By Chris Johnson, Design Services Manager at Beacon.
When making an investment in design at your hotel, it should always be considered what the benefit will be to your bottom line. Themed bedrooms can have a huge impact on a guest’s experience at your hotel and can really put your property on the map.
Themed rooms are growing in popularity, from the Barbie-themed hotel in Buenos Aires to Harry Potter themed rooms in London, people are looking for a unique hotel when planning a trip – for some, a simple room with crisp white sheets just doesn’t cut it anymore. A well-executed design can help build brand recognition, support PR and marketing campaigns and give your property a major point of difference. But how do you decide your theme?
Deciding a theme should be an easy decision. Not every hotel will benefit from a themed room – if it feels forced, or if it’s not done well, it may not have a positive effect on the hotel, but if the choice is obvious and it’s well done, the hotelier will reap the rewards. Working with our design partners, Dakota House of Design, we most commonly see hotels choosing their theme based on their location – whether that’s to associate themselves with a nearby attraction such as a famous racecourse, or a specific area of interest such as Nottingham Forest (for a Robin Hood theme) or simply their specific location in the country, for example the Scottish Highlands.
When a theme has been decided upon, the level of theming is the next decision – would you like to just focus on one or two rooms? Or should all aspects of the hotel follow the chosen décor? Again, this depends on what the theme is, but in our experience, we would recommend that light theming works throughout the hotel, but heavy theming works best when it’s just in one or two bedrooms – this means that guests feel like they really have entered another world when entering their room. As an example, a hotel in Scotland may choose tartan fabrics and rugs and rustic timbers as decoration throughout the hotel – within a rustic building this works well, but it would not look as impressive if the building was modern. The building, and therefore the space you have to theme, must be a key consideration – a more contemporary building may need to be even bolder in its design choices to stand out and make an impact, and so may not be the right fit for light theming throughout.
There are many aspects of the design that can enhance your theme, by working closely with industry leading designers, we are able to supply a specification to hotels that ties the fabrics, wall coverings and furniture together. We find that many hotels we partner with want a nod towards a local attraction or the local area, without the necessary investment needed to completely transform one or two rooms. As an example, we supported the BEST WESTERN Heath Court Hotel in 2014 to facilitate a multi-million pound investment to refurbish the hotel’s reception, bar, lounge and restaurant. The hotel, located in Newmarket, was transformed into a stunning and special venue, with hints of Newmarket’s racing history throughout the new décor – using wallpapers and artwork that fit with this light theming.
Picture: BEST WESTERN Heath Court Hotel undergoes refurb with the help of Beacon
Theming can seem like a daunting task, and one that may require significant investment for any reward, however, light theming truly is an option for any hotel, and can really elevate the look and feel of your property and therefore improve the guest experience. If heavy theming is what you’re looking for, then ensure you work with an experienced design partner that can help guide you through all the necessary decisions, find fabrics and furniture that comply with safety legislation, whilst working well with your theme and most importantly to budget, so your rooms will make the best commercial impact. Contact Beacon today
to see how we could help your property with themed rooms, or any upcoming project.