Is it time for hotels to clean up and compete?

Visual presentation is everything, but throw in raising the value of your building asset and lowering your repair bill and surely thats a winning combination. Reece Wood of Building Transformation explains how cleaning and restoring the outside of your hotels building is a must in the current climate….

The hospitality industry is one of the most important parts of the British economy, with total turnover reaching almost £100 billion in 2019. Of this, more than 20% comes from the hotel industry. But with Covid-19, the post-Brexit economy, the lower performing pound, not to mention the march of the likes of Airbnb – what does this mean for the future?

In London, the market currently remains strong. In a recent article, Graham Craggs, managing director of JLL Hotels and Hospitality, explained: “London is one of the most liquid markets in Europe and a popular investment hotspot for both domestic and international investors. The weaker pound has attracted a variety of overseas hotel operators and investors to invest in hotel real estate, and despite political uncertainty, investors continue to view London as a key destination.”

Add to that Crossrail, expected to bring 1.5 million people into a 45-minute radius of London and making Heathrow airport a little over 30 minutes from Bond Street, it’s no surprise that the capital is set to add a total of 107 new hotels over the next three years, providing business and leisure visitors with an even greater choice of accommodation. This year alone, 35 properties with 5,687 rooms are scheduled to launch. This is planned to be followed by 19 further hotels the year after, and in 2023 another 37 hotels are expected to open. Of these 107 new hotels, 65% will be placed in the 4-star category and the remaining 35% are to be in the 5-star segment. 

So with this growth, competition for room occupancy is high. What then determines which hotel guests choose? Hotel conditions, service standards, brand identity, product offering, and environment are all key players positioning a quality product offering, attracting new leisure travellers and retaining current business clients.

From that initial Google search, to that first photo on Expedia or TripAdvisor. right to stepping through the door, your building and the quality of its exterior counts. That’s where we step in. As the leading facade and roof maintenance solution provider in the UK, Building Transformation knows how to ensure your hotel building stands out from the competition. Visual presentation is everything, but throw in raising the value of your building asset and lowering your repair bill and surely that’s a winning combination.

Recently we conducted a cleaning test trial at the prestigious Park Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge. The hotel is owned by Emerati businessman, Mahdi Al Tajir and is part of the Marriott International Luxury collection. Commissioned by project managers, Future54, we were asked to undertake cleaning test trials on the external façade, as part of a larger expansion and refurbishment project. The upper floors are made up of mosaic tiles, which have suffered from a build-up of carbon and pollutants due to the hotel’s location on one of London’s busiest roads. Using the onsite cradle system, we removed the build-up of soiling, helping the client to understand the results that can be achieved through a sensitive approach.

And it’s not just in London; take the Accor Hotel in Leeds – a modern building forming part of the Land Securities portfolio. As part of our ongoing relationship with the national commercial property and investment company, we were tasked with uplifting each elevation to restore the hotel back to a high-quality state more representative of Accor’s brand image.

Heading down to the south coast to Myhotel in Brighton – as part of a larger redevelopment of this ten-year-old rendered property, we were tasked with restoring the vibrant façade of the boutique seaside hotel. Due to the weathering effects of the building’s location close to the sea, the original brilliant white façade had lost its vibrant finish. To bring all elevations in line with the new development, a phased process was implemented to neutralise organic matter, then cleaning to leave a sound substrate to which the final two coats of a specialist and breathable render coating system could be applied. We provided the client with a brand new finish for their hotel and their guests, protecting the property against future weathering.

The correlation between high occupancy rates and how the hotel building looks isn’t just a UK issue – it’s a fact the world over. The Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka conducted a recent study focused on the impact of interior and exterior designs on the demand for hotels in Sri Lanka. Results unequivocally revealed that the designs hugely impact guest arrivals and identified a positive relationship between the design and the customer perception. Focused on changing the face of the Sri Lankan hotel industry to rival those in more developed countries, this study concluded that the exterior building facade, hotel lobby design, wall colours, room decors, star rating, and the room type were all important factors in increasing the demand for hotels.


Back in London, analysis from the 2018 London Hotel Development Monitor Report published by JLL and London & Partners, shows that the growth of the capital’s hotel market is set to outpace other major European cities by 2020, including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Milan. But with more than 3,300 hotels listed on TripAdvisor for tourists and business travellers alike, not to mention 75,000 Airbnb rooms in the capital, the condition of a building has never been more important – in terms of wowing first-time visitors as well as inspiring loyalty from returning guests, playing a positive role in influencing their emotions, feelings and behaviour.

Here at Building Transformation, we provide national and international façade refurbishment, cleaning, repairs, recoating and painting, a complete solution to restore the external building skin. The external appearance and condition of any building is critical in creating confidence and trust in your establishment’s brand, ethos and values. We work with our clients, including Land Securities (six hotels over the last 18 months), Accor Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Novotel and Ibis, to develop cost-efficient maintenance programmes. By cleaning the building façades and roofs, repairing failing masonry or concrete, painting buildings, we will maintain the complete external building envelope. And through long-term programmes and cycles we can ensure the maintenance of your buildings throughout the year and for years to come – meaning as the room occupancy goes up, your hotel building is the perfect choice for tourists and business travellers alike.

We start any project by completing facade cleaning test trials – all designed to give you and your project cost certainty, confirming the best methods, as well as identifying possible cost savings and risks. From conservation works, listed buildings to tall buildings, we take a sensitive and conservation-based approach to cleaning, repairing and protecting all facades and investments. We can test on stone, brick, terracotta, concrete, render, mosaic tiles, aluminium cladding, powder-coated surface, and stainless steel, a solution for all hotel fabrics.

To find out more about booking a test trial for your building or for more information on how Building Transformation can support you manage your hotel or portfolio, get in touch now