FF&E Trends Can Enhance Your Hotel's Look

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | May 06, 2010

Nowhere is that more true than the highly competitive hotel industry, where the look and feel of a property can immediately turn guests on - or off.

But in the months after September 11, occupancy was down dramatically and franchisors relaxed their quality inspections - so hoteliers put many of their purchases for furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) "on hold."

Instead, owners and operators have been spending on soft goods such as bedspreads, carpet, and drapes. These products have a high impact on customer appeal by making a room look refurbished, without costing very much money.

FF&E is always going to be an important consideration and major expenditure for hoteliers. Why? Because new construction is regaining momentum, but more importantly because hotels that delayed refurbishment are due for a face-lift.

Here's how you can maximize your FF&E investment and minimize your service interruptions.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.