How to design your own hotel floor plan

Written by helen harvey
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How to design your own hotel floor plan
Hotels should be laid out to best take advantage of the surrounding environment. (Hotel Sacher image by Andrea Todeschini from

When designing a hotel and its floor plan multiple factors must be considered. In addition to aesthetics and functionality, the design must ensure compliance with building, health and safety codes and be accessible to guests with disabilities. It is also important that you meet guest needs. With so many hotels to choose from, you need to attract guests and get them to return and recommend it to others. Your floor plan should provide ease of flow and access between the hotel's facilities, while engendering a relaxing atmosphere. Its design is limited only by your imagination and budget.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Draw a sketch of the hotel's site and how it is positioned in relation to its surrounding environment. If the site has good views of the ocean, mountains, famous sites or other pleasing vistas, you will want to design your floor plan to ensure that the maximum amount of windows face the best views.

  2. 2

    Determine where on the site the hotel's main access point, car park and facilities---such as swimming pools, tennis courts and function and conference rooms---will be. This will help you orient your floor plan to position the hotel's main entrance and reception area and secondary entrances and exits. Your hotel must have multiple points to facilitate rapid evacuation in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.

  3. 3

    Calculate how much space you have on your site for the hotel itself. Decide how many floors it will have. Your construction budget will determine how elaborate your design and extensive your facilities can be. If you are going to have multiple floors and multiple types of accommodations you will need individual plans for each of the floors.

  4. 4

    Assess guest accommodation size based upon varying design options. Experts at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration analysed wide-ranging floor plan layouts and determined that when utilising the three principal plan alternatives of the rectangular tower, the double-loaded slab and the atrium and including the identical number of guest rooms, they yielded designs that varied from 350 to 580 gross square feet per room.

  5. 5

    Visit other accommodations in your hotel's planned location and assess the competition. Try to identify areas of hospitality and guest services that are currently underserved and provide facilities to serve those needs. If there are no hotels with spa, gym or pool facilities in the location, these may be the types of facilities you will want to include. Also consider the culture of the location. A panel of expert designers met to discuss design for Hotel Design magazine and they cited cultural consideration as a key element in the creation of successful designs.

  6. 6

    Consider future expansion. Your floor plan should allow for further development as your hotel gains a reputation and starts being occupied to maximum capacity on a regular basis.

  7. 7

    Find architects that are experienced in hotel design to develop the detailed architectural plans that you will require to gain the appropriate building permits for your hotel. They will take your draft designs and incorporate them into the most viable options, taking into consideration technical, logistical, aesthetic and legal aspects.

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