If you really want to stay in a memorable hotel, choose one with a strong design theme. Far more than having room names with a common link, a strong design runs through everything the hotel does, and makes the whole guest experience more interesting. Choosing a definite theme can be a risk though and only those who have planned, researched and marketed properly pull it off.
A hotel can base its design around any theme, and most of the obvious ones have been done: books, music and artists, for example. Ideas for a theme need to be matched with a market for that theme, to ensure that the hotel can maintain profitable occupancy rates without having to compromise on its design principles. This is easier said than done, and some hotels have to tone down their original designs in order to attract a wider market.
Once a theme has been settled on, a great deal of planning is required in order to ensure that the design is properly thought through rather than just based on a couple of colours and a few pieces of artwork. Creating an individual hotel through themed design is a challenge and the planning process needs to be organised and well-managed to ensure that the eventual design runs clearly through all the hotel’s rooms and spaces.
Once the design has been approved, the project moves on to execution. This usually includes some architectural and building work as well as decoration, furnishings and fittings. For a themed design to work well, everything has to be from authentic sources, so hotel owners and designers often spend some time finding exactly the right furniture, art and accessories to create the themed look they are looking for. It is this attention to detail and finish that often distinguishes a boutique hotel from a run-of-the-mill hotel.
Once the hotel is nearing completion, the owners need to market it. The best way to do this often depends on the theme, but a target market should have been established at the very beginning and this market now needs to know about the hotel and what it offers. From magazines to online advertising, the hotel needs to use its strong theme to attract attention and from that, to attract bookings.
A strongly-themed hotel usually narrows its market, but if the design and execution are properly planned and managed, the hotel can fill a niche and enjoy high occupancy rates.