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Hotel Renovator review: A must-have for House Flipper fans

Hotel Renovator

If you’ve ever had lofty dreams of owning your own hotel, designing all of its rooms from scratch, Hotel Renovator may just be the game for you. Finally available on console a year after its PC launch, this hotel designing simulator is better than ever — and we can’t stop playing it.

If you’re familiar with House Flipper, you’ll find yourself more-or-less at home with Hotel Renovator. Both games share a very similar principle: take a run-down room and make it new and shiny again. The difference is, of course, everything in Hotel Renovator takes place in your own hotel, rather than random properties. It means that as you renovate more rooms, you’ll earn more revenue from your hotel.

Renovating a hotel room is, admittedly, a little laborious in the early stages. With only basic tools at your disposal, you’ll have to manually break down old furniture piece-by-piece, and use a crowbar to demolish small sections of floor and wall coverings. Applying new paint or wallpaper is also a case of working square by square.

A messy hotel room in Hotel Renovator
Image: Focus Entertainment

Thankfully, it doesn’t take long until your tools are upgraded, and, after renovating a few rooms, you’ll be able to apply wallpapers, paints and floorings to huge sections all at once. It streamlines the process massively, and working on your rooms becomes a real joy.

Related: The best simulator games on PS5

Following in the footsteps of the likes of House Flipper, working through the renovation process in Hotel Renovator manages to be relaxing even when you’re in the thick of a building site. You can approach it in your own time, doing everything exactly how you want. You will often be given goals to work towards — an incoming visitor might request certain colours or a certain furniture style — but ultimately it’s up to you if you want to pay heed to them. It is worth doing so, though, as you’ll get a bonus payout.

There’s a huge amount of furnishings to choose from, allowing you to truly put your own stamp on a room. You’ll unlock more content as you progress through Hotel Renovator, too, along with higher-rated products that lead to higher-rated rooms and spaces. It means you might eventually want to go back to update earlier rooms to bring them up to the same standard as the rest of your hotel.

Hotel Renovator
Image: Focus Entertainment

Of course, it’s not just hotel rooms you need to think about here. Common areas, like the reception and corridors, also need to be renovated. And eventually you’ll gain access to specialist areas like a restaurant and swimming pool that need renovating from scratch, too. It also helps that not every hotel room follows the same blueprint: some are bigger than others, allowing for separate bedroom and living areas, allowing you to be completely creative each time.

What sets Hotel Renovator apart from its peers is its attempts to inject personality and fun into its proceedings. Most of these hit the mark: one of your first residents happens to be a vampire, who wants a specific type of bedroom complete with thick curtains and no mirrors. Once you’ve renovated, however, the cheeky blood-sucker decides he’d rather sleep in a human-sized chest down in your basement. Later, you’ll get a cowboy staying with you — who brings his horse into your beautiful lobby, requiring big bales of hay to be placed.

The recurring runaway chicken is a little more annoying: every so often, you’ll be taken away from whatever you’re working on to chase down a random chicken. It might even make you play a luck-based dice game with it. Typical chicken behaviour, obviously. We also found ourselves getting a little frustrated about dealing with a ghost, who ended up destroying chunks of our beautiful, newly-renovated floors as we tried to catch it.

Hotel Renovator
Image: Focus Entertainment

Still, these random events help keep things varied and fun, and we’d be lying if they didn’t raise the odd smile. For the most part, though, Hotel Renovator leaves you to your own devices, allowing you to work your way through your current renovation to-do list, or work on improving your communal areas.

When we wrote about Hotel Renovator following its PC launch, our biggest concern was its abundance of bugs and glitches. We’re happy to say that playing on PS5 for review, we’ve encountered very few issues and our time with the game has been smooth. There’s still the odd translation issue, such as the UI saying “45 day” instead of “day 45” next to the clock — but it obviously doesn’t affect gameplay. And if you’re normal, unlike us, you might not even notice at all.

If you’re the type of person who gets a kick out of design and renovation, you’re likely going to love Hotel Renovator. It scratches that cosy simulator itch, providing you with repetitive but wholesome tasks to complete. Random events and the odd injection of humour aims to mix things up, but ultimately, Hotel Renovator is at its best when you’re knee-deep in redesigning a hotel room, making everything beautiful and just how you want it. Bliss.

Hotel Renovator review – GameSpew’s score

This review of Hotel Renovator is based on the PS5 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.