Key factors for successful hotel renovations
Hotel owners know that regular updates are vital for their continued competitiveness. But what can they do to make sure renovation work runs smoothly? Projects like this involve complex processes that require in-depth architectural knowledge and the ability to cope with the pressure of working as fast as possible without losing guests and income. Both make hotel-renovation projects particularly challenging.
Joost Tuinman, an acquisition and development specialist and co-owner of Pretty Bricks Holding B.V., shares his insights on the basis of four recent hotel renovations that he worked on with general contractor Bulsink.
Opt for experience
The first step in any hotel-renovation project is to select the right contractor for the job. It’s important to choose a company with experience. For example, specific expertise in respect of planning permission, permits, licences, installations and sustainability. The appropriate credentials are critical for the construction process and for the speed at which the project as a whole is completed.
A specialist general contractor does more than just build. It understands challenges and anticipates them. Joost explains: “For example, sound insulation is a must in hotels. Bulsink proactively shares its thoughts and ideas about at an early stage in a project.” This saves costs and time, which is essential for any renovation project.
Preparation is crucial
The success of a hotel-renovation project starts with thorough preparation. Joost: “Ideally, we want to be able to hand the keys to the contractor, get them back six months later and be ready to open our doors to guests straight away.”
BIM 3D models are a good example of preparations that really pay off. By drawing everything in BIM, you can see what the end result will look like in virtual reality identify any errors or problems before construction starts.
Smart preparation has a major impact on the success of a renovation project and helps you stay on budget as well. Joost says: “I’ve seen how budget problems can escalate. Bulsink plans the preliminary stage in so much detail that costs are almost 99% certain in advance.”
Speed is of the essence in hotel-renovation projects: time is money
A quick renovation-project turnaround keeps downtime to a minimum. “So, Bulsink is a no-brainer: it’s often twice as fast as its competitors,” Joost says. “Take the renovation of Hotel 717 as an example; Bulsink brought in teams from different disciplines to work on this project at the same time. It was a streamlined military operation.”
Bulsink’s effectiveness is also thanks to its smart solutions. Joost: “A good example is the approach it took to the supply and removal of building materials for a hotel project on the Prinsengracht. It transported them across the canal to the site by boat. This smart solution meant that traffic wasn’t disrupted at all. The level of dedication, coordination and efficiency Bulsink has to offer is crucial for the success of renovation projects.
Turnkey contract: one contact and an all-inclusive service
In a turnkey contract, the contractor is responsible for the entire construction process, from design through to completion. This frees up the hotelier to focus on its core business without having to worry. Joost sees this as a big advantage. “We have opted for a general contractor who delivers turnkey renovation projects. Once the work has been completed, we get the key and can get back to business straight away.”
The turnkey approach has other advantages too. There is just one contact, which means that lines of communication are short. It also reduces the risk of any conflict between designers and the contractor because the contractor has already assessed the technical feasibility of the design during the design stage of the project.
Strategies for success
The successful transformation of a hotel depends on more than just the construction work itself. The relationship between Pretty Bricks Holding B.V. and Bulsink shows how important it is to choose an experienced partner who can add value at every stage of the process.
Joost’s experience also shows that the decision to opt for turnkey contracts and a focus on speed are key to successful hotel renovations.