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Hello everyone and welcome to today’s dev diary where we explore the features coming to Cities: Skylines in the mini-expansion Hotels & Retreats! It brings a new customizable hotel chain to the game letting your city capitalize on tourism and organize events at your premium hotels. Hotels & Retreats will be available on PC and console on the 23rd of May. We have lots of new content to cover, so let’s get started!
Hotels unlock when you reach Milestone 3: Tiny Town and can be found in the new Hotels tab under Parks & Plazas. You start out with 3 different 1-star hotels, but as your hotel chain becomes more successful you unlock new hotels with higher ratings all the way up to 5-star luxury hotels, which can host events.
Before placing your first hotel we need to talk about tourists and location. With Hotels & Retreats, tourists fall into one of four categories: Sightseeing Tourists visit the city to see the sights seeking out unique buildings and parks during their stay. Shopping Tourists are here for your city’s shopping opportunities and look for commercial zones to visit. Business Tourists do not visit for pleasure, they’re in your city for work and have business to attend to at offices. And last, but not least we have Nature Tourists who prefer to stay away from the busy city and enjoy the natural scenery your city has to offer.
How much a hotel appeals to each group of tourists depends both on the hotel itself and where in the city it’s placed. The tooltip of a hotel shows how much (if at all) a hotel can appeal to these groups, while the surroundings you place it in will fill up each bar accordingly. The new Hotel Locations Infoviews will help you find the perfect location for your hotel showing a heat map for each of the four categories. When you select a hotel the Infoview is automatically opened showing the hotel’s highest potential category, but for the optimal location, you can cycle through each category and choose a spot with the best overlap. You can also give the overall popularity rating a boost by placing public transport nearby, making sure there is little to no crime in the area, and avoiding areas with heavy pollution.
Once placed you can select the hotel to see how much it appeals to each group of tourists, its overall popularity rating, and how profitable it is. You can also adjust the price per night depending on how well your hotel is doing. Lowering the price will make it more appealing to tourists even if the popularity rating is less than ideal, while you can charge a higher price for very attractive locations. Hotel expenses stay the same regardless of how many guests are staying the night, so the key to a profitable hotel is filling up those rooms!
You’ve found a good location and built your first hotel. Time to turn this into a chain and grow the city’s tourism! The hotel chain is automatically created with a default name and logo, which can be customized in the Hotel Management interface. You can find this through the Manage Hotels button found on all hotel interfaces or through the Hotel Locations Infoview. You can name your hotel chain anything, select one of 7 logos to use, and customize the color of both the logo and your hotels.
The Hotel Management interface also provides an overview of all your hotels, their popularity, amount of guests staying there at the moment, and how profitable they are. You can sort them by popularity to increase the price of your most popular ones or sort them by profit to improve any which are struggling. At the bottom, you will find information about your hotel chain’s overall star rating and the requirements to reach the next level.
When your hotel chain reaches 5 stars you unlock 3 different 5-star hotels: the Heritage Hotel, the Deluxe Hotel, and the Design Hotel, which can all host events. Each hotel specializes in different event types with a total of 9 events to choose from across them all. Events are selected and started on the hotel’s interface and have 3 phases. The longest phase is the preparation phase where news of the hotel event is spreading and tourists plan their trip to the event. The active phase lasts a few days to a week as the event is ongoing, and it’s followed by the disorganization phase as things return to business as usual for the hotel.
When selecting an event you will see the cost to host the event, how long the active phase is, and how much it increases tourism. The tourism boost is applied when you start the event so your city benefits from it during the preparation phase as well as the active phase.
While hotels give tourists a place to stay in your city allowing them to extend their visits, the city itself needs to appeal to tourists for them to visit. The Tourism Infoview shows the City Attractiveness, which is calculated from citizen happiness, land value, and unique buildings in the city. The higher City Attractiveness, the more tourists will visit the city, so if your hotel chain is struggling you can increase the City Attractiveness to encourage more tourists to stay at your hotels.
One way to do this is by raising the land value through more parks and plazas, and Hotels & Retreats includes 8 new parks found in the Tourism & Leisure tab under Parks & Plazas. The Tiny Park or Tiny Playground live up to their names and fit in most places, while the larger Pond Park and Sidewalk Restaurant require more space and provide more entertainment. The new parks can be found easily using the menu filter and can be used to spruce up any part of your city.
As with any expansion we of course have new maps for you to create your dream city. Hotels & Retreats come with 5 new maps featuring a variety of landscapes. Coastal Flatlands lives up to its name as a mostly flat landscape dotted with hills, rivers, and lakes which provide ample opportunities to attract nature tourists. The beautiful coastline makes this map ideal for a waterfront city frequented by cruise ships.
Emerald Cliffs is a European map with a bay stretching far inland and cliffs towering above the landscape and providing incredible scenery for any city. It offers great connections to the sea and lots of fertile land, while the mountainous areas are rich in ore. Will you build a city focused on tourism or take advantage of the natural resources the land has to offer? Either way, Emerald Cliffs has much to offer any city.
Next, we have our second European map, Maze Valley, a canyon carved into the landscape through eons. The rivers flowing through the canyon are surrounded by large plains ideal for a new city nestled between the cliffs. But your city doesn’t have to be a gem hidden from the world with a shipping lane running through the rivers and a train line connecting you to other cities, there are many ways to bring goods and tourists to your city.
Shifting Sands takes us to the tropics at the edge of the desert where the river flows into a large bay. The lush green areas surrounding the water create a stunning contrast to the barren rocky desert and the mountains on the horizon. If you’re looking to build an industry-focused city then Shifting Sands provides plenty of ore and oil to benefit your city while the bay offers great shipping connections. The flat landscape also provides the perfect conditions for a bustling metropolis.
We finish our map tour with another European map named Weaving Waters, a map split by a serpentine river and filled with historical sites. The vast forests covering the landscape are ideal for nature retreats or forestry depending on your city. Connect your city to the outside world through the highways or railroad, or take advantage of the flat areas to build an airport. Whether you plan to embrace the landscape or make room for your city, this map has a lot to offer.
This brings us to the end of this dev diary covering the new content in Hotels & Retreats. Like always we have a free patch coming alongside the mini-expansion, which we will cover in the dev diary Friday at 4:00 PM CEST. What are you most excited about in Hotels & Retreats? Do you have any areas in your city ideal for hotels? We’d love to hear your thoughts!