How to successfully open a Hotel? .. 40% is because of the design.

Seven Hotel Paris

Martin Soler and his team at WIHP mastermind some of the most successful hotel openings in Europe, such as Hotel Seven and their marketing approach during the crucial months surrounding a hotel opening.

      1-   “Know your purpose”
Clarify what you are trying to achieve with your pre-opening marketing. Defining your brand positioning is critical during the early stages of planning. Your brand positioning will affect the messaging and tactics you use at each step.

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       2-   “Showcase the designer”
For many hotels, the link between design and revenue is closer than it may appear,the reality is that if you have a unique product, the chances of people talking about your brand increase dramatically. Great design always generates more buzz.

Martin believes at least 40% of a hotel’s marketing value comes from its design. Because of this, he asks who the designer will be before taking on any hotel opening project.
The bigger concept here is to showcase the inventors, artists, and builders behind the product. What makes your brand unique? Is it the concept? The way in which it was built? Each of these areas can play a role in differentiating your property, making it stand apart from the competition.

Sublime Suite

     3-   “Start early”
It takes time to build an engaged, authentic online community. In order to have a substantial group of fans and followers by the time you open, starting to build this community early is important.
Martin tries to build online pre-opening buzz at least 6 months before opening. For example with Hotel Seven, this took the form of using Facebook as an exclusive content distribution channel.  The community building approach you use will go back to the positioning goals for the brand, but getting an early start is beneficial regardless of platform.

     4-   “Build a next-generation website”
Just as beginning to build an online community early is important, creating a compelling website as early as possible is important as well. For hotels, the website is their professional presentation, while social media acts as the more informal communication channel. Both channels play important roles that complement one another.

A “next-generation” website is comprised of several key elements. Martin believes in the extensive use of photos and rich visuals. At the same time, the website must be fast and accessible on a wide range of devices. The hotel site needs to be “social” – integrated with as many other relevant external networks as possible. And above all, it must sell.

Absolut Levitation Suite
     5-   “Guard first impressions”
While some social media agencies have experimented with showing construction in progress as a way to build pre-opening buzz, Martin typically advises against showing the work in progress. Showing an unfinished product could give your community the wrong first impression.
Instead, the primary objective in the pre-opening phase should be to sell the dream of what the property will look like. This is best done through building a prototype of your design or concept, and then releasing previews of that.

     6-   “Use social media to get attention offline”
Hotels that generate a lot of buzz in social media tend to be covered by journalists writing stories for offline publications and traditional media. The media is always looking for stories that will interest their audience. If a blog post is generating hundreds of tweets, for example, that indicates strong story potential. For this reason, Martin sees social media playing a key role in obtaining crucial media coverage during a hotel’s opening period.

007 Suite

     7-   “Give away lots of rooms.”
Giving away room nights is a key pre-opening strategy that Martin recommends. Letting journalists and bloggers stay in the rooms of a soon-to-be-opened hotel helps them experience the product, which is crucial for building early online buzz and back links.
This strategy is not limited to journalists. The owner of the Seven Hotel even gave away room nights to staff members and other key people involved in the project. Everyone had to experience what it was like to be a guest at the hotel so they could do a better job of selling it and providing service.

Whether you decide to give away rooms or not, the key lesson here is to involve as many media producers as possible in your project at the beginning. Generating some early buzz is crucial for building awareness and your web presence.

Cocktail Bar


     8-   “Setup distribution partnerships”
Instead of viewing distributors as adversaries, Martin recommends setting up as many smart reseller partnerships as you can. But there are two things to keep in mind as you set these deals up:

1)     Make sure you only pay a commission on reservations. Avoid websites that charge a large fee up front to list your hotel, unless you know they have the huge potential they are promising.

2)     Make sure you’re generating enough direct bookings through your website. Making 20% of sales through online travel agencies is healthy, but if 80% of bookings are coming through third parties, that could be a danger sign.

9- “Measure and track everything”
Make a point of tracking a wide range of numbers: from the website traffic to social media activity to online reputation. Performance metrics are extremely important to guide the direction you take during the hotel opening process. Don’t be afraid to abandon whole sections of your strategy if you see it isn’t bringing qualified visitors that buy room nights.

As the saying goes: If you can’t measure it, you can’t track it, and if you can’t track it, you can’t manage it.

The Facade

The Seven Hotel

20, rue Berthollet
75005 París - Francia
Tel.: +33 (0)1 43 31 47 52
Fax: +33 (0)1 43 36 41 40

So, what do you think about it? is it true design is so important???



  1. Absolutely correct, Martín Is one of the best in launching a hotel !!

    Great post Susana and thanks.


    1. Thanks Steven for your words , and enjoy your Sunday :)

  2. I enjoyed reading your post , thanks Susana


    1. Thanks Leo, I really had a good time preparing this post ¡¡

  3. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
    B&B in Jaipur

    1. Thanks Cristeen, it is always nice to share good news about hotels and design.

      Enjoy your weekend :)

  4. Impressive tips! The hotel design indeed portrays an important role in managing a hotel. Thank you for these insights.

    1. It is indeed a very important task and most of the managers or owners don't believe in that.

      Thanks Hotel Designers :)

  5. fantastic post and info. It's very helpful.These pics so impress me..

    Hotel Design

    ..thanks for sharing.

  6. The hotel booking process has become increasingly competitive, mainly due to the internet evening out the playing field.Lights on Digital can now give every hotel an equal chance of being found and booked so having a strong digital strategy is crucial for all hotels, so that hoteliers can make more revenue with the help of OTA direct marketing.

  7. Love this article, you must know the subject very well. Also, one of the factors that contribute to general success is good management. You can achieve it easily with qualified staff and proper software, like Microsoft Dynamics, for example (if you want to find out more, click here).
    Good luck and keep writing!


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