In the first year of operation following the completion of a refurbishment at the Savoy Group’s Claridges in central London in 1998, turnover increased by 38% and profitability by more than 90%.
Refurbishing rooms is vital for hotels to stay hygienic, on trend and to keep up with competitor standards—not maintaining high standards and keeping up with fashion trends can cost you a lot of bookings.
What are the three main things customers look for when booking a hotel?
While there are other factors such as location and facilities that will play a part in a customer’s decision, these are the three things are what will affect room based decisions.
In 2015, the average hotel room size was 350 square feet, but hotel bedroom sizes are shrinking and that’s especially true in the U.K..
Commercial Property Consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton revealed new research that shows that 18% of all room openings in the U.K. in 2018 fell under the category of “compact-sized hotel rooms.”
With these “compact-sized hotel rooms” comes a new audience. A younger audience that want ease, simplicity and rooms that are cleverly designed to suit their needs.
Knowing your audience and what they want is crucial to hotel success. Never assume that bigger is better.
While it’s not possible to keep up with every single fashion trend—and it’s important to remain true to your brand’s style—it’s important to remember the impact of good design.
With the rise of boutique hotels—many of them a collaboration with well-regarded designers—larger hotels need to stay on their toes in order to attract new customers.
Redesigning your rooms gives past customers a reason to come back to you. It also gives you the chance to approach style/travel magazines to boost awareness for your hotel and increase bookings.
The attention to detail and quality of your rooms isn’t always obvious on a booking site at first glance. But style is no good without substance. If your rooms look great but don’t function well, your guests won’t be returning and you will be likely to receive some bad reviews.
The quality and functionality of the facilities in your rooms is just as important as the aesthetics.
Do the doors lock properly?
Do the key cards work effortlessly?
Does the shower have good pressure?
If you’re going to refurbish your rooms don’t just think about the aesthetics. Function then form.
So, once you’ve refurbished your hotel, how do you get the most out of it?
One of the best things about a hotel refurbishment is the fact that you can make a song and dance about it. People love to hear about new things that they should try and it’s all about making it an experience for them.
And, you don’t have to wait for it to be finished to start talking about it either!
Once you know you’re going to refurbish your hotel, here are 3 things you can do to drive conversation and increase bookings:
Ask your audience what they want.
By asking your existing audience what they would like to see in your new rooms you’re showing them that you value their opinion, and that the reason you’re doing this is to improve their experience. You are highlighting your ‘customer-first’ approach.
Document the journey.
By documenting the journey of your refurbishment you can keep customers updated and build excitement as the re-opening gets closer. Take photographs along the way and share them on social media, your audience will feel like they’re on this journey with you and will be more likely to look forward to the end result.
Once your refurbishment is complete, get a professional photographer to capture the ambience and style of your new rooms in all their glory. Use these images on your website homepage, on booking sites that you’re registered with and across your social media channels.
You can also reach out to hospitality magazines to see if they would be interested in featuring your hotel.
Remember, it will take a while for word to spread about your refurbishment if you wait until it’s already complete. Make sure you keep your existing customers excited for the new launch and that you’re reaching out to new potential customers so that your rooms are fully booked from day 1.
One of our long-standing clients refurbished their rooms recently and booked us in for a full day shoot straight away. You can see the results here: The Mandolay Hotel.
So, if you’ve just finished a refurbishment, or you’re about to start one, let’s have a chat about how we can capture your amazing new rooms and increase bookings.