5 High-Impact Hotel Renovation Ideas That Create Value for Your Guests and Business

Renovating your hotel is an opportunity to increase brand loyalty, impact occupancy rates, and optimize operations—but how can you be sure your changes will have the desired effect? 

Innovative hotel ideas—such as keyless digital check-in and transforming an overworked front desk—will ensure your hotel doesn’t get left behind in the digital revolution.

What’s more, modernizing your brand at the point of renovation means you can bake meaningful changes into your hotel operations with minimal friction and complexity, which will limit renovation costs.

Now is the perfect time to look beyond decor, and start working to impact the guest and hotelier experience. Here’s how.

Renovate your hotel to strengthen your brand, increase RevPAR, and impact how you manage your operations. Use Operto Guest—the mobile-optimized web app for better guest and hotelier experiences.

5 hotel renovation ideas that modern guests want to see

Any hotel renovation guide will tell you to update the decor, fix maintenance issues, and ensure your space looks fresh and inviting for guests. But good design should align with your brand, differentiate your hotel from the competition, and make guest stays as memorable as possible.

Also, design ideas need to be practical and should make your operations efficient and functional, build brand loyalty, and support your direct booking strategy.

Here are five renovation ideas that can have a huge impact on the guest and hotelier experience.

1. Smart locks for contactless entry

Installing smart locks with connected digital keypads transforms the guest experience

Installing smart locks for contactless check-in is transformative for the guest experience—our study found that 62.5% of hoteliers said their guests “expect or prefer” digital hotel check-in

Also, a smart lock infrastructure improves operational efficiency by dramatically cutting down on the amount of work for front desk staff, while giving you a better overview of who’s accessing which doors and when.

Installing smart locks as part of your renovation plan could look something like this:  

  1. Replace old locks with smart locks (many are designed to fit over existing deadbolts)
  2. Connect smart locks to your existing PMS
  3. Connect your PMS to a guest hospitality platform such as Operto Guest
  4. Consider connecting to other smart devices such as smart thermostats
  5. Guest makes a reservation via direct booking or OTA platform
  6. Operto generates a unique access code and shares it with your guest via the branded web app
  7. Guest completes digital check-in before arrival
  8. Guest arrives and can go straight to their room, which they access via the smart lock keypad 
  9. You see the guest has arrived via the Operto dashboard and send up welcome treats such as complimentary drinks
  10. Guest can ask any questions via the app, so you offer better service with fewer on-site staff
  11. Offer additional services via your white-label app
  12. Guest checks out, the door codes are automatically reset, and staff can see the room is ready for cleaning

Automating these processes significantly frees up staff from repetitive tasks like taking calls and cutting keycards, and means they can focus on giving guests a much warmer welcome and attentive service.

It’s time to give your guests keyless access. Connect smart locks and in-room IoT with your PMS—and modernize your brand and the guest experience. Make it happen with Operto Tech.

2. Open spaces instead of a front desk

Transforming your old front desk space can pay dividends

Contactless entry means you no longer have the same need for a front desk, potentially freeing up a prime area of your hotel that’s just calling out for creativity and comfort. 

Ideas to replace the front desk area with something more inviting include: 

  • A contemporary-looking bar area with attractive sofas

  • A reading or comfortable seating area with natural light for guests to relax

  • A co-working space with outlets for laptops and great WiFi

  • A coffee shop with local blends and tasting notes

  • A store with useful relevant items (such as swimwear for the pool or hiking boots for local trails)

  • A bookstore or gallery with works by local writers or artists

  • A space showcasing and selling tickets to local tours and attractions

Renovate your hotel to strengthen your brand, increase RevPAR, and impact how you manage your operations. Use Operto Guest—the mobile-optimized web app for better guest and hotelier experiences 

3. Exciting room upgrades

The Operto Guest platform can offer connectivity and room upgrades

Rather than renovating each of your guest rooms in exactly the same way, differentiate some rooms as part of your upselling strategy so you can offer room upgrades—which you could do via your guest app in the days leading up to check-in.

Consider adding the following to differentiate rooms:

  • Smart tech for a modern interior with in-room control of lights and thermostats

  • Wall-mounted voice controls such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

  • Smart TV with additional streaming services, such as Hulu, Prime, or Netflix, or even a video game console

  • Dedicated workspace that includes a charging station with multiple USB ports

  • Premium bedding such as memory foam mattresses and high-thread-count sheets

  • Luxury toiletries and towels

  • Hot tub or a bath, rather than just a shower

  • More extras included in the fridge, including premium spring water and luxury snacks

  • Welcome drink and personalized treats (such as gluten-free, alcohol-free, or vegan) on arrival

  • Child-friendly decor for families, such as fairytale, storybook, or cartoon themes

  • Paris or Venice-themed suites for honeymooning couples

Making these options clear on your direct booking site and OTA listings will differentiate your hotel as a special destination with modern touches.

4. Improved accessibility

Making your hotel wheelchair accessible can boost brand loyalty

Including accessibility considerations into your renovation project that go beyond your legal requirements can help you stand out from the competition.

Be aware of these good practices and look for opportunities to exceed expectations:

  • The American National Standards Institute recommends that beds measure no more than 17 to 23 inches from floor to the top of the mattress for wheelchair users

  • Add additional disabled spaces in your car park

  • Install power doors for wheelchair access throughout

  • Provide lowered surfaces, for example in your bar area or cash desk

  • Install wheel-in showers in bathrooms and safety handles

  • Offer safety alarms in bathrooms and train staff how to use them

  • Review the standard of your disabled toilets

  • Offer discounts, free rooms, or other perks for carers or assistants

Accessibility is also about providing for guests with invisible disabilities, including those with neurodiversity, severe food intolerances, or children with sensitivities (such as autism or ADHD). By openly catering to diverse needs, you can prove yourself to be a caring, attentive hotel and brand.

5. Added greenery for character and atmosphere

Filling your outdoor spaces with greenery can transform the ambiance

Including plants and greenery in interior design can have a calming effect on arriving guests, helping to cool a space and add pockets of color.

Plants are especially popular with eco-friendly Millennials (this is the generation that coined the term “plant parents”, remember), and can offer a big impact with comparatively little investment. 

Here are some ideas you should consider when looking to freshen your hotel with greenery:

  • Make a statement by framing your entrance with tall trees or eye-catching flower garlands

  • Bring the outdoors in by draping hanging plants above your bar or seating space

  • Add plants to bedrooms for air purification and a hit of welcome greenery

  • Spruce up tired gardens with clever living walls or plant screening trellises 

  • Invite guests to venture into your outdoor space with a dramatic, plant-filled walkway or arch

  • Divide zones in your hotel or garden with built-in planters for privacy or coziness

  • Add balance with a tall cactus or lush monstera to distract from heavy furniture or a dull corner

  • Break up a bare wall with living wall greenery that offers color and interest

On-trend plants in your renovation and design scheme will add vibrancy to your hotel interior, and mark it out as a modern, must-visit destination.

Ideas for hotel renovation that impact both guest and business

High-impact renovation goes far beyond enhancing the guest experience. It also improves the hotelier experience, too. 

Incorporating innovative ideas such as smart locks, a guest hospitality web app like Operto Guest, and reinventing the tired front desk is key when it comes to exceeding guest expectations and streamlining your day-to-day.

Renovate your hotel to strengthen your brand, increase direct booking, and impact how you manage your operations. Use Operto Guest—the mobile-optimized web app for better guest and hotelier experiences.

Frequently asked questions about hotel renovation ideas

How can I make my hotel room more attractive?

You can make your hotel room more attractive by improving its appeal to a wider number of guests, and modernizing it for maximum comfort, decor, and style. However, “attractiveness” goes beyond decor and design (although that’s important), and should also focus on smart tech (such as for contactless check-in), and accessibility, to improve the guest and hotelier experience, and build brand loyalty.

What is the most important aspect of a hotel renovation?

The most important aspect of a hotel renovation is making changes that positively impact the guest and hotelier experience. This means updating your hotel so it offers more convenience, speed, and control to guests, staff, and management.

What are the benefits of renovating a hotel?

The benefits of renovating a hotel include both updating tired design, fixing maintenance issues, and staying ahead of trends, as well as ensuring your business caters to modern guests and changing demands (such as digital check-in). Renovating both design and operations will attract new guest demographics, differentiate your brand, and boost occupancy rates.