Best Hotel Room Design Tips for Small Hotel Rooms

Size matters, but for the average traveler, hotel rooms no longer need to be as spacious as they once were.

As the industry shifts its focus to attract the millennial traveler, we must pay special attention to the amenities they deem most important during their stay. According to this Huffington Post article, “72 percent of Millennials are choosing to spend more money on experiences than material items.” So, how has the hospitality industry responded to the focus on the millennial generation?

One way is by shrinking the footprint of the hotel room. The average hotel room size has decreased over the last few decades from about 375 sq. ft. to 325 sq. ft. - with new brands like Pod Hotels coming in at a minuscule 72 sq. ft.

6 Small Hotel Room Design Tips

So, now that we know our focus is on millenials and we also know they require less “stuff” and less space in their hotel rooms, the task to design for a small hotel room just got easier, right? Wrong! Travelers (Millennials, Gen-X, Baby Boomers, etc.) still require the essentials.

So, how can you provide impact in a small hotel room design?

  1. It becomes more than feng shui

  2. Get off the floor

  3. Multi-functional furniture

  4. Let the light shine in

  5. I’ve never met a mirror I didn’t like

  6. Slide to the left, slide to the right

It becomes more than feng shui

Get creative with the furniture layout. So often in hotel rooms the furniture is placed against the wall. When possible, arrange the furniture to create separation between functional zones; this helps define spaces within a single room.

For example, rather than placing the desk facing a wall, fashion the desk behind a sofa to give your guest an “open workspace.” You can also arrange chairs in a way that clearly separates the living room from the dining space.

Get off the floor

When living small, it’s imperative to make every square inch of floor space count. So, rather than using the traditional freestanding nightstand, consider a floating shelf or a floating nightstand with a drawer if storage is still an issue.

It will serve the same purpose as a nightstand but give the illusion of more floor space.

Floating Shelf Nightstand

Multi-functional furniture

What should multi-functional furniture in a hotel room include? Having key pieces within the room pull double duty can save your design. Consider the Arlo Hotel, their rooms are known as a “micro-suites” because the rooms average size is just 160 sq ft. They’ve mastered the art of multi-functional furniture with this built-in the bed.

Arlo Multi-functional Micro Suite

The bed can double a seating area and provides storage for clothing or suitcases underneath; no need for a closet or dresser in these rooms.

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Let the light shine in

Use windows as a focal point in your design; emphasizing your natural light source will make your room brighter. A sunlit room also feels more open and helps eliminate shadows that can make an enclosed area feel smaller.

When possible, position your sofa or chair so that they have a view of the outdoors.

I’ve never met a mirror I didn’t like

The simplest way to enhance natural light in a room is to place a mirror where it will reflect the light from a window.

This will not only reflect light but also create the illusion of more depth in the space.

Slide to the left, slide to the right

Rather than using the traditional hinged doors that open out into the room (and can cause an obstruction), consider sliding doors.

Sliding doors will achieve the same goal as hinged doors, but take us less space.

Want Some Help Designing Small Hotel Rooms?

And more specifically, designing furniture to fit in them? Our team of guestroom casegoods experts are always here to help walk you through every project.

Our free shop drawings ensure all the dimensions are correct before the furniture is installed, eliminating any hassle.

Or download our compilation of 14 Insider Tips for Hotel Furniture Design

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