Why a recession is a good time for a hotel refurb

Hotels that undergo a rejuvenation approximately every seven years, are the least likely to experience a dip in profit. So what happens when a recession has an unexpected impact on tourism, travel and room occupancy? This is when operators planning a refurbishment scheme have the upper hand

One of the key factors when undertaking works is to avoid disturbance to guests. With many hotels experiencing reduced occupancy due to economic factors, disruption will be at a minimum and works can happen more quickly and efficiently. This is better than enforcing a decrease in occupancy by having to close floors for refurbishment during busier periods. In other words, this is a good time for hotel owners to put plans into action, so that they can offer their future guests an experience that they are increasingly coming to expect from their stay.   

Research is showing that guests are more likely to spend longer periods of time outside of their rooms, and hotels need to adapt public spaces to accommodate this. A refurbishment plan can see ground floor space being fully maximized and utilised in a variety of new ways, to become areas with purpose in their own right, helping to increase dwell time. This can include areas being given over to create workspaces and wellness centers and upgrades made to bars and restaurants, which are increasingly becoming destinations that attract customers beyond hotel residents. Other important criteria to update include proper entertainment, fast and reliable Wi-Fi and optimal technology. 

Having a strong procurement plan and committing to a programme with realistic deliverables and timescales is essential. This is where it is prudent to obtain the support of an experienced Project Management and Cost Management team. After all, there is no point in undertaking a rejuvenation scheme if it becomes sabotaged by spiralling costs and unnecessary delays. rpa:group’s Project Management and Quantity Surveyors have a proven record in driving value engineering, ensuring that project programmes align with low reservation periods to avoid hotel revenue loss. 

Working alongside a design team, they can utilise their experience to ensure that realistic solutions are achieved, without compromising on the creative elements that will give a hotel its own robust brand identity and customer appeal. 

Whether hotel operators are embarking on large-scale refurbishment schemes, or a series of small but important upgrades, they should be using this time to implement these, ready to entice future guests, when the country gets back to normal after these difficult times through the recession.

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