17th Feb 2015

Developing a hotel is much more complicated than most people – even many investors – realize.  It’s not a matter of designing beautiful spaces and doing some basic analysis of the area to determine ideal capacity and amenities.  In fact, concentrating too much on design and amenities is a “meta”mistake many people make when engaged in hotel development planning.

Common Hotel Planning Mistakes

Most of the important mistakes made when developing a hotel project are based in“back of the house”operations.  These operations aren’t exciting, but have more impact on the success or failure of the hotel than the rooms themselves.  Common hotel development planning mistakes include:

  • A lack of a separate staff entrance or staff-only areas for changing, taking breaks, and prepping for shifts.
  • A lack of staff elevators, forcing cleaning crews and other staff to use guest elevators, resulting in slower elevators and guests being exposed to cleaning equipment and other unpleasant moments.
  • Insufficient storage space for both supplies and food service, creating constant shortages.
  • Poor selection of finishes for the climate, which can result in damage from weather and even accidents and injuries from things like slippery floors.
  • Inadequate infrastructure: Underpowered climate control, sewage treatment, and water supply will negatively impact every aspect of the hotel experience.

The Need for Consultants

Hotel development planning should involve an experienced and committed development consultant from the early going.  Consultants are typically very familiar with the local area, and can help developers avoid mistakes by advising on climate issues, local regulations, and hidden or ”invisible”problems such as low water pressure or other utility challenges.  Consultants can also often identify conceptual mistakes such as a lack of staff areas in the design phase, when adjustments are possible.

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