Is your hotel looking a little tired, maybe even slightly mundane? Many things in life are in a state of constant change – hotels, resorts and apartments are no different. If this is the case with you, it may be time to invest into updating your hotel in order to keep up with the times.
Why Should You Refurbish Your Hotel?
In the hotel business it’s essential to refurbish the rooms and the communal areas of the hotel in order to maintain what you already have rather than to obtain and retain guests to your brand. Further, it will be likely that you won’t be able to maintain your current room rates and customer loyalty will also be impacted.
Consider it to be an investment in your business and follow the lead of the large hotel groups who regularly invest in refurbishments. For example, the Savoy Group’s Claridges in central London had a full refurbishment in 1998 which increased turnover by 38% and profitability by more than 90%.
Another example is Le Meridien’s planned £90m makeover of Grosvenor House in central London which has an estimated increase in value of 80% to £600m.
Whilst these examples are of the biggest chains and show the impact on the hotels value, reputation and revenue, the concept holds true for independent accommodation providers.
The Best Time to Refurbish
In terms of when is the right time to do a full refurbishment, we suggest following the best practice of the industry which suggests that guest rooms be refreshed every 7-12 years. However, rather than just a refresh there is also a requirement to ensure the decorative elements are modern and meet the needs and wants of your target market.
A typical refurbishment of this type will include:
– Replacing furniture and room equipment
– General redecoration of rooms
– Remodeling or rebranding to attract a different market or increase room revenue
– Installing new bathrooms
– Introduction of new guest facilities e.g. WiFi, Cable TV etc
– Creating new rooms from unused space
Hotels that don’t refurbish this frequently will typically find that their guests will start to tell them when the hotel requires a refurbishment. Unfortunately, guests usually don’t inform them directly, instead taking to review sites such as TripAdvisor to post negative reviews. This is a tough way to find out that it is refurbishment time.
The best thing to do is to refurbish your hotel before your customers tell the world it is required. The impact of TripAdvisor and other trusted sites on bookings rates and revenue is substantial so don’t hesitate to invest in your hotel when it needs it. If you don’t, you’ll only end up with bad reviews which will prompt you into doing it later anyway. You can certainly avoid a lot of trouble if you’re proactive.
With regard to when is the best time to actually do the refurbishment, the key is that you want to minimize down time and at least maintain revenue during the redecoration period.
Obviously, it is best to undertake renovations in your quieter periods so it doesn’t affect your occupancy as much. However, even in quieter periods, there is still a need to plan to minimize the impact on guests – this is a project management issue. For this reason be sure to work with a reputable firm with a track record of delivering projects on time and before you know it you’ll have a fresh, clean hotel that your guests will keep coming back to and you may even find you can command higher room rates as a result.