When it comes to creating an unforgettable surprise, few settings rival the charm and allure of a beautifully decorated hotel room.
Whether you’re looking to surprise your partner, friend, or family member, this article will guide you through the art of crafting a mesmerizing ambiance that reflects her personality, making her birthday an occasion she’ll cherish for years to come.
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.
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Step 1: Choose a location (Motel, Bed & Breakfast or Hotel)
Why Choose a Hotel?
Hotels are typically well established and more convenience-oriented than other accommodation options. They offer high quality amenities, a variety of room styles & sizes, and customer service.
Regardless of the perks, 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”. Most rooms are decorated with a neutral color pallet and offer an 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.
Step 2: Prep the Room
How do you Set Up a Hotel Room in Secret?
If you’re trying to surprise the birthday girl with 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 the Space?
Make the hotel room look personalized, inviting and festive with a few easy steps:
- Before you Check-in. Study pictures of the hotel room from the website or a review site. If there are aspects of the room that you don’t like, then cover them with things that you do like.
- Think Outside the Box. Items such as common curtains, bedding, pillows, and lighting can easily be disguised with thoughtful embellishments such as comfortable pillows, a themed throw blanket, or a colorful backdrop.
- Appeal to all of the Senses. Play fun music, open a delicious smelling air freshener (we recommend against candles because they are usually not allowed and can set off the fire alarm), turn on a themed video or picture on the TV, and hang additional mood lighting.
- Use Amenities to Your Advantage. Most rented 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 mixing drinks.
Step 3: Choose a Theme
The best birthday themes are personal to the birthday girl. When planning how to decorate your hotel room, we recommend basing your decoration style on one of their favorite hobbies, interests, or pieces of media (shows, movies, musicians, etc).
However, some people don’t have obvious interests with easy decoration ideas.
If that sounds like your birthday person, then feel free to use one of our birthday inspired party themes below.
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 lighting. 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 Balloon Themed Spotify playlist and using this Birthday 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!
|1. Blow Pop Snack||View Product|
|2. Twinkle Lights||View Product|
|3. Balloon Shaped Room Freshener||View Product|
|4. Happy Birthday Balloons||View Product|
|5. Silver Foil Curtains||View Product|
|6. Balloon Animal Sculpture Gift||View Product|
|7. Warm Mug Cake (Duncan Hines)||View Product|
|8. Bubble Birthday Cake Candles (“Happy Birthday”)||View Product|
|9. Balloon Helicopter Party Favor||View Product|
Whether you want to fight with cake or just cake shaped pillows, this Cake Fight party decor will knock your sox off.
Hang the colorful sprinkles wall decals around the room and the bright 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 Cake Themed 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!
|1. Cupcake Pillow||View Product|
|2. Sprinkles Wall Decals||View Product|
|3. Colorful Hanging Paper Lanterns||View Product|
|4. Birthday Cake Popcorn||View Product|
|5. Happy Birthday Balloons||View Product|
|6. Mini Cake Charms||View Product|
|7. Sling Shot||View Product|
|8. Personalized Cupcake Light||View Product|
|9. Cupcake Piñata||View Product|
Step 4: Execute the Surprise
Once the room is fully decorated, it’s time to execute the big reveal!
Hopefully the birthday boy 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. This is pretty easy to do if you offer to carry most of the bags/luggage.