When is the Right Time for a Hotel Refurbishment?

When is the Right Time for a Hotel Refurbishment?

One of the most dreaded times for any business owner is when their place of work needs to be refurbished or renovated. These projects tend to be a huge expense and more often than not require daily operations to be scaled back or halted altogether for periods of time. This is especially troublesome for hotels, as it can inconvenience guests and impact future business.

However, the alternative of avoiding fit out upgrades altogether is not an option any hotelier can even begin to consider, as it can severely diminish the attraction and value of your property. And with so many hotels, resort and Airbnb choices on the market, you need to maintain as much of a competitive edge over the competition as possible – which is best done through a good fit out and interior design.

Since refurbishments and renovations are unavoidable, it’s best to become familiar with the signs and cycles that indicate when you should upgrade your hotel.

When is the right time to refurbish a hotel?

The unofficial guideline in the industry suggests that hotels should be renovated every three years – however, there is no real hard and fast rule on the timeline. Instead, it is highly advised to carry out refurbishments and renovations around the property when it needs to be upgraded to maintain revenue.

Put simply, the best time to spruce up your hotel is when you notice a drop in occupancy or when your establishment isn’t holding up to the new trends, technology, changes and modern preferences of guests.

For more tangible clues on when it's time to refurbish or renovate your hotel, here are…

11 signs that indicate your hotel needs an upgrade

1. It’s been at least 5 years since your last update

Hotels rely heavily on aesthetic appearances and state-of-the-art amenities and features to attract guests to their property. And since popular trends and technology innovations come and go with the change of season, it’s important for your business to update every now and then to keep up with modern preferences.

Even if your property is well-maintained and in good shape, it all means nothing if your property comes across as outdated and out of fashion to the contemporary consumer. So, if your last completed renovation or minor update took place more than 5 years ago, it’s high time to make some changes to boost your guest experience and ratings.

By doing something as simple as updating your hotel corridor with new carpets, finishes and art can greatly impact the appeal of your property to guests.

2. Carpets are worn-out and dirty

The floors and carpets of hotels receive heavy foot traffic daily, which will eventually leave them worn-out, dirty, stained or damaged. Not only is this unattractive and tacky, but above all, it’s unsanitary.

If the carpets and flooring in your lobbies, hallways, guest rooms and other areas of your hotel are starting to look worse for wear, then it should be taken as a sign to get them replaced with replacements that are fresh, clean and in good condition.

3. There are funny smells around the hotel

No matter where or what, bad smells are never a good sign on any type of property – especially places where people pay good money to have a relaxing night’s sleep. Stale, dingy or funny smells around your hotel will be a serious put-off for guests, to the point where they might leave a bad review or, worse, cut their stay short and demand a refund for unclean living conditions.

Ensure your guests have the best possible experience when staying with you by fixing any issues that cause bad smells.


4. Faucets are beginning to leak

One of the most annoying things to deal with is a leaky faucet. Not only does it disturb guests with a constant dripping sound but it’s also a waste of water that will cause your utility bill to skyrocket. And it doesn’t end at leaking faucets – this extends to any plumbing issues, such as toilets that don’t flush properly and poor water pressure in showers.

A clean, working bathroom contributes greatly to a guest’s overall comfort and experience during their stay at your hotel, so be sure that the plumbing is in excellent condition.

To save money in the long run, consider installing new faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets.

5. Inefficient lighting and appliances

Hotels accommodate a lot of guests at any given time, which means anywhere from 50 to hundreds of people are simultaneously using lights and appliances in their respective rooms. And just as a leaky faucet can add more zeros to your monthly utility bills, so can inefficient lighting, electrical systems and appliances.

And in an age where wasting precious resources is seen as a cardinal sin, it’s time for your hotel to invest in LED lightbulbs and quality Energy Star-rated appliances, as well as updating the electrical system and other fixtures to improve your guests’ experience and save yourself money in the long term.

6. There are signs of moulding

No sign on this list is as critical and serious as this one. The minute you spot mould anywhere around your property, take immediate action and do not ignore it. Although usually found in places where there is excess moisture, like bathrooms, mould can also grow in carpeting, on walls, near air conditioners or anywhere that has experienced water damage or excessive humidity.

The seriousness of a mould is never to be downplayed as it is not merely just an unsightly turnoff but is also a health hazard for employees and guests alike. Clean up any mould and replace damaged fixtures and materials as soon as possible.

7. Poor quality HVAC systems

This point is especially important for hotels based in Dubai or any other UAE emirate. For guests to remain comfortable and enjoy their experience at your hotel, the interior spaces need to be kept at an agreeable temperature.

Here, in the Middle East, HVAC systems need to be in excellent working condition at all times, as temperatures reach numbers that border on heatwaves almost every day. Ensure that your hotel has a good, functioning HVAC system that keeps guests comfortable year-round and is energy efficient to help keep costs down.

Be sure to perform regular preventative maintenance to avoid breakdowns or any issues with your HVAC system.

8. Furniture is outdated and damaged

New furniture trends and designs come out on a nearly weekly basis, so it’s not a feasible idea to try to keep up with the latest pieces on the market. Instead, go for comfort and a classic design that is unlikely to go out of style, and make sure that you keep it in good, clean condition.

However, daily wear-and-tear caused by guests will eventually cause your furniture to be worn and shoddy. Not only is this unseemly and unattractive, but it can also be a safety hazard that could cause injury to staff or guests.

If any of the furniture in your lobbies, conference rooms, even rooms, business centres, dining room, restaurants, pool area, fitness centre or guest rooms start looking shabby, misshapen or worn-out, it’s advised that you invest in new pieces.

9. Cracks on walls, tiles and/or floors

No one likes entering a room or space and seeing cracks or chips on the walls, tiles or flooring. It can make your hotel look untidy and neglected, and will most definitely leave a sour taste in guests’ mouths. Not to mention that cracks and chips will only get worse over time if not replaced or seen to.

Remember, in the hotel industry, aesthetics is everything – and cracks and chips are not an attractive feature to have.

10. Guests are leaving bad reviews

One or two bad reviews may not be anything to worry about, but when it’s a near-constant stream of poor evaluations and scathing critiques about your hotel’s fit out and interior design, then you might want to consider undertaking a refurbishment project.

It’s easy for you and your staff to miss a crack here and a leaky faucet there, but your guests most certainly won’t. Take the time to read through the bad reviews and attend to the issues at hand before they hurt any future business and your bottom line.

11. Year-on-year bookings are down

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for a lot of lost revenue and decline in bookings, but now that the world has opened up again and the economy is slowly bouncing back, it's time to take a hard look at how you’re fairing in the new normal.

If other hotels in your area are hitting high occupancy levels that your property just can’t seem to crack, it’s a strong indicator that it might be time for an upgrade to attract more guests and keep up with your competition.


Do you need a fit out specialist?

When the time inevitably comes for you to refurbish or renovate your hotel, you’ll need the expertise and help of a professional contractor and interior designer who have the necessary skills and experience to execute a successful fit out.

Contractors.Direct offers a curated database of thoroughly vetted, quality contractors, interior designers and interior architects who can bring your vision to life, on time and on budget. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to connect you with the right people for the job.