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How Often Do Hotels Renovate?

Night time view of a luxury hotel.

Anyone who’s stayed in a hotel has been confronted with this familiar scene – you’ve checked in to the hotel, go to your room, open the door, and survey the scene. What you see is not a pretty sight. The bathroom has a lightbulb out, the walls look dingy, the bedspread is frayed along the edges, and the sections of the carpet are torn.

While the service is excellent and the staff attitude is great, the hotel room requires renovation, even after being open for a few years.

Signs a Hotel Needs Renovation

Ritz luxury hotel in Paris.

Given the number of visitors into a hotel room during any given year, wear and tear are inevitable. However, hotel owners must maintain repairs and modern design trends to maintain an elevated level of customer satisfaction. As a guest, there are several signs a hotel requires renovation:

Dingy Smells

Bad smells will always give you an immediately negative viewpoint of the hotel. They often result from a larger issue such as mold, poor plumbing systems, carpets that need cleaning, or HVAC that needs an overhaul.

Leaky Faucets

Rooms with leaky faucets, showers with poor water pressure, and toilets that don’t flush correctly are incredibly annoying. You want the hotel to have similar comforts of home and basic needs like plumbing should work as expected. As plumbing systems age, wear and tear occurs, which is indicative of an upgrade.

Poor Lighting

Inefficient lighting, appliances, and electrical systems mean the room is not being well-maintained, which means you likely won’t have the best experience. You want the hotel room, lobby, and hallways to be bright and beautiful, so you don’t feel like you’re walking through the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.

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Outdated Furniture

At any given time, hotel furniture must be in acceptable condition and in updated styles to ensure guest comfort. Damaged fixtures or furniture are a clear indication that an upgrade or renovation is required. In addition to looking unsightly, broken furniture can be a safety hazard.

This idea extends beyond guest rooms and into lobbies, fitness centers, pools, breakfast rooms, party rooms, and business centers.

Worn-Out Carpets

As a guest, you never want to stay in a hotel room with damaged, stained, or dirty carpeting. It looks unsanitary, tacky, and dingy, which is a major turnoff. This also goes for the lobbies, hallways, and other hotel sections.

Also, carpet designs from the 1970s will be a major negative aspect of the hotel. Imagine walking into your room to find, shag carpeting. If you experience this, then it’s clear the hotel needs some type of renovation.

How Often Should Hotels Renovate?

An old hotel sign.

Many experts state that hotels should be renovated every three years. However, there is no fixed rule within the industry. Renovations are often conducted when the property needs to be upgraded to maintain its bottom line.

This is signaled based on a decrease in room occupancy due to hotel spaces looking outdated because of the points stated above. While items are often replaced when they appear worn or are broken, unfunctional, major room and hotel renovations involving new carpeting and wallpaper and furniture replacement are much less frequent. Major capital investment is required for renovations.

How Often Do Hotels Renovate?

Large modern hotel lobby.

Getting back to the original question surrounding this article, hotel renovations don’t occur as often as guests would like.

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A small family-owned hotel or motel may update their interiors and furniture every 10-15 years because they don’t have the capital to invest in new décor and may have fewer guests. Larger corporation-backed hotels often gut their interiors every six to seven years, because they have many guests, so items wear faster, and have the capital to invest in the upgrade.

Bathrooms commonly work on 15-year cycles and public, food, and beverage areas on five-year cycles.

With the emergence of smart hotels, guests are seeking more personalization and connectivity, like what they have at home. Therefore, during the latest round of renovations, hotels are installing the devices, appliances, and systems required to become smart hotels. This is not the latest trend in hotel décor, it’s a requirement to remain competitive now and in the future.

Keeping up with technological advances will continue to be necessary as more innovative products and connectivity are launched.

For some hotels, this could mean undergoing major renovations before the six or seven-year cycle has been completed. In the future, the renovation cycle period could become shorter based on technological advances and guest preferences. Almost all hotels have guest wi-fi, but implementing those systems took the capital and many manhours to ensure all guest rooms are covered by the range.

Smart TVs with streaming options are now becoming more popular in hotels, so owners must swap outdated TVs for newer models.

Hotel owners always want to present accommodations that are inviting, and beautiful and create an amazing experience that keeps visitors returning. There is a higher chance of having more satisfied guests are newly renovated hotels, but this requires massive investment from the hotel chain or individual owner. In many instances, smaller hotel owners replace items as necessary and conduct major overhauls much less frequently.

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In any case, as a guest, you expect the hotel to be immaculate and accommodating, with furniture, appliances, in-room systems, and public areas to be clean and function as described.