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Make Your Hotel Instagramable

Use these 5 tips, and your guests won’t be able to stop snapping and sharing.

One of the best ways to get free publicity: get your guests taking photos of your hotel and sharing them on Instagram. And that can really pay off if some of your guests are travel influencers with large followings.

“Hotels should not only provide the best amenities but also be ‘Instagram worthy’ at the same time,” writes Jeremy Wells, a partner at Longitude Design, a hospitality design and branding firm. “By ‘Instagram worthy,’ we mean that the designs, interiors, exteriors, amenities, and other facilities should be worth sharing. The hotel should be capable enough to make it to the Instagram timeline of its guests.”

There are a number of ways you can achieve this goal, by leveraging lighting, cuisine, amenities and unique design at your hotel. Here are five ways to make make your hotel so Instagramable that guests will naturally snap and share amazing photos during their stay:

  1. Look to lighting. Lighting is key to set a mood, create a feeling and inspire good photography. In fact, lighting is a key factor in making your property Instagram worthy, according to Wells. A light-filled space with natural lighting leads to the best photos, Wells writes. If your space lacks good natural light, you may want to consider adding skylights. If that’s not feasible, you can create a photo-friendly environment with soft, luminous artificial lighting as well.
  2. Capture a local vibe. The location of your hotel is part of what makes it unique, and a local vibe can charm guests who may be coming from afar. You can take inspiration from local culture, local designers or the landscape that surrounds your hotel. For example, Ambiente, a Landscape Hotel, is taking  interior design inspiration from the Cocino National Forest in Sedona, Arizona. And Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy incorporates antique art, mosaics, and vines to capture a local feel. But you don’t need to go that far: simply featuring local designers and art is a way to put a spotlight on local style.
  3. Focus on food and drink. It’s become almost cliche to Instagram every meal, so food creates an excellent opportunity to get guests photographing and sharing at your hotel. One advantage is that any property can revamp the presentation of its food and drink to make it more Instagram-worthy. Using fresh ingredients, focusing on garnishes and explaining the food to your guests can make them want to snap photos. For example, if you garnish drinks and meals with herbs grown on the property, say so. Play up anything that makes your cuisine extraordinary.
  4. Make a statement. One way to draw attention and get guests pulling out their phones: create a unique, attention getting design feature in your hotel. Get creative, considering your branding, ideal guests and overall feel of your hotel. Examples of attention-getting features include: a huge piece of art, a neon sign or an accent wall. Don’t be afraid to incorporate bold colors or patterns in this area to draw the eye instantly. For example, Ace Hotel in New York City has a fun feature wall of dog wallpaper.
  5. Dare to get funky. Big luxury properties may have a huge budget to create unforgettable spaces that naturally wind up on Instagram. But a smaller hotel working with a much tighter budget can stand out by getting creative with offbeat design. Think vintage, funky and mismatched items that pack a big design punch. You can use antiques, thrifted items and upcycled furniture to get cameras clicking at your hotel.

Any hotelier can use these five tips to make their property more photogenic, whether on a large or a small budget. All it takes is a good eye, some creativity and a willingness to embrace bold design, even if it’s just in a small space. When it comes to making a design splash, a little effort can go a long way.