Tips for Creating the Perfect Hotel Room Ambiance

Success in the hospitality industry largely depends on customer reviews and word-of-mouth advertising. If your guest is satisfied, they’re more likely to leave positive feedback online and share their experiences with others. While the overall visual appearance and feel of the hotel matter, the most important piece of customer satisfaction is the room itself.

Your guest is using your hotel as a home away from home. They want to feel comfortable, well-rested, and — let’s face it — pampered. You can ensure this happens by setting the right ambiance, which includes touching on every sense. Follow these tips, and you’ll cover everything you need to do to create the perfect atmosphere for positive customer experiences (and reviews)!

1. Start With Your Brand

What does your brand say about the hotel? Is it fun and family-oriented? Classy and elegant? Somewhere in-between? 

That brand is what you’ll use as you design the overall room ambiance. Everything you include must be complementary to that initial focus. 

Let’s look at one of the most popular hotels and how they include their brand in every room: Hard Rock Hotels

The brand itself is tasteful and classy but modern and inclusive. Regardless of whether the hotel is anywhere globally, you can expect to see clean, elegant lines, natural textures, and warm, soft colors. Down to the lampshades in some of the hotels, the accessories have a musical focus. 

You can do the same foundational thing in your hotel if you keep the brand in mind with every detail you include, from your price point to your room ambiance.

2. Choose Your Colors

The easiest way to start decorating for ambiance is with the color scheme. If your goal is to create a space where guests feel happy and upbeat, you’ll want to bring in brighter colors. Keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo the brightness, as the ultimate goal of any hotel room is relaxation and rest.

Setting the mood with colors comes down to psychology. Choose shades that match what your guests expect. For instance, if your brand speaks minimalistic, you don’t want loud, vibrant shades dominating the room. It can be a sensory overload. On the other hand, if your hotel is geared as family-friendly and kid-focused, guests will expect colorful spaces.

3. Bring in the Textures

You’ve chosen the colors. The next step is to use those shades to bring in some textured looks. 

Texture can be obvious and subtle. The types of linens you use, including the comforter, bedsheets, curtains, and towels, are obvious textures. If you’re trying to create a more upscale, luxurious ambiance, use materials that are in line with that look, such as silk, Egyptian cotton, and natural linen. For a more casual touch, sateen, bamboo, and microfiber work well.

Subtle textures are in the other details. Your wall art, wallpaper, or paint textures and rugs have sensory feels to them. In some decor, these sensations are illusions, but others have an actual textured sensation when you touch them.

4. Listen for the “Surround” Sound

What will your guests hear when they spend a day in their room? Typical hotel noises, like chatter from others walking down the hall and the elevator dinging, are understandable. Still, if you can add extra insulation to reduce how much of those sounds make it into the room, that will increase customer satisfaction.

However, guests shouldn’t hear ongoing construction, the TV in the rooms next door, and other unnecessary distractions. If construction is a must, give your guests a warning when they book. They’ll appreciate the heads-up and your honesty. While you may lose the booking, you’ll save yourself from a bad review.

5. Finish With the Fragrance

The last step to designing a cohesive ambiance is touching on the sense of smell. This is a delicate decision. You don’t want to overwhelm a guest with strong smells, especially considering many people have fragrance allergies. The right scent should be barely noticeable but still complement your brand.

Many five-star hotels use citrus essential oils. The light, fruity fragrance is fresh, creating a feeling of lightheartedness and welcome. Scents such as lemon, bergamot, lime, and orange are subtle but distinct.

Whichever scent you choose to use, keep it consistent throughout all the fragrances in the hotel, including toiletries, diffusers, and laundry detergent.


While it’s nearly impossible to please everyone, the fact is that you can choose the mood you want to create and set the stage for a positive experience. Follow these simple tips to design the perfect hotel room ambiance for the best results.

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