3 Common Mistakes Made During a Hotel Refurbishment

Refurbishing a hotel is a critical project that can significantly enhance its appeal, efficiency, and profitability. Hotels often undergo refurbishment to update their aesthetics, improve functionality, and stay competitive in the hospitality market. However, hotel refurbishments can go awry despite the best intentions due to common mistakes. This article will explore three prevalent mistakes made during hotel refurbishments and how to avoid them, with insights from industry experts, according to IH Group.

Why Hotels Do Refurbishment

Hotels undertake refurbishments for several reasons:

  • Aesthetic Updates: To modernise and align with current design trends, improving the overall guest experience.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: To address wear and tear, ensuring the property remains safe and operational.
  • Regulatory Compliance: To meet new regulations and standards, including accessibility and safety requirements.
  • Competitive Edge: To enhance facilities and amenities, staying ahead of competitors and attracting more guests:
  • Operational Efficiency: To upgrade systems and technologies, reducing operational costs and improving service delivery.

While the benefits of refurbishment are clear, the process can be fraught with challenges. Here are three common mistakes to watch out for:

  1. Underestimating the Scope and Costs

One of the most frequent mistakes in hotel refurbishment is underestimating the scope and associated costs. This can lead to budget overruns, incomplete projects, and financial strain.

Why it happens

  • Inadequate Planning: Failing to conduct thorough planning and feasibility studies can result in overlooking critical aspects of the project.
  • Hidden Issues: Unexpected issues such as structural damage or outdated systems can arise once work begins, adding to costs and delays.

How to avoid it

  • Detailed Planning: Conduct comprehensive planning that includes a detailed budget, timeline, and scope of work. Engage with experienced contractors and project managers to identify potential challenges early on.
  • Contingency Fund: Allocate a contingency fund (typically 10-20% of the total budget) to cover unexpected expenses. This can help manage financial surprises without derailing the project.

2. Neglecting Operational Impact

Another common mistake is neglecting the impact of refurbishment on hotel operations. Poorly managed renovations can disrupt guest experiences and lead to a loss of revenue and reputation.

Why it happens

  • Lack of Coordination: Insufficient coordination between the refurbishment team and hotel management can result in operational disruptions.
  • Noise and Accessibility Issues: Construction noise, restricted access to facilities, and other inconveniences can negatively affect guests.

How to avoid it:

  • Phased Refurbishment: Plan the refurbishment in phases to minimise disruption. For example, renovate one wing or floor at a time while keeping other areas operational.
  • Effective Communication: Clearly communicate the refurbishment schedule to guests and staff. Provide updates on progress and anticipated disruptions to manage expectations.
  • Guest Compensation: Offer compensation such as discounts or complimentary services to guests affected by the refurbishment. This can help maintain goodwill and loyalty.

3. Ignoring Design Consistency and Guest Preferences

A critical yet often overlooked aspect of refurbishment is maintaining design consistency and considering guest preferences. Ignoring these elements can result in a disjointed and unappealing final product.

Why it happens

  • Design Overhaul: In an attempt to modernise, some refurbishments completely overhaul the design without considering the hotel’s existing style and brand identity.
  • Guest Preferences: Failing to consider what guests value can lead to upgrades that do not resonate with them, such as impractical furniture or over-the-top aesthetics.

How to avoid it

  • Brand Consistency: Ensure that any design changes align with the hotel’s brand identity and overall aesthetic. This maintains a cohesive look and feel that guests recognize and appreciate.
  • Guest Feedback: Incorporate guest feedback into the refurbishment plans. Understanding what guests like and dislike can guide design choices that enhance their experience. For example, if guests consistently praise the hotel’s cosy atmosphere, ensure that new designs retain this element.

Hotels are ideal meeting places for individuals, yet the traffic they receive also means the toll of wear and tear is high. Hotel refurbishments are essential for maintaining and enhancing the quality and competitiveness of a property. However, avoiding common mistakes such as underestimating costs, neglecting operational impacts, and ignoring design consistency can make a significant difference in the success of the project. By planning meticulously, communicating effectively, and keeping guest preferences in mind, hotels can ensure a smooth refurbishment process that boosts their business and enhances guest satisfaction. For expert assistance with your hotel refurbishment, consider partnering with industry leaders like IH Group, who offer comprehensive refurbishment services tailored to the hospitality sector.