Hotels: Your Hallways are more important than you might think?

In many hotels hallways tend to be a forgotten no-mans-land of dingy carpeting and uninspiring walls which follow a narrow obstacle course of neglected room service trays, abandoned luggage carts and service trollies… but is this anyway to greet your guests?


We all know that first impressions count, and a rundown look in your corridors can really put a damper on your guests’ perception of their stay, even if your service and other amenities are above par! So why not treat your guests to a little excitement as they make their journey to their room…. this way you will heighten their feelings about their stay even before they have put the key in the door.


Hallways and corridors are often the most overlooked spaces in a hotel. These high traffic areas become worn and shabby quickly with the passage of housekeeping carts, guests with luggage, children and sometimes pets as well. So it is well to traverse your corridors regularly with a deeply critical eye and keep the paint work up to spec and the floor looking fresh and clean. However, with all the wear and tear that these areas generate, even if you are vigilant with your maintenance it is not unusual for a good hotel to renovate their hallways every three years or so. But the question one has to ask should be – ‘is merely keeping things bright and cheerful enough, shouldn’t we be doing a just little more to make this part of our guests trip a memorable one?’


It has been said that there is no space that is dead space when it comes to hotels, which is an excellent philosophy to have when you are considering how to decorate your corridors. Your hallway should be eye catching, inviting and should lead people along them with interesting stopping points on the way. It is also important to have the hallway harmonize with the rest of the hotel’s design.

Some really fun ideas would be to create a gallery like space and have paintings and sculptures lining the halls, one hotel we know approached a local art school to provide fantastic art work that was placed in eclectic groupings along the walls. This served to add interest to the corridors, promoted the young artists and formed a valuable new link with the local community. Old photos… shots of the buildings past, or historical paintings and photos of the local area, are also extremely interesting to locals and out-of-towners alike. The same goes for maps either antique or new, which always look great when they are framed. Old post cards can also be fascinating to look at and read. Give people a reason to stop and look, create special areas, as they make all the difference to the beauty and flow of a building. Think about creating bookcases along your hallways, containing collections of secondhand coffee table books. It forms a talking point and at the same time your guests can enjoy reading the books in their rooms.


In some situations, you might want to have a little humour… if you are in a beach community lay a striped carpet reminiscent of a beach towel or a yellow one like sand and have a mural artists paint a beach hut around each door way. If you are near a zoological park consider an animal theme with leopard print or zebra striped carpeting and wallpaper depicting jungle foliage and animal sculptures. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of whimsey… it says to your guests “we’re fun” and “you are going to have fun when you stay with us!” The more creative you can get the better!


Placing a striking bench, sofa, a colourful cabinet or console table at the end of a corridor creates a focal point and keeps your customers engaged as they travel to their room and less likely to notice if their room is a long way from the stairs or elevator. Fresh flowers are always a plus but if this is too extravagant a display of artificial flowers can create the same atmosphere. Make it an adventure for all the senses and add little soft music to the scene.


If the corridor is long, then you need to break it up a little. Some hotels are choosing to do this with their flooring by having a carpet woven with a series of centered geometric designs surrounded by borders giving the effect of a series of rugs, this will make the corridor seem a shorter and wider space than it really is…. and did we hear you say, “Have a bespoke carpet woven, who could afford that?” Well you would be surprised…many manufacturers will set up their looms to do this for you at no extra charge simply because you will be buying a lot of carpeting all at one time.


The trend in hotels at the moment is bold, boutique and beautiful! There is nothing more boutiquey than big designs on your walls and your window treatments. Choose floral, geometric or plain textured or better still mix it all up! Powerful colours will add a lot of drama and stripes are in, in, in! In particular, a mixture of striped patterns… wide, narrow and pin-stripe in a variety of colour ways. And remember stripes can be a friend of narrow spaces by laying them sideways to create the illusion of width, similarly you can use stripes to make ceiling appear higher or lower. But remember whatever you choose…to keep your hallways looking fabulous for longer it’s recommended to pick a high quality durable carpet, or to use a high quality vinyl tile, sections of which can be replaced in the unlikely situation of being damaged, it is also ideal to use metal moldings as they can take years of wear.


A major element to focus on is lighting. Keeping the hallways well lit and bright creates a very welcoming feel and is also helpful for keeping hallways clean. Lighting is not only functional, but is also a design element, lighting with beautiful shades that create lovely shadows can be a beautiful way of using a design element.


We firmly believe that it is this kind of thought and attention to detail that makes your hotel feel luxurious, exciting and it will give you that necessary point of difference that you are looking for… and should not necessarily cost you much more than your last renovation. If you plan well. Fantastic hallways will make people want to capture and post them, talk about and share the artwork, all while being durable and functional for guests and staff. Above all it will make your guests’ hotel stay a more memorable experience, even before they step into their room!

3rd September 2021

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