With businesses picking up a bit after some tough years, hotels are beginning to put some money into renovations.Lobbies are big to renovate, as they are the first thing guests see upon arrival. A lobby needs to look the part – clean, current and welcoming. But just because the recession may be slowing doesn’t mean there’s tons of money to toss at renovations. Though renovating is cheaper than rebuilding, hoteliers still need to be budget conscious. More hotels are also adding fun features to the lobbies.
Renovating with a Budget
Hit up the areas that require it most. If something is looking dilapidated – fix it. No one wants to walk in and see part of the lobby in disrepair, outdated or in shabby condition. Take that area on, and it can make a big impact. Maybe just the flooring or a new take on walls can make a big difference.
Add a food and beverage station. Not all hotels require a restaurant, but including food and beverage in a lobby makes a nice impact. Perhaps a station with coffee in the morning and flavored/fruited water in the afternoon will be a nice element. Small snacks can go here, too – think grab and go – muffins or apples, cookies or crackers depending on the time of day. Be sure not to put out items that will look old if they sit.
Clean it up. This is one way of how to renovate your hotel lobby for less. Styles are sparser and clean than cluttered these days. A renovation may be more affordable if the cluttered details are skipped, like ornate drapery and rugs, knickknacks and other clutter.
More and more hotels are offering work spaces in their lobbies with free Wi-Fi, comfy chairs, and snacks.
Making it Fun:
Many hotels need to stick to company standards, but it also depends on where the hotel is as to what can be done in the lobby. Beach destination hotels can have open, flowing lobbies where the sea breeze is a constant element. Fireplaces add a fun focal point bringing warmth and comfort to the lobby in cooler climates.
Along with a hotel bar, more hotels are offering kid areas where there is room to play or color while the parents unwind, too.
Seating areas add to the ambiance. More seating in a lobby makes it welcome. Look at Disney themed hotels – lots of seating and places to hang out for a bit instead of being stuck in a room. Whether visiting a hotel with friends, family or business colleagues, a comfortable lobby affords more places to be than the hotel rooms. Hotels benefit from this with more people buying drinks and food while they linger in the lobby.
Lobby renovations are well worth it.
A little money can go a long way, not in just upping the feel of the hotel as a whole, but also in bringing in other revenue, such as food and drink.
Don’t let the lobby fall behind; remember, it’s the welcoming aspect of the hotel, and a warm welcome is always a good one, especially when you are in the business of bringing customers through your front doors.
About the Author: Heather Legg writes on renovating on a budget, social media and travel.