Outdated decor and design can make a hotel seem stale and behind the times. While major construction projects are costly, strategic updates to interiors and furnishings can give properties a fresh, modern look. Embracing current trends in hotel style not only creates an attractive space, but makes the guest experience more enjoyable. The right renovations make travelers feel at home with crisp, inviting decor. As tastes change, updating amenities, technology, materials, and layouts can make a hotel alluring to today’s market. We’ll share the updated hotel decor you should have, and what needs to go in 2024.

updated hotel decor modern aesthetic interior design
Photo: Interior Design

Outdated Hotel Decor Elements to Avoid

Before we get to the updated hotel decor musts, let’s talk about the common decor features that need to be a thing of the past. Some hallmarks of outdated hotel decor that turn off today’s travelers include heavy, dark furniture, busy carpeting and bedding, dated color palettes, and outdated amenities.

Heavy, carved wood furniture and clunky nightstands can make hotel rooms feel dark and stuffy compared to the light and airy aesthetic most guests prefer today. The ornate furnishings with baroque and rococo stylings that used to be the trend in the past are losing favor. Modern travelers often view these pieces as outdated “grandma” decor.

Likewise, busy patterns on carpeting, bedding, curtains and upholstery can overwhelm the senses in small hotel rooms. Research shows geometric and large-scale patterns are preferable to the floral and scrollwork prints of yesteryear. Too many competing patterns create visual clutter. Many outdated hotel color schemes tend to feature dark, heavy hues like deep burgundies, golds and hunter greens. Today’s travelers usually prefer updated hotel decor that includes lighter, neutral palettes. Similarly, decor like heavy draperies and bedspreads in these jewel tones can make rooms feel dark and dated.

Finally, it goes without saying that amenities like tube-style TVs, corded phones, and old alarm clocks scream “outdated” to tech-savvy guests. Modern conveniences like smart TVs, Bluetooth speakers, and USB charging ports are more attractive selling points.

Updated Hotel Decor Travelers Crave

Outdated hotel decor fails to meet the expectations of today’s modern travelers, who crave bright, airy, simplistic spaces. The hotel brands that are now opting for lighter, minimalist styles to cater to younger generations, plus business and leisure travelers, succeed more than others who do not update their hotel decor.

Eco-conscious brands with sustainability initiatives also appeal to modern values. Travelers want to patron hotels that use natural materials, reduce waste, and give back to local communities. Additionally, Instagram-worthy decor has become a priority for younger demographics who share their travels online. Unique, photogenic spaces get more social media exposure for hotels catering to this demand.

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Photo: Longitude Design

We’re living in a time where people are traveling more than ever – and are using platforms like Google Maps and booking.com to find their stays. Since looking for a stay is so easy and accessible now, the competition for hotels to keep their attention is at an all-time high. If there is even one photo that has outdated decor or gives an old, musty feeling, people will move on to the next option. Yet, hotels like The Californian will receive bookings just so guests can take photos in their stunning lobby.

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Photo: Observer

The Best Updated Hotel Decor

When renovating their properties, hotels should look to current and emerging trends to create an appealing, modern aesthetic. Here are some of the top trends to embrace:


The minimalist look featuring clean lines, plenty of white space, and a lack of clutter is still going strong. Hotels can achieve this by opting for furniture with simple silhouettes, neutral bedding and towels, and a light color palette. Removing decorative knickknacks also helps create a tranquil vibe. Experts say that “travelers increasingly desire comfort over opulence,” so minimalism offers a cozy yet modern feel.

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Photo: Cadillac Hotel Miami Beach

Neutral Color Palettes

Whites, creams, grays and other neutrals make spaces feel open and airy. Neutral backdrops also allow pops of color to stand out. Neutral paint, furniture, bedding and towels create a soothing base. Add interest with texture, natural materials and artwork. Valiant Products suggests neutrals help properties appeal to a wide demographic: “By decorating in neutral colors, the hotel appeals to business travelers, families, tourists and everyone in between.”

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Photo: Travel and Leisure

Home-Away-From-Home Feeling

A hotel is essentially a home away from home, so why not make hotel rooms actually feel like home? This can be easily done by using furniture and decor that has some character and charm. Using modern patterns and colors, plus decor that you don’t typically find in hotel rooms these days. Wicker baskets, unique lamps, gallery walls, and trendy coffee table books are a few ideas that can make guests feel like they’re back at home.

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Photo: Hype Bae

Natural Materials and Textures

Natural materials like stone, marble, wood and wicker add warmth. Using textured fabrics and surfaces provides depth and dimension; and mixing these materials creates an organic feel. A growing trend is wood-look tile floors and quartzite countertops for an earthy yet modern look.

updated hotel decor wood like tile flooring hotel lobby
Photo: Tile Factory Outlet Inc.

High-Tech Amenities

As we enter 2024, hotel amenities should include more than just the basic conveniences; they should provide a seamless integration of technology and hospitality. Smart TVs in hotel rooms should be a given, offering personalized, easy access to streaming platforms, hotel services and local information. High-speed Wi-Fi is also a must. Hotels should make sure to have an online platform offering a smooth booking process, quick online check-in/check-out, and options to customize stay experiences, such as choosing a room layout or ordering special services before arrival.

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Photo: Innspire

Local Artwork and Decor

Incorporating local art, decor and cultural elements provides a sense of place. Spotlighting local talent also supports the community. Photographs, original art, locally crafted decor and regionally inspired design tell a unique story. Hotels should consider regionally sourced artwork – or artwork that showcases the location so it adds to the overall stay of the guest. This gives the hotel an additional opportunity to weave in the destination’s culture to the space.

Seattle Skyline Canvas Art Print for Bedroom Portrait
Photo: EverLine Art

Room-by-Room Updated Hotel Decor

To create an updated and inviting space, hotels should focus on renovations for key areas that guests spend the most time in. Here are some of the top updated hotel decor to consider in each space:

  1. Lobby: the lobby is the first impression for guests. Swapping out oversized, heavy furniture for lightweight, minimalist pieces will open up the space. Add greenery like potted plants and living walls to bring in natural elements.
  2. Guest rooms: create a calming oasis with neutral bedding, light wood accents, and modern art showcasing the city the hotel is located in.
  3. Bathrooms: utilize marble, stone and tile textures along with modern touches like vessel sinks, frameless mirrors and designer lighting fixtures.
  4. Shared spaces like lounges and lobbies: create an inviting atmosphere with abstract art, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light, and cozy lounge seating arrangements. Include a feature that people will want to take photos of (free marketing!).

The Return On Investment With Updated Hotel Decor

Updated hotel decor is sure to reflect modern styles and aesthetics can provide significant return on investment through increased occupancy, higher room rates, cost savings, positive reviews, and an extended property lifespan.

  • By renovating decor to be more contemporary and welcoming, hotels can see occupancy rise by 10-15%. The fresh look appeals to today’s travelers and keeps the property competitive.
  • Along with higher occupancy, newly renovated hotels can command 5-10% higher average daily room rates. Enhanced decor makes the space more desirable and “instagrammable.”
  • Decor updates like new paint, furniture, and amenities cost significantly less than major construction projects. Piecing together decor upgrades over time can refresh the hotel at a fraction of the price.
  • Positive online reviews often mention updated, stylish decor as a reason for recommending the hotel. This drives additional bookings through guest satisfaction.

With periodic, affordable updated hotel decor, hotel owners can extend the attractive lifespan of their property for years before needing more extensive renovations.

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Photo: National Geographic

Updated Hotel Decor Is A Win/Win

Outdated decor has the potential to detract modern travelers and make hotels seem stale. This is why strategic renovations embracing current interior design trends are key. As we’ve discussed, updating color schemes to lighter, neutral palettes, removing clutter for minimalist spaces, tech upgrades, and adding natural textures and local artwork can give properties a fresh facelift.

The ROI can be significant in the form of higher occupancy rates, positive reviews, and extended hotel lifespan. With travelers craving Instagram-worthy accommodations, the visual appeal and welcoming atmosphere generated by updated hotel decor can make a hotel stand out. The time is now for hoteliers to rethink tired interior design and implement creative, cost-effective updates to usher in a new era of hospitality. Treat your hotel to some renovations, and today’s travelers will thank you.

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Photo: Pinterest