How to Decorate a Hotel Room for a Birthday (His or Her)

Looking to add a little BIRTHDAY sparkle to your humdrum hotel room?

You’re in the right place!

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

One Sentence Summary:

This page contains the steps needed to decorate a hotel room for a birthday, tips & tricks, easy birthday decoration theme ideas, and common mistakes to keep in mind.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Choose the Location (Hotel, Motel, or Bed & Breakfast)
  2. Prep the Room
  3. Choose a Theme or Use One of Ours!
  4. Execute the Surprise

Other Information: For more information on hotel rules you don’t want to break while decorating, a recommended list of hotels that will decorate for you, and more, please see our Ultimate Guide on How to Decorate a Hotel Room.

Step 1: Choose a location (Motel, Bed & Breakfast or Hotel)

Why Choose a Hotel?

Hotels are typically well established and conveniences oriented than other accommodations. They offer high quality amenities, a variety of room styles & sizes, considerate customer service.

Alternatively, hotels are often more expensive than a motel and less personal than a bed & breakfast.

When it comes to decorating for a birthday, a hotel room is the perfect “blank canvas” because of the neutral color themes commonly used and abundance of lighting. Adorn your room with ease and rest assured that when it comes to clean up, as long as you don’t leave an egregious mess, the hospitality staff will take care of it. We recommend verifying an individual hotel’s decoration cleanliness policy before making a reservation.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for birthday benefits! See our recommendations in the Quick Tip below.

  • Quick Tip – Before you check in, ask the hotel what types of birthday perks they offer. Many hotels will offer one or many of the following:
    • Room Discount (typically 20%)
    • Upgrading to a larger room or room with a view
    • Birthday packages including extra amenities or additional perks
    • Offering a special birthday menu for the birthday person (in the restaurant or through room service)
    • Late check out
    • Access to the spa or sauna
    • Decoration packages (the hotel will decorate and clean up for an extra charge)

Why Choose a motel?

Motels are ideal if you need to take a short stop while on the road. Although they offer less amenities, they are often more convenient, private, and inexpensive than a hotel. Additionally, the staff typically have a better pulse on local unique restaurants, activities, and shopping.

When it comes to decorating for a birthday, a motel room should have all basic necessities. Since the standard room decor may not be as quality as other accommodations, you may want to add more decorations to improve the birthday vibe.

Motel staff are typically not as accommodating as hotel staff when it comes to decorating & clean up, so we definitely recommend understanding the facility’s policy before check-in.

  • Quick Tip – Utilize motel staff to make your birthday travel experience extra unique. Make sure to ask them for recommendations in the following areas:
    • Restaurants & shopping
    • Finding local tours or subject matter experts
    • Discovering “locals only” experiences and activities
    • Famous locations to visit in the area

Why Choose a Bed & Breakfast?

Bed & breakfasts are ideal for a relaxing, low stress birthday trip. They tend to have more charming features with amenity offerings that can be either highly unique & personal, or very minimal. You will need to do extra research and coordinate with staff to understand the options.

Since these locations often have small owner-operated staff, they require some extra effort from guests in the form of personal clean up check-out policies. Large messes can yield high fees at checkout.

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Step 2: Prep the Room

How do you Set Up a Hotel Room in Secret?

If you’re trying to surprise the birthday boy or girl with your decorations, there are a few approaches you can take:

  • Have someone else decorate the room for you
  • Go early and decorate the room yourself
  • Ask the hotel staff to decorate the room for you
  • Pay a service to decorate the room for you (we recommend Uberoom)

How do you Decorate like a Designer?

The objective of your decorations is to make the hotel room look personalized, inviting and festive.

Before you check in, study pictures of the room from the website or a review site. If there are aspects of the hotel room that you don’t like, then cover them with things that you do like.

For example, common curtains, bedding, pillows, and lighting can easily be disguised with thoughtful embellishments. Bring your own comfortable pillows, purchase a themed throw blanket, or cover the curtains with a quality backdrop.

Further improve the ambiance by appealing to all of the senses: play fun music, open a delicious smelling air freshener (we recommend against candles because they can set off the fire alarm), turn on a themed video or picture on the TV, and hang additional mood lighting.

Remember that most hotel rooms come with a coffee pot, microwave, and/or refrigerator. These items can be used to creatively enhance your decor by allowing you to include small touches such as making small desserts, keeping flowers fresh, or cooking small pre-packaged meals.

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Step 3: Choose a Theme

The most meaningful birthday themes are based on the preferences and interests of the birthday boy or girl. When planning how to decorate your hotel room, we recommend basing your decorations on one of their favorite hobbies, interests, fandoms, or pieces of media (shows, movies, musicians, etc).

However, some people don’t have obvious interests or wouldn’t appreciate a party based on their interests (for example: if my husband has another Golf themed party he’s going to lose it…).

If that sounds like your birthday person, then feel free to use one of our Birthday inspired party themes below.

If you’re looking to set a more romantic mood with your decorations, see this page on Romantic Ways to Decorate a Hotel Room.

Balloon Bash

Blow up a birthday bash with delicious treats, colorful decor and a large Pop of pizzaz! Start by covering curtains and doorways with shimmery silver foil curtains and a large metallic “Happy Birthday” balloon.

Open the cake scented, dog balloon animal air freshener and dim the lights. Hang twinkle lights around the space and set out the party favors (blow pops and balloon helicopters). Further set the mood by playing some music from this Spotify playlist and using this Youtube video on the TV.

Finish the room by tossing a few mug cakes in the microwave and topping them with colorful “Happy Birthday” candles. Don’t forget to wrap your balloon animal dog sculpture gift!

ProductLink
1. Blow Pop SnackView Product
2. Twinkle LightsView Product
3. Balloon Shaped Room FreshenerView Product
4. Happy Birthday BalloonsView Product
5. Silver Foil CurtainsView Product
6. Balloon Animal Sculpture GiftView Product
7. Warm Mug Cake (Duncan Hines)View Product
8. Bubble Birthday Cake Candles (“Happy Birthday”)View Product
9. Balloon Helicopter Party FavorView Product

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Cake Fight

Whether you want to fight with cake or just cake shaped pillows, this Cake Fight party decor will knock your sox off.

Hang the vivid sprinkles wall decals around the room and the colorful hanging paper lanterns on the ceiling. Plug in your personalized cupcake light and blow up the silvery “Happy Birthday” balloons. Improve the ambiance even more by playing some music from this Spotify playlist and using this Youtube video on the TV.

Save the best sweet touches for last: mini cake charms, birthday cake popcorn, and the cupcake pinata. Once the cake sling shot gift is opened all bets are off!

ProductLink
1. Cupcake PillowView Product
2. Sprinkles Wall DecalsView Product
3. Colorful Hanging Paper LanternsView Product
4. Birthday Cake PopcornView Product
5. Happy Birthday BalloonsView Product
6. Mini Cake CharmsView Product
7. Sling ShotView Product
8. Personalized Cupcake LightView Product
9. Cupcake PinataView Product

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Step 4: Execute the Surprise

Once the room is fully decorated, it’s time to execute the big reveal!

Hopefully the birthday person doesn’t know about your decorations ahead of time. If they do know or suspect something, we recommend charging ahead anyway! A fun decorated room is a thoughtful gesture and will still make them feel appreciated.

If they don’t know about your decorations and you’re trying to maintain the secret, we recommend doing the following to avoid making any mistakes:

  • Make sure the front desk doesn’t give away the surprise! If you have checked in earlier and already have the key, either ask the front desk ahead of time to be discrete when you check in or pretend to check in while the birthday person waits somewhere else.
  • Talk about things that make it seem like you haven’t been in this place before. Comment on fun or interesting features of the hotel.
  • Ask the birthday person to open the door to the room door. This is pretty easy to do if you offer to carry most of the bags/luggage.

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