Hotel rooms come in many different shapes and sizes and one thing they all have in common is their desire to create a warm and welcoming experience for all guests who check in to them.
But what exactly should your hotel room have, and why is getting it right so important?
If your hotel room doesn’t hit the spot, then visitors won’t return. And while you can’t realistically change the decor to cater for every guest, you can create a universal look for your hotel based on your ideal clientele.
A feeling of home in your hotel
Hoteliers only have to look at the success of companies such as Airbnb to get a feel for what guests are looking for when they check-in. The runaway millennial tourism hit has proved to be a catalyst for technological changes within the hotel industry. Airbnb has also been instrumental in helping hotels reimagine what their rooms and amenities should be to attract more guests and enhance the customer experience.
In a nutshell, it has opened peoples eyes to what is typically missing from a hotel room that more “home-styled” accommodation can offer. The thing is, people want home comforts when they book accommodation for any period of time and catering to these wishes, paying attention to the small details is what will set your hotel room apart and curate an altogether better hotel living experience.
9 ways to make your hotel room feel homely
It seems a strange concept to have a doormat indoors. But it makes sense. Most people have a doormat outside of their homes or just inside the front door. Not only is it more welcoming but hygienic too. Doormats will allow guests a place to wipe their feet or “brush off the day” before entering. Thus creating a cleaner hotel room. The doormat doesn’t need to be elaborate, but a simple, “hello” “welcome”, or even your hotel branding can work.
Automatic lighting that turns on when motion is detected is much more helpful for guests who may have their hands full with luggage. There is a definite advantage over fumbling for switches, or even room card activated lighting.
A person will instinctively know where their light switches are or even have automatic lighting installed at home. In a hotel room, not so much unless they are frequent guests. Why not make life easier and allow for automatic lighting in entryways and bathrooms with adjustable lighting around the main room area and beds.
Stick to the warm white lights as the cool white lighting can be harsh, and you get that warm cosy feeling that people are looking for. Keep your bright white lights to vanity mirrors and bathrooms where they will be more appreciated.
Pictures or Art
A hotel room needs to have personality and character for it to be more appealing. While your decor might be minimalist or neutral, you can add artwork, photography, on walls to give that homely feel.
Choose pieces from local artists or the local area to create a theme and add a touch of style and personality to the room.
Everyone knows that hotel rooms are low on space and typically aside from beds, you can expect to find one long unit and a chair to accommodate a wide range of needs. From sitting and having a morning cuppa to working from it as a desk to applying makeup and so on. These spaces can often be over utilised.
Consider adding multifunctional furniture that can be used in a number of different ways by guests to give them more options. Think bedside tables that can be extended for a makeshift dining table or wardrobes with added shelves in for storage. You could even include hidden storage in window seats for stashing empty suitcases until check out to allow people to clear the clutter for more extended stays.
Folding tables would also make a handy option when additional space is required for people to move around more easily or give kids some space to play. Many homes have collapsible dining tables where space is restricted, so giving people the option to fold away the table and move against a wall would be a nice touch. Fixed desks in hotel rooms often take up so much room and unless you’re staying for business, it’s unlikely it will be used for the purpose it’s there for.
What do you do with your shoes when you enter a hotel room? Most people will kick them off and find a space out of the way to keep them. Why not add a shoe rack to a wardrobe space by the door to allow for the safekeeping of shoes and give guests a better way to keep the room clean and tidy? It is the small details that make a hotel room feel like home.
Thinking outside the box can give your hotel the wow factor. Elaborate colour schemes and over the top designs can look amazing. But if you’re staying longer than one night, this aspect will grate on people pretty quickly.
Avoid using too many different colours and stick to warm, relaxing tones and neutral colourways. Blend the colour of your carpet into your chosen palette too. People would do this when designing their own lounges or bedrooms at home and will be a key detail they will look for in a hotel room too. After all, your hotel room should be the ideal space for people to unwind and relax. Limit your design to two colours and add in different hues of these colours to add depth to your rooms.
Hotel rooms as standard include your basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, bath soak, shower gel, etc., along with drinking options such as tea and coffee.
As we said, the small things make the difference, so welcome packs, including cleaning supplies, an iron, or steamer, along with practical items such as USB ports or wireless charging, can be what sets your room apart. People will often forget what they need when staying away from home due to these items being readily available in their homes. Back in the day, this used to be your toothbrush, but people can live without brushing their teeth for a night. However, if our phones run out of battery our world is turned upside down.
Complimentary items that reduce the need to think of everything always go down well with guests – anything to make their lives easier.
Scents are amazing at evoking strong feelings and reactions. There’s no denying this. How many times have you personally smelt something and been transported back to a good time in your life? Your hotel room can do this too. Regardless of the reason for their stay, people still want to create good memories and using fragrance in your hotel room can do this. Cleanliness and clinical care should be left for hospitals and medical facilities. If you really want to create a home from home feeling in your hotel, you need to find a suitable fragrance that appeals to many and makes people feel like they are at home.
As we said, cold and clinical is not the feeling you want your hotel room to have. Focus on the finishing touches such as cushions on chairs, blankets for seating areas in larger rooms and comforters on beds. Hygge is a Scandinavian concept that captures what it means to be comfortable and cosy, and this is what people want from hotel rooms too.
Rugs on floors, warm bathroom floors on cold winter days and even heated towel rails that can not only give you somewhere to hang your towel when bathing or showering but have it toasty warm when you get out.
Consider adding in flameless LED candles to create a cosy feeling along with dramatic floor-length curtains, lamps or even fairy lights which can be hugely beneficial during the cold, dark winter months.
Learn from your guests to create that homely feel
When it comes to creating a homely feel in your hotel rooms, you might find some things work better than others. Ask your guests for feedback after their stay, or to really tap into what they want, try sending an email beforehand asking what they’d like. You could provide a list of complementary or paid extras to help create that feeling of home.