Designing an Independent Hotel that Attracts a "Name Brand" Crowd

Independent Hotel DesignIndependent hotels are hip, quirky, and fun. Big brand name hotels are polished, organized, and trusted. Those points are necessarily argued, but is there a way for a one-stop shop to attract and win over those guests that prefer to stay at the big names in the travel industry?

We think so, but it won’t be easy.

Whole teams are put together for the entire process from real estate buying, marketing and design (of course). Smaller organizations are at a disadvantage from the start, but that’s ok. Here are a few crucial tips to draw a few eyeballs and hopefully some guests onto your property.

Smile for the Camera

A quick search on Airbnb or any other travel site and you will immediately see a difference. A boutique hotel that looks like a hot mess here and a small chain with a bad photographer there. You’ll also notice the mundane, yet professional photos of the hospitality giants.

By purposefully designing a few key spots, you will always have the photogenic side of your new build. Not that every part of your hotel shouldn’t be beautiful, but putting in a few spaces that will look good on Expedia will help the owner raise eyebrows as well as rates.

Don’t Skimp on the Details

This one is obvious. You have probably been traveling to a new area and decided to go to dinner. You walk in somewhere new and see red and white dollar store table clothes and metal chairs from Costco.

It’ll be a while before you try something different.

The same effect can be true for your lodging design. Boutique hotels are often rebuilt roadside motels or other abandoned buildings. This repurposing is part of the charm, but don’t mistake that as an excuse to keep those old fixtures.

Older looking furniture, lamps, and storage will need to be updated for things with a high-end feel and clean lines. Try a professional, yet warm design in the room with invisible hinges and updated fixtures.

Wide Open Spaces

Our last key to attracting those brand loyal travelers is to mimic the open design of the typical chain lobby. Most of the bigger luxury hotels will have a large open style to their main spaces. Guests easily find the front desk and don’t feel cramped. Small spaces can lead to confusion and a tense feeling.

Again, many of the remodeled independents need to be opened up from the older “cozy” lobby designs. Doing so will help you draw attention and a few more patrons from the big guys.

If you need to create a high-end look in your independent hotel, SOSS creates the best invisible hinges in the world. Be sure to check out our catalog and our dealer page to learn more.