How a Professional Interior Designer Can Add Value To Your Property

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | October 28, 2008

"Design" is the new buzz word in hotel FF&E, but exactly how does an interior designer add value?

The textbook definition tells us that an interior designer enhances a hotel with better space planning, more stylish decorating, and more effective furniture placement. The property is worth more and guests rate their visits more highly.

That should probably be enough to consider using the skills of an interior designer in your next hotel project.

However, the marketplace reality goes much further - in today's crowded hospitality environment, an interior designer is vital in helping your hotel not just stay competitive but actually increase market share. A more up-to-date property generates more return visits and can achieve higher room rates.

In case you need more convincing - and research suggests that many hoteliers do - let's consider the subject further.

Historically, hoteliers have avoided using interior designers for three main reasons:

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Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.