5 Guest Experience Lessons For Hotel Design

The experience economy is taking root in even the largest and slowest moving companies. Savvy and flexible Aussie business – are you keeping up? What are the lessons we can learn from the top global hotels?

  1. Luxury can be personalised, and the biggest factor is brand character. When you express your brand across all your communications, you attract guests who value the same things as you, making it easier to customise a stay on brand and within your existing capacity. Think bigger than customised tour packages and high tech lighting – an old perfume factory turned hotel in Milano allows you to choose a fragrance for your room, you can choose the colour of everything from linens to toilet paper in Switzerland. Know your brand character and diversify your offerings with guest centred experiences and unique spaces. (Dont’ know your brand character? Try our Quiz!)
  2. Wellness and spiritual journeys with one of kind natural or spiritual encounters can be integrated naturally where brands choose a holistic wellness focus. Visitors are looking to recharge their mind and body in locations that are sacred, cleansing or somehow understood to be specially energised – a Japanese hotel and spa offers evening spa treatments under the stars, or you can float on water in Bali amongst the spectacular natural environment. Australia stands apart with its pristine beaches and incredible outback that are ripe with potential for experiences, but city hotels can harness that reputation and create sanctuaries within our beautiful cities. What spaces could you create that emanate wellness and spiritual journey?
  3. Digital detox and resurgence of traditional relaxation activities can be beautifully encorporated into historical or grand hotel style properties.  The intimate, lovely library at The Jefferson, Washington DC has an impressive collection of vintage hardcovers, a cozy fireplace, and even a magnifying glass! Is a library, games room or perhaps a dance studio a natural extension of your offerings?
  4. Deep relaxation – take sleep seriously! A good night’s sleep is reaching a new level with sleep inducing bedroom design, linens that prevent sweating and eliminate bacteria, sleep therapy clinics, and dedicated ‘sleep curators’ (as an pretty massive evolution of the traditional turn-down service!). The five-star Corinthia Hotel in London realised that for some people the ultimate luxury is simply sleep, and launched its sleep package, developed in consultation with physiologist Dr Guy Meadows of the London Sleep School. Do you have a connection to deep relaxation therapy? What would you need to do to your spaces to make that a reality?
  5. Intuitive customer service. Knowing what your visitors want and surprising or delighting them at just the right moment is what great customer service is made of, and your space can be shaped to allow people to make selections for themselves or allow staff to engage more naturally to discover those needs. Letting guests eat what they want, when they want is only a small step toward the kind of intuitive offerings that can be created under a brand language. Dar Ahlam in Morocco, Ett Hem in Stockholm and Foxhill Manor in the UK have banished all the rules and let guests eat what they want when and where they want it. At the Adelphi Design Hotel, Melbourne, the reception area is a lounge where the staff sit with you over a coffee and a chat while they check you in.

Looking for inspiration for your natural extension to your hotel offering? We’re experts in developing experiential spaces. Call us today, let’s just start with a coffee.


For most tourism businesses, working on your buildings and grounds is a big deal. There is a lot of money and time at stake and can be difficult to know where to start. So let’s just start with a coffee.