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What Is a Themed Hotel?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated May 23, 2024
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A themed hotel features a specific motif that is present throughout all aspects of the establishment including décor, dining, and personnel. These hotels are often present in theme parks, popular vacation destinations, and are found in many cities worldwide. Since a themed hotel is usually marketed to a certain group of people, all elements should typically reflect the purpose of the space to help ensure visitors enjoy their stay and want to come again. A trip to a specialty location such as this might cost slightly more than a standard facility, but most owners view their business as a way for people to invest in a better quality and more enjoyable visit.

The focus of a themed hotel can vary amongst locations, ranging from pirates and camping to island vacations and romantic getaways. The design of the hotel, room, and amenities typically reflect the chosen theme in every little detail, creating a complete immersion for guests. This typically means everything should be planned and organized well in order to surpass guests’ expectations. When it is not executed well, the facility will generally suffer from low occupancy.

A popular location for a themed hotel is at an adventure park or vacation destination. Proprietors of such establishments strive to create a complete experience for their visitors, and a stay in one of these venues is usually one way to accomplish this. Guests often enjoy the continuity from park to resort. Many times this type of facility goes to great lengths to showcase over-the-top dining, rooms, and activities.

While a themed hotel should typically display the motif in every aspect of a visitor’s stay, it is usually best that it is kept authentic. Guests can generally see right through poor execution and will likely avoid staying in that facility in the future. This is one of the reasons owners spend a considerable amount of time and money creating the right atmosphere. Doing so is usually a wise investment that pays off in a steady flow of visitors.

A themed hotel stay is often more expensive than one in a standard lodging facility. Generally this can be attributed to the extra cost of achieving the desired look and feel of the space. Hiring excellent staff and maintaining the space can create additional expenses that must be taken care of. Higher prices do not always equate to better quality, so it is typically wise for vacationers to research a facility before booking a stay.

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Discussion Comments

By accordion — On Dec 10, 2011

What I like about well done themed places is that you never know where they might be. I was traveling in Europe last year and found a really nicely done Lord of the Rings themed restaurant in a fairly small town in one of the countries we went to. It apparently is pretty famous among fans, but in this place it was just one of the nicer restaurants- and it happened to be themed to look like Rivendell from the outside, and had paintings of movie scenes and book illustrations on the inside.

I haven't gone to themed hotels as much, because they tend to be out of my price range, but I know there are some nice ones out there too, and also in places you don't always expect.

By behaviourism — On Dec 09, 2011

I love themes -- themed restaurants, themed hotels, and so on. At the same time, there's a time and a place; I really like going to amusement parks with themes, and when people tell me about cool themed restaurants they've found I've checked them out. Most of the time, though, I do enjoy an ordinary, low-key cafe or restaurant without some sort of overarching "mood" in it.

By poppyseed — On Dec 09, 2011

Okay, I’ve got to say that I can understand the appeal of the themed hotel to a certain extent, but really…pirates aren’t that important to my vacation.

I might be able to understand paying a little extra if a couple or a family was totally infatuated with a certain theme to the point of obsession. Even then, their money might be better served paying for therapy.

However, for those run of the mill families like mine, I’d say that we’d do better making great memories on our vacations. That doesn’t necessarily require a themed hotel, and the extra cash can be put into the kid’s college funds.

By Agni3 — On Dec 08, 2011

I’m a freelance writer, and a year or so ago I did a batch of articles for a wedding magazine. One of the articles was all about this kind of themed-facility. Ever since I found about these romantic getaways, I have dreamed of getting away for a week with my hubby!

We had a great honeymoon – but that was a decade ago! I think it would be fantastic to go and stay at one of these romantic, honeymoon destinations. Some of them are even on private islands, where you get your own private beach to lounge around on (or whatever).

Sure, it costs a little more. But, for those kinds of amenities, I’d say it’s more than worth it! Many of these places also offer all inclusive plans to help cut back on the overall costs for the vacationers.

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