April 16, 2024
By Devyn Rheuby

Happy guests are the most fundamental element of a successful hotel. To attract guests, increase brand loyalty, and keep hotel profits high, hoteliers must strive to keep their properties safe, modern, and attractive. 

Timely updates and repairs are necessary to prevent extensive property damage and increased future expenses. While there is no concrete rule for how often hotels should conduct larger project renovations, it’s important to maintain your hotel’s competitive edge and desirability. 

In this guide, we explore eleven hotel renovation ideas to amplify your hotel’s appeal, improve the guest experience, and support your team on any budget. 

11 exciting hotel renovation ideas that are actually worth it 

Exterior and interior hotel renovation ideas 

Updating your hotel’s exterior and redesigning interior spaces are worthwhile large-scale hotel renovations, which can have remarkable impacts on guests and their experience. 

1. Refresh the hotel’s exterior

The exterior of your hotel is the first thing a guest sees upon their arrival, and first impressions are everything in business. Refreshing your outdoor spaces to create a warm, inviting ambiance will solidify a positive first impression, and your guests will know that a stay at your hotel is the best option before they even step through your hotel’s doors. 

Consider the following exterior hotel renovations for a perfect first impression: 

  • Repave parking areas, walkways, and wheelchair ramps to ensure safe access for all guests. 
  • Replace exterior and parking lot lighting with eco-friendly, long-lasting LED bulbs. 
  • Power-wash the façade to identify damage to the hotel’s face and repair cracks, holes, or other exposed damage. 
  • Treat the hotel’s façade with a finishing system to protect it from the environment, like sealants, masonry coatings, thermal coatings, or paint with UV protection. 
  • Hire a professional landscaping company to refresh the lawns, trees, and shrubs. 
  • Plant bright flowers along walkways to guide guests and a garden to attract friendly pollinators. 
  • Install new signage or update your existing signage with a thorough cleaning, fresh coats of paint, or eco-friendly LED bulbs. 

2. Revitalize the lobby

The hotel’s exterior sets the initial tone for a guest’s stay, and the lobby should maintain the same sense of welcome. Factors like the layout, size, and style of a hotel’s entrance can have an enormous impact on how guests feel when they walk in the door, and your lobby renovations should be conducive to your target customer. 

If you want to create a relaxing, peaceful lobby space where guests can unwind, consider redesigning the layout to an open floor plan with minimalist decorations. Think of small potted plants, muted colors, gentle music, spaced-out seating, and a light burst of refreshing cool air as guests enter. Clear signage to an on-site restaurant or bar would also be well-received. 

A more cozy atmosphere may benefit hotels primarily catering to extended-stay travelers. Design a hotel lobby with clustered lounging areas, warm lighting, and a quaint refreshment station with freshly brewed coffee, packaged snacks, and a reading rack to help guests feel at home. 

3. Revamp shared spaces

Like the lobby, your hotel’s shared spaces should be renovated with your guest's preferences and backgrounds in mind. 

Consider the following hotel renovations for impressive shared spaces: 

  • Create coworking spaces. If your hotel is frequented by individuals or teams traveling for work, create comfortable coworking spaces where guests can work, make a phone call, or carry on a business conversation. Flexible seating areas, high-speed internet, USB charging stations, and plentiful power outlets are necessary in these spaces. As a bonus, you can offer coworking memberships to non-guests or rent the space for corporate meetings to generate additional revenue streams. For hotels with tight budgets or limited square footage, creating semi-private spaces in the lobby is a valuable alternative. 
  • Modernize the pool. 40 percent of vacationing guests use hotel swimming pools during their stay, so a modernized swimming pool is a star amenity for hotels catering to families, couples, and friend groups. Start with repairs to any structural damage, like cracks or leaks, and resurface the pool. Upgrade the filtration system and install an energy-efficient heating system for year-round use. Keep the area around the pool safe with slip-resistant tiles and prioritize accessibility with a pool lift. Enhance the invitingness of the pool with a waterfall or slide, shaded lounging areas, well-landscaped greenery, and plush towels. 
  • Open a game room. A hotel game room is a great opportunity to cater to families and large groups while also encouraging guests to engage with one another. Consider options like air hockey, ping pong tables, pool tables, traditional arcade games, and an assortment of board games. Provide art supplies and building blocks for the littlest guests. An outdoor recreation area is another option if indoor space is limited. This space can have lawn games, fire pits, and playground equipment. Both indoor and outdoor recreation spaces can be rented as event spaces for additional revenue. 

Pro tip: When modernizing shared hotel spaces, avoid falling into a “trend trap” by committing to a fad design or overly specific style that may fade. Don’t be afraid to be bold, but avoid fast fashion. Selecting timeless, appealing designs will limit the need for future large-scale hotel renovations. 

4. Highlight branding and visual merchandising

Branded hotel marketing tells guests who you are and what they can expect from your property. A business’ brand identity consists of the logo, color scheme, font, photography style, and other design elements that make it identifiable to customers. Whether you’re refreshing exterior signage, renovating the lobby, or designing entirely new shared spaces, incorporate visual in-house merchandising that aligns with your hotel’s brand identity and appeals to guests. Maintain consistency and use the same font and color scheme in all signage and displays, and incorporate in-house branded marketing in the design concept for the hotel’s on-site store, spa, restaurant, gym, and guest rooms. 

Hotel guest room renovation ideas 

Sprucing up guest rooms can significantly impact satisfaction scores and guest loyalty. Since the cost of hotel renovations per room varies widely, it is an invaluable investment for both low-budget and full-scale renovations.  

5. Maximize guest room space

Tru by Hilton set the standard for maximizing guest room space, with each 300-square-foot room cleverly designed to provide maximum impact with minimal space. Simple fixes, like wall hooks, tucked-away storage, and a primary focus on digital connectivity, allow Tru to meet all of a traveler’s major preferences while catering to a mid-scale budget. 

When explaining the concept behind Tru and why the brand appeals to many modern consumers, Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta shared, “They want a great bathroom and a functional room with all the things they need. They are a lot less focused on having excess space.” 

Follow Tru’s lead and consider the following renovation ideas to maximize guest room space: 

  • Wall beds 
  • Wall-mounted desks or fold-away tables 
  • Built-in shelving and storage 
  • Sliding or pocket doors 
  • Floating bathroom vanities 

6. Design spa-style bathrooms

Update guest room bathrooms to create a luxury spa experience for every guest at your hotel. For sizeable renovation budgets, consider upgrading showerheads to innovative low-usage massing heads, installing jets in suite tubs, and switching to luxury floor tiles. For smaller renovation budgets, a refreshing spa experience is still possible with cotton towels, premium toiletries, and plush robes.  

It is also essential to prioritize the comfort of disabled guests and ensure ADA compliance in bathroom renovations. Equip ADA tubs and roll-in showers with sturdy shower seats, a secure horizontal grab bar, and lightweight, high-quality detachable showerheads. Make sure roll-in showers are properly sloped for adequate drainage and make necessary safety changes. 

7. Upgrade to eco-friendly amenities

Nearly 80 percent of guests prefer hotels that prioritize sustainability efforts, so commit to going green during renovations. Replacing wasteful, energy-guzzling amenities with environmentally-friendly hotel alternatives can benefit the environment, garner goodwill from guests, and have a major impact on the hotel’s bottom line. Simple but effective eco-friendly amenity changes can include: 

  • Reduce plastic waste with reusable water bottles, glass drinkware, and filling stations on each floor. 
  • Conserve water with low-flow faucets and showerheads. 
  • Optimize energy use with LED lighting and energy-efficient mini-fridges, air conditioners, and heaters. 
  •  Use biodegradable bedding, like bamboo sheets and organic cotton comforters. 

Digital hotel renovation ideas 

For additional eco-friendly hotel offerings, take your hotel renovations into the digital space and undergo a digital transformation. 

8. Install digital kiosks

Digital kiosks are powerful additions to your hotel renovation list. Whether seeking additional support for the hotel’s front desk team or looking for an exciting new way to improve the guest experience, installing a digital kiosk can help hoteliers accomplish both. 

Key areas to install digital kiosks include: 

  • The lobby. Combine your lobby renovations with a digital kiosk where guests can check-in, read positive guest reviews, get the latest weather and traffic updates, and find local attractions and events. 
  • The gym. Install a digital kiosk in the gym, where guests can sign up for workout classes or access pre-loaded workout videos. 
  • The game room. A digital kiosk in the game room allows guests to reserve board games, play hotel trivia, and order food delivery from the hotel restaurant. 

Pro tip: All digital kiosks should also display branded video marketing and digital content. 

9. Implement hotel mobile check-in software

Almost 75 percent of travelers expressed a desire for hotel mobile check-in options in 2022. While person-to-person customer service lies at the heart of hospitality, truly successful hotels focus on providing guests with the experience they expect. 

As part of your hotel’s digital transformation and to meet guest preferences, offer guests the option to skip the front desk altogether and check in with their mobile device. With hotel mobile check-in services, guests can also select their rooms and make reservations through a single mobile app. Many mobile check-in apps also function as guest room keys by simply holding their phone or mobile device to the room’s smart keypad. 

10. Provide tablets in guest rooms

Many tech-savvy travelers look for hotels that provide a digital in-stay experience and make connecting easy. Hotel room tablets meet these needs by digitally linking guests to hotel services and amenities. During your renovations, install safe, easy-to-use in-room tablets that allow guests to: 

  • Order room service 
  • Charge and connect personal devices 
  • Instantly connect to streaming services 
  • Find local restaurants, attractions, and events 
  • Control temperature, lighting, and other smart room technology 
  • Enter a “do not disturb” request or housekeeping preferences 

Tablets also support hotel operations by streamlining communications between guests and staff. Requests and orders are swiftly delivered to the appropriate hotel department, fulfillment is logged immediately, and charges are automatically posted to a guest’s bill. 

11. Invest in integrated hotel software

When it comes to your digital renovations, overhauling your current operational systems with intuitive and integrated hotel software benefits the entire hotel team. 

Hotel software communicates information quickly from one program to another, reflects real-time guest and meeting room availability, and uses valuable hotel data to provide business intelligence reports. 

This software also eliminates tedious manual entry tasks and optimizes information sharing, allowing the hotel’s property management system (PMS), revenue management system (RMS), customer relationship management system (CRM), and online booking channels to communicate and update simultaneously. 

Invest in systems that provide additional hotel automation tools, such as automated email services, pre-arrival payment authorization services, or real-time guest billing when looking for integrated hotel software. With high-level automation, hotel managers and employees can better prioritize customer service and hotel improvement projects. 

Post-renovation tips for hoteliers 

Once renovations are complete and all tasks on your “Reno To-Do” list are checked off, it’s time to show off your handiwork. With the hotel’s marketing manager and sales director, outline a plan to prepare fresh marketing materials and create a new advertising campaign for your hotel marketing strategy to reintroduce customers to the upgraded property. 

  • Update your marketing material. Schedule a professional photo shoot to capture all the renovation changes. Have the photographer capture photos highlighting new amenities, upgraded hotel spaces, freshly installed hotel technology, and key features that appeal to your target customer. High-quality drone footage, panoramic photographs, and other experiential marketing content are also worthwhile investments. 
  • Refresh your hotel’s online profiles. With your new-and-improved marketing material, refresh your online profiles to reflect your exciting hotel renovations. This includes updating your hotel’s main website, social media profiles, third-party booking channels, and Cvent Supplier Network listings with professional photos and footage, virtual and 3D tours, and revised descriptions. If your hotel renovations include upgraded wedding and special event space, be sure to also advertise renovations on sourcing platforms like Wedding Spot. 
  • Stay connected through social media. People love getting the inside scoop on hotel operations, and social media is the perfect opportunity to give potential guests a first look at your hotel renovations and some behind-the-scenes entertainment. Share your new marketing material alongside pre-renovation photos as a before-and-after series. Upload time-lapse videos of the various renovation projects and explain why those projects matter. Most importantly, encourage social media users to interact with your content through a like or a share and see your followers and guest lists grow. 
  • Develop a reliable maintenance plan. Once you’ve showcased your hotel's renovations, guests will flock to your hotel to experience your new offerings firsthand. The goal is for all customers to become repeat guests, and developing a clear-cut maintenance plan guarantees your newly renovated hotel upholds its appeal. Maintain the exterior’s inviting aesthetic with consistent landscaping. Keep the pool pristine and the spa hygienic with regular cleanings. Perform routine technology checks to ensure proper functionality for guests. Even with first-rate upgrades, a dependable hotel maintenance plan is essential to keeping your renovations in peak condition. 

It’s time for a hotel renovation! 

In crowded marketplaces and popular travel destinations, hoteliers who adapt to hospitality trends, prioritize an unparalleled guest experience, and ensure the highest-quality hotel conditions stay ahead of the competition. Whether you offer new guest amenities or upgraded hotel technology, even the simplest hotel renovation ideas can help your hotel stand out and capture traveler interest. 

Start your hotel renovation journey today and bookmark this list of ideas for fast access during the planning process! 

Up next: how to identify your comp set and strategically outshine the competition. 


Devyn Rheuby headshot

Devyn Rheuby

Dev is a San Francisco-based content marketer specializing in article and eBook writing for tech and B2B companies. When she’s not working, she tries new coffee shops, reads fiction and fantasy series, and plays The Sims 4.

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