When it comes to a hotel project, the guest should always come first. Whether you’re planning out interior design schemes or procuring FF&E, you must approach every aspect of your property with the guest experience in mind. Follow these design and procurement tips to help make your guests’ stay a delight:
First Impressions Count
The guest experience begins the moment someone sets eyes on your hotel, so it’s important that hoteliers be mindful of the outside of their property in addition to its interiors. Hotel exteriors should stay clean and incorporate good lighting that draws in travelers and provides a sense of well-being and safety.
When guests enter, you’ll want the environment for their check-in to match the current time of day. For example, bright glaring light during an evening visit is off-putting. Tailor your front desk and lobby’s assets to the hour for a smooth entry into your property. While lighting is a great way to alter ambience, switching up your amenities can also help shift your hotel from day to night. Consider leaving out lemon water and coffee during the morning for guests to enjoy and then switching these beverages out for bar offerings come nightfall to alter the feel of your lobby. Make sure your designer is paying attention to how the property should transition by allowing plenty of areas throughout the public spaces for guests to have thoughtful, positive experiences.
Scent is another element that can significantly alter a guest’s first impression of your property. If your hotel has a bad smell or even an odor that is too intense, it makes for a less-than-pleasing environment.
Ease of Use
Design functionality should be your first priority. While a property’s look and feel are also important, it’s essential that anything the guest touches be easy to use and navigate. There is a wide variety of technologies available that have become expected and can elevate a guest’s stay, but the best advice is to keep things simple. The more steps and buttons there are to figure out, the higher the chance that a piece of technology will become more of a hindrance than a help.
One current technological trend is having roller shades in guestrooms. Keep in mind that ADA accessible rooms will need to be automated, so design and procurement consultants will need to coordinate the electrical with the MEP and/or architect early in the drawing process to alleviate change orders during installation.
While it may sound impressive to equip your property with extra bells and whistles, guests must be able to move freely and utilize amenities and room features without difficulty. Make sure there are plenty of charging areas for the guest in public areas and the guestroom. Have your designer think through how each space will be used and coordinate enough outlets, seating, and tables to allow for comfort and ease of use.
Signage and wayfinding are often some of the last design components considered and possibly purchased for the property. Make sure signage is easy to read and that design team members review them. Another key aspect is to ensure signage won’t date itself with colors and materials. You’ll also need to verify that the selections and sizes work with the interiors. Again, simplicity reigns supreme.
Keep Things Fresh
Hotel rooms and public areas that appear dirty or feel worn-out make for an inhospitable stay. Cleanliness is one of the top factors that affect a guest’s experience, making it critical that your property maintain a hygienic, current atmosphere. Choose your FF&E selections with cleanability and quality maintenance in mind. For example, white grout can stain and discolor quickly, making your surfaces seem grimy even after thorough sterilization. Instead, choose tiles and stones that keep their look over time and provide simple cleaning for housekeeping. It’s also key that all fabric textiles, especially on guestroom beds, be washable to prevent odor from sticking to them.
Design, too, should remain fresh with appropriate updates and refurbishments. You need to stay ahead of when your property begins to look tired or stale, whether that be in terms of outdated schemes or OS&E that reaches their limit. Partnering with a hotel resupply provider can help you make replacements in a timely manner.
Happy hotel guests are the bread and butter achievement of any hospitality project. Remaining thoughtful in design intent and product procurement is a must for providing travelers with an enjoyable experience. Innvision Hospitality offers end-to-end design and procurement services that help hoteliers meet guest needs while sticking to their budget and timeline. Reach out today to start planning your property’s new build or reconstruction!