The Story defines the role of a hotel as well as its aspirations. In other words, your story conveys why guests should stay at your property, beyond just getting a room and breakfast.
Having a good story presents a number of clear advantages:
- A story lasts virtually forever and can evolve.
- A story is hard to copy and can increase awareness around your property.
- A story is inexpensive to create, in relation to the overall cost of building or renovating a hotel.
- A story can trigger an emotional response and decrease price sensitivity.
- A story is engaging and gives journalists a reason to follow you over the years.
To create an engaging – and lasting – story, it is important to make it the starting point of your concept building process. The story is like a golden thread connecting all the components of your concept, hence the importance of having a clear picture of it before working on the rest. A story should consider the hotel’s customer segments, staff and management, as well as its location and infrastructure. For instance, centering a story around avant-garde street art would not be consistent with an airport hotel run by conservative founders.
“A story conveys why guests should stay at your hotel, beyond the bed and breakfast.”
It’s important not to confuse story and theme. Themed hotels try to recreate a set universe (mainly through design), but few of them take the time to work on their story. A champagne-themed or sailing themed hotel might appeal to some onetime guests, but how often would you want to visit ? A good story does not have to be literal, but it must be engaging. Over time and with the passage of guests, it will ripen and evolve.
French Theory is a new hybrid hospitality concept that recently opened their first hotel in Paris. We helped develop a story that revolves around rekindling the cultural appeal of the Parisian Left Bank, with a focus on music and art. It encourages guests to “live creative moments”. Experiences tied to the story are built into every aspect of the hotel, from in-room art by local artists to a basement hi-fi listening room and recording studio.
Hotel Design – Interiors