Designing a new hotel experience

Virgin Hotels San Francisco
Image from Virgin Hotels
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 11 March 2020

In our new book, Virgin by Design, we take a look at how Virgin companies have ripped up the rulebook to improve the experience we offer.

A wonderful example of this is Virgin Hotels, which is disrupting the hotel industry with thoughtful design and by encouraging our customers to personalise their stays.

At Virgin, we like to do things a little differently. Whether we are running an airline or putting satellites into space, we always put the customer experience at the heart of everything we do. 

The TV and SMEG fridge in a Chamber at Virgin Hotels Dallas
Virgin Hotels

I’m fortunate to travel to many different places for business and am very used to living out of hotel rooms and suitcases for periods of time. I know what I want wherever I am in the world – free wifi, no cancellation fees, and early check-in or late check-out without penalties. I want a comfy bed, space to work, a social space to relax, and superior service. 

This is why we decided to launch Virgin Hotels. These desires (and frustrations when hotels fall short) are shared by many travellers and it seemed like there was a great opportunity to create a new, wonderful hotel experience where people leave happier than when they arrived.

Render of the Everdene rooftop bar at Virgin Hotels San Francisco
Image from Virgin Hotels

A lot of thought went into the design of our Virgin Hotels. It’s often the small details that customers notice the most – and Virgin Hotels is full of them. From our intimate lobby that doesn’t complicate the check in experience, to our “chamber” designed rooms, to our grand Commons Club. Each property is designed to reflect its surroundings and has spaces to work, unwind and be creative. You can see lots of the designs come to life in Virgin By Design – including some sneak peeks at upcoming hotels.

It was great to catch up with the Virgin Hotels team and hear how guests have been taking full advantage of being able to personalise their stays. Guests can join the wonderful loyalty programme The Know, and request anything that will make their stay more special.  

There have been many fun and fanciful requests, including staging a Spiderman chamber takeover (spider webs included), stocking mini fridges with orange Skittles and pickles, rubber ducks for the bathroom and even placing a picture of a banana next to the bed (your guess is as good as mine!)

It’s been so exciting to see our vision come to life with our first three US Virgin Hotels: Virgin Hotels Chicago,  Virgin Hotels San Francisco and Virgin Hotels Dallas.