A hotel doesn’t need to be purely a place to rest your head. They often have very popular, busy restaurants and bars as well as providing accommodation, creating a lively, energised atmosphere for guests and daytime diners alike. And the more people who spend time in your hotel, the more word will spread about what you can offer and what you do well. But what happens if your venue itself is holding you back?
We wanted to show you how a combination of clever design, an informed client and a challenging building can take a hotel from awkward space to local success. If your business needs re-energising or you’ve grown tired of putting up with the quirks and issues caused by a tricky space, enlisting the help of a hotel interior designer could be just the answer. Here’s how we at Engaging Interiors worked with our client to inject some energy and buzz into his independent hotel.
The Chequers Hotel in Newbury required the most strategic planning of all our current projects. The building is Grade 2 listed and was created by joining together four adjoining buildings, which were all on different levels. Cue problematic movement around the building, difficult access and less than ideal room positioning. In the design brief our client wanted us to appeal to the local people of Newbury, and to bring the site to life. The existing reception desk was hidden from the entrances, meaning guests had to hunt for it to check in, and disabled access was a big problem thanks to the uneven levels and steps leading to the main revolving doors.
To create a space that flowed and would attract local people as well as overnight visitors we moved the bar and restaurant to the more prominent spaces. We made these rooms more atmospheric and engaging to entice customers inside the hotel. To improve circulation we created a new entrance from the high street which would allow customers to enter the restaurant without having to walk through the whole hotel. This entrance was also designed to provide access for people who may have struggled with the main steps and revolving doors. To enhance accessibility we also levelled the bar floor and improved the cloakroom layout to incorporate disabled access.
As a result the hotel is being used throughout the day by far more local people, and in different ways. We’ve created a hub where people can enjoy good food or have a drink, a place that’s more than just a place to stay overnight. There’s a combination of soft, loungy furniture for curling up with a coffee and newspaper, a bar for meeting friends and a restaurant to enjoy great food on site. In fact, guests don’t need to leave the premises, and local people are drawn in by the understatedly stylish interior, with its clean lines and unfussy decor.
This is a key factor in the success of independent hotels: the ability to attract customers to other facilities you offer, as well as providing hotel rooms. By widening your appeal you can generate more business and keep your hotel thriving, bustling and at the heart of the community. Whatever the design and layout of the building there will be ways that an experienced interior designer can tweak things or make bold changes to help give your hotel the best possible chance of success.