We haven’t been shy about sharing our opinion of how hotels should be spending the funds that are beginning to come back into their coffers. We’ve been talking about the benefits of renovating and refurbishing as opposed to buying new, and after this year’s BITAC East event in Orlando, it sounds like many hotel owners and operators feel the same way we do (read about our time at BITAC East here).
In a poll conducted by our friends at Hotel Interactive, 81 percent of respondents said it was critical to renovate now.
In the article, a design firm representative said: “Properties are three years behind schedule already and unless you’re renovating at that moment you’re even further behind.”
While it’s clear that renovations are necessary, what is less certain is where hotels should be spending design time and dollars.
We see renovations of any type as an important and intelligent form of spending, but hotel owners must take their individual needs into heavy consideration when planning where to renovate. The poll revealed differing opinions on where renovations should focus. While 36 percent of hotel owners said the lobby was the most crucial area to invest in, 20 percent thought the primary focus of renovations should be the rooms themselves– After all, that is where guests spend the most time. Another 35 percent said that refurbishment of soft goods was their focus, perhaps because they thought their rooms were already up to par. The bathroom still remains one of the most prominent places to renovate, with one attendee saying that a wife will pay for the privilege of not hearing her husband use the facilities.
The general consensus was that renovations should be done on high traffic areas, instead of on the special amenities that fewer guests will actually use. The best example of this was giving rooms blackout shades for the late risers and adding better soundproofing so you don’t hear the TV one room over. Almost all of the hotel’s guest will be able to appreciate these upgrades, while only a few would notice upgrades to perks like hot tubs that only some guests take advantage of.
Regardless of what renovations hotels decide to make, we’re glad to see the conversation taking place. Just a few months ago, many hotels weren’t even sure if they’d have a hotel to renovate when all was said and done. Deciding where to renovate is a good problem to have, in our opinion.