A hotel is like a puzzle. It works when all the pieces are in place. The picture changes constantly. Location, design, branding, and management all play a part. Twenty years ago, many of the design ideas that are now considered standard were unknown. The word “millennial” was also a new concept. We, as hoteliers, are facing a world that is changing.
There are many physical limitations when managing properties in a changing environment. Any hotel could upgrade guest rooms to include Keurig coffee machines or install free wifi. When you consider open floor plans, attractive lobby areas, and updated business centers, it’s time to start talking renovation dollars. The advantage of new hotels is that they can start fresh, keeping in mind the needs of today’s guests (and those of tomorrow). But for older hotels, flaws and limitations from the past may be a challenge.
Even if you feel the walls of your hotel are getting too much, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism. There are more options in the hospitality industry than ever before, and new models are constantly being tested. Investors are repurposing old warehouses, as well as other unconventional spaces, to become hotels. Many older hotels are also solving design issues to get back into the discussion. Here are three of these problems:
Too much variation in guest rooms
It is difficult to determine the value propositions of a hotel when it has standard rooms, executive rooms, junior executive suites, and master suites. This must be clarified for people who want a transparent booking process and a simple value proposition. Modern hotels benefit from the ability to keep everything simple, uniform, and with limited options.
Second, people want to know precisely what they are getting. You’ll hear from people who have experienced a room very different from the one they booked.
How can this problem be solved? It may be relatively easy to reduce the differences in room layouts and rooms, especially if only a few rooms require renovation. You can also classify similar rooms (Queen bed, 49″ TV screen, baths, etc.) and note that the descriptions may differ regarding square meters, views, or decor. The majority of the time, people choose a room first based on the type of bed rather than the view. So, make sure to include the number of guests in the description. The photography used at the time of booking must be accurate, and the rooms booked should look exactly like they do in the picture. False advertising is the best way to get a “negative review.”
Tight space in guest rooms
In many cases, a total overhaul of a room is not possible. It is essential to work with what you already have. Consider the notion that hotel guests prefer bulky furniture. The idea that guests want bulky, stately furniture in a hotel room has existed for decades. But times have changed. The table can be streamlined to save valuable space while giving the room a contemporary and open feel. Many budgets can afford such changes. You only need to look at brands like Yotel and Citizen M for examples of clever ways to create an atmosphere of space.
The underside of your hotel is less noticeable, mainly because guests need to notice or review it. Design flaws can lead to a host of issues, which will not be suitable for your hotel’s reputation. For example, if you need more storage, you will have to restock supplies constantly, and your employees may struggle to get around the clutter. Service will slow down if there are problems with the workflow in the kitchen or garbage disposal area. Tasks will also pile up. If staff are required to walk through the guest area to get to other departments, this can impact the guest’s experience and take away from their feeling of being at home.
You can get motivated by the morale of your staff and their workflow. You should even consider renovating these areas. The staff experience can be just as necessary as that of the guests. We’ve mentioned this on our blog many times.
Putting it all together
You know that even if your property is brand-new, with an innovative design concept and brand-new finish, changes and challenges are close. The picture of a hotel is like a puzzle. It is only partially complete. Removing old pieces and finding new ones is not an unappreciative and dreary task. We can achieve excellence by solving problems creatively. Striving for excellence is fun for the hotelier.