills and carbon footprint.

There are other advantages of offering easy in-room access to entertainment, your restaurant, and minibar. By implementing effortless design features, guests are encouraged to spend more money on the additional services offered by your hotel.

Design success: Kimpton

The Kimpton brand adopts a different approach to increasing ancillary revenue. Known for its whimsical local furnishing and creative take on interior design, Kimpton makes many of the items in its guest rooms available for purchase. Guests who love the animal-printed bath robes or in-room yoga mats (paired nicely with a complimentary 24-hour yoga TV channel), have the opportunity to buy and take them home when they check out.

Pet Friendly Design Hotels with Kimpton

Design drives long-lasting connections

The design on your property results in more than great reviews, happy guests and better revenue. Design creates experiences that weave your hotel’s brand into each guest’s personal travel story. Once your guests develop a close connection with your hotel, they can’t help but come back to your property to relive the memories of a great trip and hotel experience.

Want to please your guests with smart hotel rooms?

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