June 21, 2022
By Kim Campbell

While there is no concrete rule that states how often hotels should renovate, renovations and repairs should take place in a timely fashion to prevent additional property damage or increased expenses down the line. To attract guests and keep hotel profits high, hoteliers strive to keep their properties safe, modern, and attractive. If your hotel is more than a few years old, you may be on the hunt for hotel renovation ideas to help keep the property feeling new and fresh.

In this post, we review a variety of hotel renovation ideas. From making a great first impression to embracing modernized hotel technology, we take hospitality professionals through a wide array of design and upgrade ideas. If you’re looking for inspiration, ideas, or renovation tips, we can help.

Uncover 12 exciting hotel renovation ideas

Major hotel renovation ideas

To start, we review some of the most significant renovations that hotels undergo. From renovating the hotel’s exterior to redesigning the lobby, large-scale hotel renovation ideas can have a major impact on guests.

1. Refresh the hotel’s exterior.

The exterior of a hotel is the first thing a guest sees upon their arrival. Before ever stepping foot inside, visitors start developing an impression of the business. Create a warm and inviting exterior design by refreshing some, or all, of the hotel’s outdoor spaces.

From parking areas and walkways to lawns and flower gardens, there are endless options when it comes to updating a hotel's exterior. Consider updating your list of hotel renovation ideas to include exterior tasks, such as:

  • Power-wash the façade to highlight any damage to the hotel’s face; repair cracks, holes, or other exposed damage.
  • Treat the hotel’s façade with a finishing system to protect it from the environment.
  • Hire a professional landscaping company to maintain lawns, trees, and shrubs.
  • Plant a butterfly garden full of bright flowers that attract friendly pollinators.
  • Update signage.
  • Replace exterior and parking lot lighting with eco-friendly long-lasting LED bulbs.
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2. Revitalize the entrance.

The design, size, and style of a hotel’s entrance can have an enormous impact on the way a guest feels when they walk in the door. If the purpose of the hotel’s exterior is to welcome guests and set the tone for their stay, then the hotel’s entrance should greet guests as they enter the property.

If your goal is to create a relaxing, peaceful lobby space where guests can unwind, consider decorating your entrance with lush potted plants. Greet guests with soft music and a light burst of refreshing cool air as they enter. Hotels that cater primarily to extended-stay travelers, however, may benefit more from a cozy lobby atmosphere. Design a hotel entrance with ample seating, soft lighting, a refreshment station with freshly brewed coffee, and a newspaper rack to help guests feel at home.

3. Install a digital kiosk in the lobby.

Help keep the lobby organized and free-up front desk staff by utilizing digital concierge services. Install a touchscreen digital kiosk in the lobby to display pertinent information, updates, and perform a variety of guest services, such as:

  • Providing current traffic and weather conditions
  • Highlighting local attractions and events
  • Displaying branded video marketing and digital content
  • Allowing guests to order goods and services
  • Displaying positive guest reviews, hotel trivia, and other fun facts

In addition, digital kiosks can prevent long lines from gathering at the front desk during peak check-in times by providing guests a contactless check-in option. Utilize kiosks in specific guest areas and program them to assist in that area. Install a kiosk in the fitness area, for example, and equip it with pre-loaded workout videos.

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. 

4. Modernize public areas.

Create shared spaces in your hotel where modern guests feel welcome, accommodated, and even productive. Create comfortable, semi-private spaces in the lobby where guests can work, make a phone call, or carry on a private conversation. In addition, design public spaces that make guests feel encouraged to engage with one another. Open a game room, install a community dining table, or set up an outdoor gathering space complete with grills and lawn games. 

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. Select an appealing design that will hold up for years to come.

5. Add branding to 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. Appeal to guests with visual in-house merchandising that aligns with your hotel’s brand identity. Use the same font and color scheme in lobby signage and displays. Incorporate in-house branded marketing in the design concept for the hotel’s on-site store, spa, restaurant, gym, and in guest rooms.

Maximize your hotel renovation with the right technology

Hotel guest room renovation ideas

Whether you’re undergoing a full-scale renovation or are looking for low-budget hotel renovation ideas, don’t forget to spruce up guest rooms, which can have a major impact on satisfaction scores. 

6. Place tablets in every room.

Operating much like traditional household tablets, hotel room tablets connect guests digitally to hotel services and amenities. Install safe, easy-to-use in-room tablets that allow guests to:

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

In addition to improving the guest experience, hotel room tablets streamline communications between guests and staff. Requests, updates, and orders are delivered to the appropriate hotel department swiftly so that activities are updated; tasks are tracked, and charges are automatically posted to a guest’s bill in real-time.

7. Upgrade to eco-friendly amenities.

During renovations, make a commitment to going green. 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. For example, simple-but-effective changes can range from providing guests with reusable water bottles and installing a filling station on each floor to adding smart thermostats to optimize energy usage.

8. Give guest bathrooms the spa treatment.

Create a luxury spa experience for every guest at your hotel by updating the bathroom in every guest room. If your hotel has the budget, consider upgrading showerheads to innovative low-usage massing heads or installing jets in suite tubs. Hotels with a smaller renovation budget, however, can still create a refreshing spa experience for guests. Replace worn-out towels with fresh luxury linens, provide high-quality products for guest use, and add plush robes for each guest to enjoy.

9. Maximize the space available in guest rooms.

If your hotel caters to tech-savvy business travelers, consider maximizing the space available in each hotel room through clever storage techniques. Look to hotel brands, such as Tru by Hilton, whose design caters to mid-scale travelers, business travelers, and millennials. Tru guest rooms have a clever design that makes the most of minimal space.

Using wall hooks, tucked-away storage, and making digital connectivity a primary focus, Hilton designed space-efficient guest rooms. With each guest room offering less than 300 sq ft of space, Hilton was able to create a room design that meets all of a traveler’s major preferences. In addition, the design drives guests who want to socialize to the versatile lobby spaces available at Tru hotels.

Chris Nassetta, Hilton President and CEO, explained the concept behind Tru and how it connects to “value-conscious multigenerational consumers in the midscale space.” When discussing why the brand appeals to many modern consumers, Nassetta explained, “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.”

Digital hotel renovation ideas

In addition to physical renovations, many hotels also undergo a digital transformation. If you’re searching for ways to revolutionize the way your hotel operates, consider investing in a digital transformation of your own.

10. Invest in integrated hotel software.

Invest in intuitive and integrated hotel software that connects systems together, communicates information quickly from one program to another, reflects real-time guest and meeting room availability, and provides business intelligence reporting using valuable hotel data. Eliminate tedious manual entry tasks with an integrated system. Integrated hotel software optimizes sharing information so that the hotel’s property management system (PMS), revenue management system (RMS), customer relationship management system (CRM), and online booking channels all communicate and update together.

Saving time, money, and valuable resources, hotel automation tools can boost performance in a variety of ways. Look for integrated systems that provide hotel automation tools, such as automated email services, pre-arrival payment authorization services, or real-time guest billing. The more automated hotel operating procedures become, the more time hotel managers and employees will have to dedicate to customer service and hotel improvement projects.

11. Provide guests with a digital in-stay experience.

Many tech-savvy travelers look for hotels that make connecting easy and provide a digital in-stay experience. Install USB charging stations throughout the dining area, business area, or in meeting spaces. Include adapters to charge a wide variety of device types, and use digital hotel signage to display event schedules or communicate important guest updates.

12. Utilize hotel mobile check-in software.

More commonly, modern travelers seek out hotels that offer digitized guest experiences. In a November 2020 Hospitality Survey from Metova, 90% of survey respondents confirmed that they would “prefer that the hotel they stay at has a mobile app offering the ability to completely manage a stay without having to interact with a person.” While person-to-person customer service lies at the heart of hospitality, successful hoteliers focus on giving guests what they want.

As part of your hotel’s digital transformation, give guests the option to skip the front desk altogether and check in with their mobile device. Hotel mobile check-in services allow guests to make reservations, select their room, and check in to their room, all through a mobile app. Many mobile check-in apps also function as a guest room key. By simply holding up their phone or mobile device to the room’s smart keypad, guests can check into their room as soon as they arrive, bypassing the front desk altogether.

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Post-renovation tips for hoteliers

Once renovations are complete, and all of the items on your “Reno To-Do” list are gone, it’s time to show off your handy work. Together with the hotel’s marketing manager and sales director, outline a plan to prepare fresh marketing materials that highlight hotel renovations. Add a new advertising campaign to your hotel marketing strategy to reintroduce customers to the upgraded property.

  • Update hotel marketing to reflect renovations. Schedule a professional photo shoot to capture all of the renovation changes. Focus on capturing photos that highlight new amenities, upgraded hotel spaces, freshly installed hotel technology, and key features that will appeal to your target audience. Consider investing in high-quality drone footage, panoramic photographs, and other experiential marketing content for use in online profiles and listing pages.
  • Refresh your hotel’s online profile. After renovations are complete, update your hotel’s main website, social media pages, third-party booking channels, and Cvent Supplier Network listings. If your property has upgraded wedding and special event space, advertise renovations on sourcing platforms like Wedding Spot. Help travelers and travel planners visualize a stay in your hotel by including virtual tours, image carousels, and other experiential marketing content. Invite travelers and travel agents to take a photorealistic 3D tour of your property, for example.
  • Keep your online audience in the loop. Use social media to give members of your online audience a sneak peek at the renovation process and entice them by hinting at what’s to come. Post-renovation, show your updated property off on social media pages with before-and-after photos, time-lapse videos of various projects, and encourage social media users to interact with your content.

Whether you’re renovating your hotel on a tight budget, looking for slight changes that make a substantial impact, or are completely revitalizing your hotel from the inside out, you now have a list of tools and ideas to aid the process!

Bookmark this list of hotel renovation ideas for fast access

From upgraded hotel technology to exciting new guest amenities, hoteliers are paying close attention to evolving hospitality trends in an effort to stay ahead of the competition. In crowded marketplaces and popular travel destinations, hotels have to stand out to capture the attention of travelers.

In our next piece, we explore the competition. In our Comp Set Guide, we discuss what a comp set is, how hoteliers can identify their unique comp set, and what strategies hotels can use to outperform and outshine the competition. Learn how to track what competing hotels are doing, how they are performing, and how to use that information to your hotel’s advantage.

Let us help bring your hotel renovation ideas to life

Headshot of Cvent writer Kimberly Campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list. Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.
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