When browsing for accommodations online, future travelers are looking for rooms that reflect modern comfort and value for money. Naturally, better-looking rooms lead to more bookings. It’s as simple as that.
So, how do you tackle dated accommodations to meet the quality stay guests expect to enjoy? It’s actually easier than you think because it’s the small details that count most. Here are five affordable ways to improve the look (and feel) of your rooms, encouraging travelers to book, not bounce, when they see your property online.
#1 Change patterned linens
Chain and independent hotels alike often suffer from tacky, patterned linens that also happen to be flat and synthetic. Don’t be one of them.
Since your property’s website and online profiles shows multiple room images, future travelers are certainly going to focus on the bed linens. To update those on a budget, swap old, patterned blankets for new, solid-colored ones. Choose neutral tones, or go for plush, white duvets to play it safe. White is practical for cleaning purposes, and it also works well to brighten up a room to make it feel more spacious.
Tip: According to Gallup.com’s study From Economy to Luxury, What Matters Most to Hotel Guests, travelers from all price ranges look for accommodations that have comfortable beds. Given that the quality of your linens impacts the perception of comfort significantly, go with textiles that are made of natural fibers, like cotton and down-feathers, over synthetics. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank doing so, but the upgrade in fabrics will help to improve profits as more and more guests are likely to post positive reviews of a satisfied stay.
#2 Paint walls with neutral tones
Gone are the days of soft yellows, contrasting accent walls, and dated wallpaper patterns. It’s easy to give rooms a much-needed, inexpensive facelift by simply painting them with pale pastels or neutral tones. This color palette also helps to make space feel brighter and roomier.
Guests value chic, modern interiors that feel warm and relaxing after a long trip. So much so that a trend emerged on how to “hotelify” the home. That’s right, travelers love contemporary hotel interiors, and they want to incorporate them into their own home decor. Well-known interior decorating brands are doing their part by offering luxury, hotel-quality paints for purchase, conveniently available at your local hardware store.
Tip: If you need sparks of inspiration, have a look at Pinterest or even design sites, like Design School and Houzz, to see professional color-palette ideas for free.
#3 Remove dated and faded pictures
You know the ones we’re referring to. They evoke little emotion, were probably fairly cheap to begin with, and they really have no relevance to a hotel’s design concept. It’s time to get rid of them.
Guests, now more than ever, are looking for memorable hotel stays and local experiences. Millennials, in particular, crave the unique. So, it’s best to replace old prints for local art, impactful photos of your destination, or vintage pieces that help to tell the story of your property and its surroundings. The best part is that it can be an inexpensive fix with a significant impact.
Tip: Local art can often be acquired on loan from a local gallery in exchange for cross-promotion at your property. Alternatively, great photos of your location can be a fun, do-it-yourself project, too. Have a decent photographer in the family or on staff? Ask them to take high-quality photos of local landmarks and then have them printed and framed. If you like the idea of printing photographs onto canvas, check Groupon for great deals. And for eclectic and vintage pieces, head to the local flea market and garage sales to curate a collection that can tell your property’s story.
#4 Invest in comfortable, modern chairs
Most properties follow a classic concept to furnish their rooms, and the chances are good that yours does too: a bed, two nightstands, a closet, a desk, and a chair. If the chair is vinyl or matches the carpet, it needs to go.
The increasingly blurred line between business and leisure travel means that guests are working and trying to wind down on the same trip. So, give them a chair that’s comfortable and modern. Many designers suggest natural fibers whenever possible, with the freedom of mixing textures, too. When selecting new chairs, also consider the contours and overall comfort because you’ll want to offer something that’s as functional as the form is attractive. It’s inexpensive to do, and it’s also bound to get noticed.
Tip: Feel free to mix and match colors or styles throughout your rooms so long as they fit your new, neutral and soft-color palettes. Check your local home furniture stores for seasonal deals and bulk-buy offers. Before purchasing multiple pieces, you could test one out to see how it looks in a room.
#5 Rearrange room layout
Many properties have an old-fashioned room layout and concept. If yours does, then dare to be different in order to catch travelers’ attention.
A cheap and easy way to have rooms stand out is by changing the flow of the layout. This makes rooms appear inviting and unique, which is something that the modern traveler is definitely looking for while searching for their ideal accommodation. The best part? This is absolutely free to do.
Tip: Try moving sofas and chairs around, so that they aren’t against one wall. Provide a suite-like look by placing the chair and desk against the window, or the sofa across from the bed. Juxtapose any signature furniture pieces and, above all else, innovate and play with the cheapest of these hotel room tips to improve your look online.
How affordable are these 5 ways to improve the look of your hotel rooms?
If you aren’t quite sure how cost-effective these ideas are, let’s do a little math.
First, look at the profit from an average night’s stay. Next, divide a per-room budget by that number to see how many nights it will take until you break even. Once you have that figure, feel free to increase or decrease your budget based on what’s reasonable.
Then, start small with one or two rooms to test the impact that these inexpensive and effective design tips have on improving the look of your rooms. Last but not least, don’t forget to photograph them and upload them to your website and trivago profile to grab the attention of your potential guests.
Featured image by Vanitjan on Adobe Stock.
A version of this article was originally published in August 2018.