Most hotels will go through some level of renovation every five to seven years. Whilst some properties may close to undertake complete overhauls, others will choose to remain operational while undergoing a renovation. Either way, construction works must be completed as efficiently as possible to minimise the impact on guest experience.
Maintaining a high-quality, guest experience whilst works are ongoing can be challenging. It requires careful planning and strong collaboration between the owner, the designer and the construction manager. Renovating a fully-functioning hotel will inevitable have its impacts on day-to-day operations, but as long as you have a good design and build team behind you, disturbances should be minimal.
The importance of Pre-Planning Your Hotel Refurbishment Project
We know from experience that not all properties are built the same, especially when it comes hotels. This is why hotel renovation projects require careful planning and a tailored approach to ensure any impact on trade is minimised.
It is vital to gather as much information about the buildings existing condition first. Responsible hotel renovation contractors will perform an initial site survey to produce a detailed scope of works, an agreed programme and a continency plan for any unforeseen costs.
Logistics and detail need to be considered, floor by floor and room by room. Plans should also include a displaced revenue report that contains financial information capturing the negative impact on the top-line revenues, in terms of rooms, food and beverage and meeting spaces (if applicable); this should be provided by your finance or revenue management team.
Removing room inventory and access to communal areas during a renovation can cause both inconvenience and discomfort to guests. It is important to strategically prioritise refurbishment works around the hotels strongest revenue-generators. Wherever possible, include alternative service stations and swing space within your refurbishment plans so guests can continue to use the hotel facilities in some capacity throughout the renovation.
Ideally works are carried out during your quieter periods so you can continue generating revenue whilst renovations are being completed. In the rare circumstances this isn’t an option, works should be phased and isolated from guests wherever possible. This can involve putting up temporary partition walls and providing separate entrances and exits for tradesman. Some hotel refurbishment contractors such as ourselves, can even deliver to an escalated programme of works to minimise the impact on trade.
Communication with your hotel refurbishment contractor is essential
Let your guests know in advance that some areas of your hotel will be out of bounds during their stay. If there are particularly noisy works happening, you may want to check with your guests they are comfortable with this before they arrive.
Your contractor should also provide you with regular updates on how works are progressing and if there is any potential risk of disturbances. Communication is key whilst works are ongoing, so you need to work with a hotel refurbishment contractor that you can trust and has a good reputation for customer service.
Mitigating potential disturbances that might impact guest experience
Indoor air quality, noise mitigation and barricades are some of the most crucial elements to minimising potential disturbances. Even minor changes or alterations to an occupied building can have a significant impact on guest experience.
Carefully planning the logistics of any hotel fit out or renovation is paramount. Details such as where tradesman park or deliveries are dropped off and picked up need to be considered early on. An experienced hotel refurbishment company will know how to coordinate works to reduce guest disruption whilst keeping the project on schedule.
A good hotel refurbishment contractor will also provide frequent project updates and want to build a strong working relationship with yourself. After all, good communication is key to success, especially when it comes to managing guest experience.
Keeping amenities active whilst the hotel is operational
If you are undertaking a hotel renovation whilst your property is occupied, you will want to keep as many of your amenities and services online as possible. Working in phases and creating swing space will allow guests to continue to enjoy the hotel facilities whilst works are ongoing. You will also need to consider the requirements of the back of house operations to ensure they remain highly-functional. Consider the flow of guests through the hotel whilst works are being completed. Do you need to create temporary service stations for staff? And do you need to reroute pathways and entrances to maintain a high-quality guest experience.
Manging hotel room refurbishments in live environments
Undertaking refurbishment works in a live environment can be challenging. To minimise any potential risk of disturbing guests, works should be phased, with the contractor taking possession of two floors at a time.
Most hotel refurbishment contractors will typically start works from the top, completing one floor at a time. The extra floor underneath should be used as a sound buffer to prevent any disturbances to guests. Once each phase of refurbishment works is completed, there should be a period of reopening the closed floors so the hotel can welcome paying guests.
If occupancy levels are low enough and the programme allows for it, the contractor can refurbish multiple floors at a time, which will expedite this process. If you are working with a hotel refurbishment company that is experienced in this field, they will be able to advise you on how best to approach works to minimise any impact on trade.
Providing an enjoyable guest experience whilst hotel renovations are being completed can be challenging. Pre-planning and strategic construction approaches can enable hotel operators to continue generating income whilst works are being completed.
The most important factor to project success is communication and planning. This is why it is important to work with an experienced hotel refurbishment contractor and to engage with a design team that will deliver your vision.