Designer Shares Trends and Tips for Creating Hotel Holiday Decor

Ambius Holiday Decor

Designers at Ambius, the largest interior plant-scaping firm in the United States, recently worked with a variety of businesses, including hotels, to bring to life holiday themes that stimulate the senses, compiling and releasing ideas in its 2019 Holiday Design Trends and Idea Book. Ambius Designer Janice Nath, who helped compile the Holiday Design Trends and Idea Book for this year, shared some key trends and tips for hotels designing holiday decor.

What are some 2019 holiday design trends that you anticipate seeing this year in hotels?

Larger hotels in my market are shifting to holiday scenes as opposed to a single holiday tree. A grouping of trees placed together with lanterns, battery-operated candles, presents, and smaller props placed around the base of the trees seems to be a recent favorite. Smaller, boutique hotels are staying with the single holiday tree, decorated in blues, silvers, and whites as opposed to the traditional reds and golds. Partially decorated hoop wreaths are becoming a new trend. I first noticed these at the Atlanta Design Mart in January and introduced them to a few of our hotels in San Diego, and they have been very well received. This is one of my newest favorites. We also built a selfie station for one of our newest hotels in San Diego.

What should hotels keep in mind when planning decor for the holidays?


Hotels must pay attention to who their clients are, what demographics they are catering to, and be mindful of religious groups, which most hotels do a great job with. Like I tell most of my clients, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It has to be done right the first time. Each property must create its own “wow factor.”

Ambius Holiday Decor

What are some common holiday decor missteps that hotels should avoid?

I would suggest all hotels hire a professional holiday designer. Trying to save a few dollars could cost a property lost revenue if the decor is not done correctly. Professionals are trained to look at the property, the colors, the demographics, the “Sense of Arrival” experience, and make recommendations that the in-house team may not have thought of. A professional holiday designer is educated with new trends, colors, and what modern-day travelers are looking for, especially during the holiday season. The ultimate goal is to create a holiday experience that keeps guests at the property longer to increase “per person spend” and repeat clientele.

What makes holiday decor memorable for guests?

It’s how it makes people feel—that first moment and those first impressions.

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