Should Hotels Invest in Seasonal Décor?
The ultimate goal of any hotel should be to create a positive, welcoming, comfortable experience for every guest that books a room. The most basic things a hotel should offer include adequate safety, comfortable beds, and superior customer service.
But, because the hospitality industry is so competitive, with over 54,000 hotels in the U.S., most places try to go above and beyond to provide their guests with something special.
One way to do that is with seasonal decor.
It might seem like a small consideration, especially if you’re typically more focused on extra amenities, referring your guests to local hot spots, and providing unique ways for your patrons to better enjoy their stay.
But, when someone is staying in a hotel, it’s their home away from home. Sometimes it’s only for a night, sometimes much longer. Decorating for different seasons can add to that “homey” feel, making your guests more comfortable and creating an inviting environment for everyone to enjoy.
So, when is seasonal décor worth it? Are there certain pieces that are better than others? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons, and how you should go about adding seasonal decorations if you think it’s the right move.
Is It Worth the Investment?
When putting up seasonal décor, you can expect an initial investment in purchasing it, as well as the extra bump to your utility bills if your decorations are using lights or electricity. So, is it worth digging into your budget to decorate for the seasons?
From a marketing perspective, yes. First, it’s a great excuse to host events, no matter what the season is. That will attract more people to your hotel and keep your guests happy. Plus, events can bring in more revenue from the people staying there. More importantly, however, it will make everyone feel welcome. Imagine a crackling fireplace, holiday decorations, and the smell of warm spices lingering in the air when you walk into a hotel from a cold winter’s night.
Who wouldn’t want to come “home” to that? Decorations can make your guests’ stay feel more personal and homey, which can encourage them to book with you again or even extend their stay.
Stick to Your Style
Some people have images of gaudy lighting and plastic-looking decorations in mind when they think about seasonal décor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A good rule of thumb is to decorate in a way that is “on-brand” for your business.
Your hotel likely has a specific “concept” with certain colors and decorations. Your seasonal décor can absolutely fall in line with that. Start by adding a few seasonal colors that blend well with your current scheme. For example, if you want to capture the beauty of fall, the following colors can accentuate whatever you might currently have on your lobby walls:
Keep in mind that seasonal decorations are meant to make your existing environment stand out and look even better. That might include tossing a few colorful throw pillows on a lobby sofa or hanging a unique piece of artwork that represents the season. You can even set up “decoration zones” each season to create focal points while keeping the rest of your establishment more neutral. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking every square inch of your establishment needs to be covered in seasonal flair.
Stay in Style
If you do decide to decorate your hotel on a seasonal basis, try to stay “in the know” when it comes to what’s trendy. Guests likely aren’t going to want to see fake-looking Christmas trees and lights that look like they’re twenty years old.
That can be a potential “con” for your budget – having to buy new décor every few years to stay in style. But, if you choose to make it a standard part of your marketing budget, it shouldn’t cause too much damage. Plus, if you’re able to harness a warm, captivating experience, your decor could boost your ROI as more guests flock to your establishment each year to experience the decorations and atmosphere.
If you truly want to be “in style”, make sure your decorations are inclusive and promote diversity. If you’re not sure how to make that a priority in your strategy, try things like:
- Doing your research on how different cultures celebrate holidays
- Respecting boundaries and being tasteful with your décor
- Considering accessibility
- Avoiding stereotypes
Promoting diversity and inclusivity is always the right thing to do, and from a marketing standpoint, it’s another way to potentially boost your ROI. If everyone feels welcome and included when they step into your hotel, it’s more likely to spark word-of-mouth advertising from your guests to their friends and family.
Holiday decorations aren’t for every establishment. But, it’s also important to let go of the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding outdated, poorly-designed décor. If you want to give the atmosphere of your building a change, consider adding pieces of seasonal decorations, and you’ll quickly be able to gauge your guests’ responses and reactions. You might find that a little seasonal décor can go a long way in making people feel more welcome while they’re staying with you.
Author: Luke Smith