5 Design Tips for Hotel Renovations
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Getting ready to fulfill a Property Improvement Plan or looking for hotel design ideas and inspiration?
To get you started, we’ve got five design tips for hotels from the hospitality renovation experts here at Amerail Systems.
In this article, we explore our 5 hotel design tips and discuss how Wyndham's new Del Sol prototype successfully represents those tips with Jennifer Mehra - Director, Prototype Design & Development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc..
1. Pay Attention to Trends & Increase Curb Appeal
To design a hotel that will appeal to travelers you must consider what is trending in design at the time while also considering what future design trends may look like.
Curb appeal is vital in winning over guests because whichever hotel has the most welcoming curb appeal will more than likely win the traveler over.
Currently, the top design trends in the hotel industry include:
Sleek/Elegant Geometric Lines
Modern & Neutral Colors
Natural Looking Materials (faux wood, stone, brick, etc.)
Comfortable/Warm, Home-Like Spaces
Sustainable Design Elements
Elements that add Dimension to the Exterior (pediments, framing, etc.)
Creative Lighting Elements
Pictured here, Wyndham’s Del Sol prototype beautifully incorporates many of the above trends. The elegant roofline and LED lighting, illuminates the hotel’s façade that is made up of a unique, natural-looking tile. Framing extruding from the same façade adds dimension to the hotel's exterior.
“The signature tile at the façade has a unique shimmer that glistens when the sun hits it and the LED tower lights up at night which becomes a beacon for wary travelers.” - Jennifer Mehra (Director, Prototype Design & Development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.)
When considering which trends to implement into your design, it’s important to also take guest input into consideration. Designers at Wyndham took design trends along with guest input into consideration while developing the new La Quinta Prototype: Del Sol.
We asked Jennifer Mehra (Director, Prototype Design & Development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.) how Wyndham was incorporating current trends & guest input into the new prototype. Here’s what she had to say:
“Current trends we are looking at is how to integrate technology easily - we are thinking about a “meeting room of the future” design and what future travelers will need, especially now with the flexible workplace emerging due to COVID.“ - Jennifer Mehra
There are many ways to make your hotel design more sustainable. Things like energy-efficient windows, EIFS and LED lighting are already implemented in many brand design requirements but there are additional steps hotels can take to become more sustainable.
Recycled, low-emission and long-lasting materials can improve wellness by providing better indoor air quality.
Energy Efficient Windows conserve energy and can save hotels money in the long run while also providing a better experience for hotel guests because of the soundproofing qualities they tend to have.
EIFS provides a continuous layer of insulation and is 84% more energy efficient than the next best performing cladding. (From EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA))
LED Lighting lasts about 6-8 times longer than other bulbs making it more efficient for hotels which typically have extensive lighting. They also allow for more creative color and “temperature” options which allows hotels to create unique atmospheres for their guests.
Low-Flow Fixtures are beneficial to hotels who want to reduce water usage.
Electric Vehicle Charging can simultaneously give hotels a competitive advantage by providing an important service not every hotel offers while also encouraging people to invest in zero-energy transportation.
3. Make it Owner Friendly
When thinking of hotel design, managers and owners should make sure that the design is functional and owner-friendly.
To make your design owner-friendly, include elements in the design that can be adaptable. Implementing elements mentioned in our third tip (Sustainability in design) can also be beneficial for hotel owners by providing them with cost saving & energy saving solutions.
A great example of owner-friendly hotel design is the Del Sol prototype from Wyndham.
From Jennifer Mehra (Director, Prototype Design & Development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.) on how the prototype is owner-friendly:
“The Del Sol design is intended to bring a freshness to the La Quinta brand that excites new developers as well as can be easily adapted by older generation hotels.”
Making a design that can be easily adapted makes it easier for the owner to renovate their hotel and give it a fresh new look with less hassle.
4. Fit the Environment & Make it Unique
Two more elements of design that should be taken into consideration when coming up with a new look for your hotel should be how the design will fit in with the environment around your property and how you can make it unique.
Tailoring your hotels look to the environment around it is possible if your PIP or design requirements allow you to customize your paint colors.
For example, if your property is located in a warmer climate you may opt to choose warmer toned paint colors. To make the design more unique, elements such as decorative framing can be added around windows (see example below).
Landscaping is also an avenue hotel owners can take to differentiate their hotels. If allowed by their brand, custom landscaping can not only be a welcoming attraction but also can be a way to become more sustainable. Things like butterfly gardens and flowers that attract bees can promote a better environment. Just make sure any plants or flowers you use are native to your environment.
If possible, adding local art or history to your interior design is another way to stand out from the competition and gain the attention of your guests.
Making your hotel design a more unique experience for your guests where possible will give them something to remember when booking their future stay or when making hotel recommendations.
Here's a couple ways that the new Del Sol prototype from Wyndham distinguishes itself among the competition:
5. Be Prepared for Future Trends
Finally, one of the most important factors to consider when designing a hotel is future trends.
Ensuring that your design stays relevant is especially important in hospitality design because of the number of years in between required exterior renovations and the cost of renovations.
When designing your hotel, be sure to research what’s trending in design now but also what the next 5-10 years may look like in hospitality design. You can sometimes predict these trends yourself if you consider what seems to stay relevant in design over the years and what things people are tending to care more about.
For example, in the last 10 or so years people have grown more conscious of the environment which has led to trends like biophilic design & sustainable fixtures like LED lighting.
Paying attention to trends and the needs of travelers and fulfilling them can also be the difference between no vacancy and vacancy. In just the past 2-4 years we’ve seen an explosive need for "Instagrammable" or content-worthy spaces. After experiencing and adapting to a world-wide pandemic, the need for hotels to incorporate work-from-home spaces and better tech has also been a growing trend in hotel design.
Hotels and venues have been racing to fill the needs of business travelers, the new emerging “bleisure” (business-leisure) travelers, digital conferences and the new generation of content-making travelers by introducing more work spaces, higher-end tech, unique experiences and themed rooms, etc..
Paying attention to what’s going on in the world and staying ahead of the needs of travelers will give you a massive competitive edge in the hospitality industry.
For this tip we’re revisiting the Del Sol prototype and how it’s designed to stay relevant.
From Jennifer Mehra (Director, Prototype Design & Development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.) on how the decision makers at Wyndham design for the future:
“We are constantly challenging ourselves to think critically about the future of design and keep the brand’s design relevant, so our approach to the interior is to introduce a new interior scheme every 12-18 months to keep owners engaged and excited. This also brings a rotation of design choice to the market because we have 3-4 schemes available at any given time.”
Now that you know our tips for hospitality design, you may be wondering how to design a hotel like this within your budget..
The answer is to seek out qualified vendors and service providers such as Amerail Systems who have years of experience and are well connected within the industry.
Amerail Systems can expertly value engineer a hotel renovation project to provide you with your best ROI while keeping you within your budget.
Extra Tip from Amerail Systems:
Stay ahead of your competition by making your guests feel welcome online as well as in your hotel.
Being active on social media can help you relate to and connect with your current and future guests. Reach out to influencers, go viral on TikTok or simply start interacting with travelers on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (especially those who tag your hotel).
Stay tuned for our November blog: The Importance of Social Media in the Hotel Industry.