3 Common Mistakes Hoteliers Make and How to Avoid Them

Running a hotel isn’t easy. It’s a full time job that sees many hoteliers sacrifice the entirety of their personal life in order to ensure their guests have the very best experience, but sometimes, putting in too much effort can have the reverse effect.

If you run a hotel or are thinking of opening one, make sure you avoid falling foul to these three common mistakes because they could end up costing you your business.

1. Form Over Function

The age of social media has brought with it countless stories and posts showing off hotel rooms when people go on their travels. This means a lot of hotels have felt the need to totally overhaul their rooms and rejuvenate their décor to be grid-friendly. Everyone can appreciate a nice aesthetic, but make sure you don’t do what so many before you have done; prioritize form over function.

Yes, a pretty hotel room with some cool technology and breathtaking views is nice, but don’t forget the purpose of your establishment. Odds are, people won’t be spending a whole lot of time in the hotel room, the main things they’ll be using it for are to sleep, get clean and store their belongings, and for this reason, it’s essential you put most of your effort into ensuring the basics are done (and done well) before you get too carried away with additional décor.

This extends further than for your guests, though. Sure, beautiful white walls and a matching carpet looks nice, but from a hotelier point of view, they’re not practical. They’ll get marked, scuffed and broken, so make sure you look into durable yet fashionable hotel floor solutions, wall options and furniture sets.

2. It’s What’s on the Outside

Yes, the inside of a hotel is arguably the most important since this is where people will be staying, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect the outside of your hotel. First impressions are everything. You could have the most beautiful rooms, well trained staff and exceptional on-site facilities, but if there’s graffiti on the exterior walls, litter in front of the lobby doors and overflowing bins to the side of the building, people won’t want to stay at your establishment because it gives off the wrong signals.

Make a note to sweep the entrance clear of leaves, litter, cigarette butts and street debris several times a day, scrub off any graffiti as soon as it appears, and keep on top of the rubbish. These general housekeeping tasks will make all the difference to how people perceive your hotel, and they could even drive more sales.

3. Feedback is King

Some businesses will have a steady stream of customers all the time, and for them, reviews don’t mean much, but to a hotel, reviews are everything. According to one estimate, 80% of travelers read between six and twelve reviews before booking their accommodation. A hotel without reviews likely won’t get any bookings because guests don’t know what to expect and won’t feel comfortable paying money to stay there. Photos and feedback are key driving factors, so make sure you actively ask for reviews. You can do this with a follow up call or email to each guest a day or two after their visit. Check in and see that they got home okay, and then ask them if they’d be willing to leave you a review on a trusted feedback site or on the site they booked through (be it your website or an external one).

When people do leave reviews, make sure you respond to them and take any feedback on board. If someone says the food wasn’t great, ask them what the exact issue was and look into it. Be gracious and polite, but above all, learn from your mistakes to avoid a repeat in the future.


These are three common mistakes that a lot of hoteliers are guilty of; make sure your hotel doesn’t fall victim to the same errors by taking note and heeding the advice above.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.