The Power of Storytelling in Hotel Interior Design

It’s common knowledge that the first impression a customer gets when checking into a hotel is hugely important.

The way the hotel is designed and finished plays a major role in the experience that your guests have – from the cohesive way the entrance reflects the destination and surroundings, to the way you guide them to their rooms and invite them to relax.

One way of finessing this experience is by implementing storytelling into interior design – with this article centred around the power of storytelling and how to make it work for a hotel.

But first, what exactly do we mean by storytelling and why does it matter when creating an experience for guests?

Why does storytelling matter in hotel interior design?

First thing’s first, we don’t mean that your hotel interior design has to be built around a fictional tale or a set of characters.

When we talk about storytelling from an interior design perspective, we are referring to the journey that guests go on, and the way that operators can weave their brand and brand personality into the surroundings and various touch points throughout the hotel.

To tell a story through your interior design, you need to identify the experience that you want guests to have and then consider how you can weave that into both what the guests see and how they feel inside the hotel. This aesthetic and overall environment should reflect and compliment the hotel’s brand. Most of all, it is what guests will remember about your brand, and is how they will frame the rest of the experience.

With that said, where should you start when defining your story and working it into the interior design of your hotel?

A guide to bringing storytelling to life in your hotel

Storytelling in hotel room interior design

A hotel is made up of various spaces, ranging from the entrance and reception to the hallways and communal spaces, hotel rooms themselves, and any interior and exterior facilities that you offer as part of the package.

A truly cohesive story will unite all of these different areas and aspects of your hotel business under one design brief. It will go further than simply painting the walls in matching colours and will find ways to connect with both the look of each space and the integrated features which add to the experience.

Some of the most important factors to consider include:

  • How each space impacts the sense – not only in terms of aesthetic but also in how the space sounds, how it smells, and how it feels.
  • Decorative accessories and how these contribute towards the guest experience. For example, could mirrors be used in compact hallways to make the area feel bigger, and could plants be used to tone down and add warmth to a very modern aesthetic.
  • How other areas within the hotel connect to the story that is being told. For example, how do the rooms continue the story which started at reception and in the entranceway of your hotel? How can onsite restaurants and other guest services and experiences build on the story further and deliver a memorable and cohesive stay?

Tips to energise a hotel’s story through interior design

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting from scratch or trying to add new life to an existing hotel design and concept; there is always time and room to build on the story that your business presents.

The best place to stay when re-energising your hotel is with the audience and your target group of guests. Who are they, what are they looking for in a hotel stay, and what reason do they currently have for choosing your hotel over a competitor? Answering these questions will give you a better sense of the person you are trying to reach with your story, and how best to appeal to them.

From there, it’s all about injecting that story into everything that you do as part of your hotel – both in physical design and with regards to the messages you put out and the way your brand is presented and received.

Brand personality and brand story should not only influence the design of the hotel but also be integrated into every physical and aesthetic decision that is made.

And the Carroll Design team are here to help. Get in touch with us directly to discuss your pending project, whether it be a complete redesign or integrating new experiences and touch points into an existing hotel business.

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