Browsing Category

Hotel General

4 ways to improve guest stays

August 29, 2019
successful guest stay

Guest satisfaction is the ultimate goal of any hotel, and satisfied guests lead to positive reviews, increased customer loyalty, and continued success as a brand. Luckily, there are some simple ways to ensure your guests have the best stay – and that your business grows.

1. Be tech savvy

The first step to having happy guests is investing in a well-designed and mobile-friendly website. Guests’ experiences with your website will shape their opinion of your brand, so creating a platform that makes it easy to book rooms and includes the answers to all of their questions will foster a positive relationship for a positive stay. Also consider including a place where customers can leave feedback or opt in to receive a newsletter – all features guests will appreciate.

2. Foster satisfaction through food

The way to many people’s hearts is through food, so having unique and accessible culinary options are sure to score points. If budget allows, consider including complimentary breakfast every morning. Choose selections from a local bakery, regional cheeses, and locally sourced produce. Supporting local businesses is a great way to show guests you care – and it’s also a great way to make guests feel immersed in local culture.

3. Promote events and local activities

While it’s important to make guests feel at home in your guest rooms, travelers are also looking for things to do and memories to make. Keep brochures for local businesses, family friendly activities, and unique places for a night out easily accessible in the lobby or with a concierge. By promoting the area around your property, you invite travelers to choose you as their home away from home.

4. Pamper and personalize

It’s the little things that make a difference in any hotel experience, for large chain hotels as well as independent properties. Creating a simple and seamless process of booking, check-in and check-out, and housekeeping requests will ensure guests are never frustrated. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on items like premium mattresses, plush towels, and exclusive amenities to make guests feel pampered.

By adding extra touches and going above and beyond with your service, you’ll ensure guests will want to come back – and share their love of your property with future guests. 

Learn how to create the perfect poolside experience

Unlocking keyless entry

September 14, 2015

Everywhere we turn, technology influences our lives. The hospitality industry is no exception.

Chances are you’ve already stayed at a hotel using keyless entry technology, which is beginning to alter how travelers check in to hotels and enter their guest rooms.

Here’s how it works: Once you reserve a room, the hotel’s system looks for you to arrive via your location-enabled smartphone. Upon arrival, instead of waiting in line at the front desk, you receive a room number and code enabling the phone to unlock the room’s door. Voilà: Hold the code up to the door lock, and sensors securely detect and verify the phone using technology such as Bluetooth®.

ROI opportunities

Digital tools offer a high return on investment (ROI) potential through increased brand loyalty and revenue from push notifications. According to Chip Rosales, Marketing Lead for y!kes, another reason for hotels to make the switch is a customer engagement boost. By allowing guests to check in through their mobile devices, hotels can seamlessly communicate with them. For instance, they can transmit messages asking guests about their room preferences or send information about discounts or events at the property.

Open to change

Major brands such as Starwood Hotels will retrofit 30,000 doors at 150 hotels worldwide by the end of the year. Hilton expects to offer keyless entry at all Conrad Hotels, Hilton, Waldorf Astoria and Canopy U.S. properties, expanding to 11 brands globally in 2016. And Kaba recently announced a partnership with OpenKey to develop and implement a full-property mobile access system, now live at a major Ashford property.

Striking a balance

One downside of keyless is the high up-front cost of retrofitting a large number of rooms (approximately $150 per door, from changing locks to replacing doors), especially at a franchise property, where upgrade costs are the individual owner’s responsibility. This is offset by the unlimited potential of interacting with guests through a mobile app. Another keyless concern is privacy and security, which involves rigorous testing of encryption technology.

Going beyond keyless

Of course, this isn’t the only technology making waves in hospitality. Take the ButlerPad, for example. This new cloud-hosted concierge application offers reputable locally curated activities and real-time customer service to guests. Accessible from a mobile device or computer, and integrated with the guest’s end-to-end travel experience, ButlerPad amplifies the guest experience. Slated to be the next Wi-Fi, many top hotels are expected to roll out the virtual concierge within the next five years.

 

Improve your online reservations
Keep it simple and make it fast

July 1, 2015

There’s just no question about it, anymore. Winning reservations is an online game. Huge online travel sites like Booking.com and Expedia are taking up massive amounts of search traffic. But, are online reservation tools doing everything they can to increase hotel bookings?

A recent interview with Triptease’s Charlie Osmond reveals some frightening statistics on these booking sites, and how often hotels may be losing business to their competitors.

Osmond says consumers will book direct on a hotel website, but only if the experience is easy and intuitive. “There are some great hotel websites that provide a fabulous experience for the guest. The future is here but it is just unevenly distributed,” said Osmond. “By surfacing what the guest wants we are helping to level the playing field for hoteliers.”

It’s probably not as simple as that, of course, with mega-brands such as Priceline-owned Booking.com and Expedia doing their level best to attract consumers early in the consumer purchase funnel with heavy spend on Google advertising.

What does that mean?

Hotels with well-built, easy-to-use websites may end up getting more traffic than those that rely on outdated booking systems or well-known booking powerhouses like Expedia. Tnooz reports that 94% of people have abandoned an online booking, and that 29% of those cited a difficult booking form as the cause. They have put together a list of demands that most consumers are looking for in an online booking experience.

The best way to increase your digital reservations? Keep it simple, make it fast and load up on extra features (view tnooz’s complete list).

For more ways to keep it simple, visit americanhotel.com – the best way to stock up on your everyday needs in one convenient place.

Get Social This Summer: Tips for Hoteliers

May 29, 2015

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that social media is here to stay. In the social world in which we now live, it’s important that your venue find its home on the Internet. More than that, it’s important that your hotel knows how to get that social audience interested and engaged.

So, let’s look at the start of summer as the start of your new social presence. After all, this summer promises to be a prosperous season. Check out the five social tips below and begin to spruce up your summer social plan.

Community Management is Key

Your venue’s social pages aren’t just a place to plunk photos and information anymore. These days, hordes of past and potential customers take to social sites to read reviews, get a “sneak peak” at the venue, ask questions and share their experiences.

It’s important that a representative of your venue is always on to respond in a timely manner – whether that’s with information or, more importantly, in sticky situations – to help quell a disgruntled patron.

Get Writing

If your venue doesn’t already have a blog, now is the time. Get writing about things happening on the property, interesting events, shining a spotlight on an employee, anything really! You don’t have to produce a lot – maybe just a post or two per month – but once you start your blog, you want to keep it fresh so that followers will keep wanting to come back!

Break Out the Video Camera

Video is the new “it” content variety on many social networking sites. As it continues to gain momentum, you should be considering how your venue can hop on the bandwagon. Consider posting videos of property “sneak peeks,” a tour of whatever it is that makes your venue unique, promotional videos, or guest testimonials. Just remember, whatever you post, be sure to keep it short and eye-catching.

Put Some Money Behind It

If you’re really looking to make the most impact in the least amount of time, you may want to think about setting aside a portion of your marketing budget for paid social advertisements. With the ability to target a very specific audience, you can ensure that your content is being seen by the people you most want to attract. If major social impact is your game, paid ads are the name of the game.

Get Guests Talking

Encourage your guests to take to social media and share their thoughts and experiences. Consider posting post-stay surveys online and setting up “selfie” or “braggie” photo spots on the property. Creating an environment in which sharing guest experiences are openly encouraged strengthens your venue’s appearance of an honest business. It also allows you to hear, straight from the mouth of your customers, what your venue’s high and low points are so you can constantly improve.

Explore these must-read books for hoteliers

February 9, 2015

What’s better than snuggling up with a great book on a cold winter night? Make the most of your leisure time with these must-read books for hoteliers that are both interesting and informative:

  1. Contagious by Jonah Berger

    Word-of-mouth advertising is vital to the success of every great hotel. In Contagious, Berger explores the science behind this ever-important form of advertising and how it works to grow a hotel’s popularity.
  2. 100 Tips for Hoteliers: What Every Successful Hotel Professional Needs to Know
    and Do
    by Peter Venison

    Peter Venison is no stranger to the hotel industry. As an accomplished author whose work is part of the curriculum of countless hospitality school programs, he’s earned his chops. 100 Tips for Hoteliers offers fluid reading chock full of great tips for the modern hotelier.
  3. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

    TED speaker and leadership expert Simon Sinek delves into the strategy of marketing your brand’s ‘why’ rather than ‘what’.  In Sinek’s own words, “…people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” There’s power in the marketing of ‘why’. In Start with Why, Sinek offers advice on finding the ‘why’ and how best to capitalize on it.
  4. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute

    Take customer service advice from a brand that is world-renowned for it – Disney. From dining to hotels, and everything else on the Disney platter, this book will expose the secrets behind how they do customer service so well.
  5. Without Reservations: How a Family Root Beer Stand Grew Into a Global Hotel Company by J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr.

    One of the industry’s most well known names, J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., reflects on the road map that led to the ultra-success of the worldwide hotel chain, Marriott International. Read Without Reservations and gather history, knowledge and insights from one of the greatest hotel success stories.

Thrilling Themed Hotels

November 5, 2014

Thrilling Themed Hotels

When you hear “themed hotel,” there’s a good chance that Disney springs to mind. But, it’s not just theme parks embarking on this trend. These days, themed hotels can be found the world round, from teensy little towns to metropolitan cities to sprawling vacation resorts. The daring trend, although not for everyone, satisfies guests on a level that the ordinary room and board could not – our inner child or the secret thrill-seeker in all of us.

To many hoteliers, a themed hotel seems risky business. It’s a misconception that there aren’t enough people interested to stay, for example, in a college dorm themed hotel. But there must be, because venues like the McMenamins Kennedy School (in actuality, a hotel) serve close to half-a-million pints in their pink-tiled in-house brewery designed to look like a ladies restroom. And really, you can’t argue with numbers.

So, for those who are venturing into the great allure of theme hotels or are dabbling with themed suites, we’ve compiled a list of the most unique, talked about, and anticipated hotel destinations.

1) The Propeller Island City Lodge – Berlin, Germany

If you’re looking to feed your sense of adventure, Propeller Island is the place to be. From coffins in the attic and flying beds to rooms designed to feel like underground bunkers, Propeller Island has it all. It’s more art than hotel and rooms vary depending on the whims of German artist, Lars Stroschen.

2) The Chocolate Boutique Hotel – Bournemouth, England

This is the favored hotel of sweet-tooths everywhere. The hotel truly lives up to its name – it’s all chocolate, all the time, but in the warmest way possible. Plush, stylish furnishings in shades of, you guessed it – chocolate – create a cozy environment for any guest. The generous helpings of chocolate in its many forms don’t hurt either.

3) Jules Undersea Lodge – Key Largo, FL

For a mere $500 per person and a few scuba lessons, you, too, can take an underwater hotel adventure! Even though you’re below the surface, Jules Undersea Lodge doesn’t skimp on service. Here, staff divers will hand deliver a well-wrapped pizza straight to your room.

4) The Georgian House – London, England

A.k.a. the “Harry Potter” hotel, the Georgian is currently one of the most talked about theme hotels, but for all the wrong reasons. This is one theme that even the most leery of hoteliers might agree has a massive and eager fan base, but that’s just the problem in this case. High expectations led to a serious let-down when patrons realized the hotel was not sanctioned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, J.K. Rowling or the Harry Potter book publishers and was not indeed the “Harry Potter” hotel, but rather just a hotel that duped an adoring fan base.

5) Paramount Hotel & Residences – Dubai, UAE

The much anticipated movie-themed hotel is set to open in 2015, and the world cannot wait. Within hours of opening the first sales of its residences they were sold out. So what can residents and visitors alike expect? Think private screening rooms, home theatre surround sound systems, and classic Hollywood glamour – in short, a movie-lovers dream.

We’d love to hear all about your themed property or suites! Tell us in the comments!

Reducing your property’s operating costs makes perfect (water)sense

October 6, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its partners recently created an exciting program called the WaterSense® H2Otel Challenge to help hotels realize the benefits of saving water in their daily operations. By doing so, your property can…

  • Save on energy and operating costs
  • Reduce your community’s greenhouse gas emissions which contribute
    to climate change
  • Meet guests’ growing demand for green lodging practices while enhancing the guest experience with top-performing products

Beyond laundry

Many hotels already have water-saving programs for washing sheets and towels, but that’s only the beginning. Incorporating water-efficient products, processes and practices back of house, as well as in public areas, both inside and out can also save water and energy, and that means saving money, too.

The program offers a variety of ways for hotels to take the challenge and start saving.

For example, if making plumbing upgrades to restrooms, consider WaterSense®-labeled toilets, faucets and showerheads, like Sunbeam Hospitality’s new EPA WaterSense-certified showerheads. They are independently certified to use 20% less water than the federal standard and perform well to ensure guests’ satisfaction. Replacing existing showerheads with these models can save 4 gallons of water with every guest shower!

Double this savings by updating your faucets with a Sunbeam aerator and save up to
$17,300 a year!*

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, instituting green towel and linen programs can reduce loads of laundry washed by 17%, saving water and energy.

A 400-room hotel in San Antonio, Texas, saves 7 million gallons of water and $35,000 in water and sewer bills each year and receives fewer maintenance calls from guests after updating guest room bath fixtures.

Dive in!

So, why wait? Join the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge today. By doing so, the EPA and its partners can provide you with all the tools you need to ACT

  • Assess your water use and savings opportunities
  • Change products or processes to incorporate best management practices
  • Track your results using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager or another
    tracking tool

WaterSense is an EPA partnership program designed to help save water for future generations. To join the H2Otel Challenge, sign in here.

 *Sources: epa.gov; sunbeamhospitality.com; American Hotel and Lodging Association

Choose a sustainable alternative to vinyl curtains

September 29, 2014

Many shower curtains are still made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) – also known as vinyl – which includes harmful additives. One study found that PVC shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive effects.1 Through our private Registry® brand, we ease your concerns with a high-quality alternative to vinyl.

 

Our Registry Deluxe PEVA Shower Curtains are made without chlorine, meaning they use fewer chemicals in construction and do not emit that strong chemical smell out of the package. Part of our Living Green collection of eco-friendly products, Registry Deluxe PEVA Shower Curtains are designed to support your sustainable approach to business.

 

  • Chrome-finished rustproof copper grommets prevent snags and tears while also providing an easy method to insert hooks.
  • Reinforced 3-ply top header improves durability and extends the life of the curtain.
  • Antimicrobial finish prevents bacteria from accumulating, and heat-sealed bottom hems prevent mildew buildup.

Registry Deluxe PEVA Shower Curtains should not be machine washed or dried, which saves you time and money. We recommend simply wiping down the curtain with soapy water after use. You should also note that California Proposition 65 requires vinyl shower curtains to have warning labels advising of potential cancer risk. PEVA curtains meet Proposition 65 requirements and do not require any such warning labels.

 

To learn more about the quality and value of this vinyl alternative, visit americanhotel.com or call us at 1-800-323-5686.

 

1. Abdollah T: That ‘new shower curtain smell’? It’s toxic, study says. Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/13/local/me-showercurtain13, (Accessed 9/12/14).

Tips to better serve the business traveler

September 17, 2014

Tips to better serve the business traveler

Business travelers today have far different wants and needs than those in days past. Not only do they represent the fastest growing segment in travel spending but, despite the tumultuous economic playground in which they came to adulthood, this group likes to spend. That can only mean good things for your business. Here are some tips to help you better serve the modern business traveler:

  • Know your customer. We mean really know your customer. Understanding how business travelers are working while on the road is vital to keep up with the changes. Are they using video chat to hold meetings? Are they conducting business in their room, in a business center, the lobby? Be in the know or risk losing a significant portion of guests.
  • Go mobile. Your guests are mobile, so doesn’t it make sense that your venue should be mobile, too? Most hotels already offer online booking, but the easier and more accessible your venue is, the more likely you are to fill rooms. Take a cue from Choice Hotels, for example. The company last year launched a process that allows customers to book a room in three simple taps of a smartphone.
  • WiFi, WiFi, WiFi. You’ve heard it time and time again, the people want WiFi of the free variety. A recent survey proved what we’ve been hearing for ages – free WiFi is the number one factor influencing a business traveler’s choice in hotel.  Considering the staggering amount of time the modern working person needs internet connectivity, it just makes sense.
  • A business center. This is a must-have. Even if travelers prefer to work from their room, most will still rely on a business center for one reason or another – whether that be to use a printer, make copies, or, in the case of a personal computer crisis, hop onto one of the hotel’s desktop machines. Every top rated business hotel has one, so you should, too. Remember, it’s all about convenience, and a business center provides easy access for guests in need.

What successes have you had with evolving to suit the modern business traveler? Tell us in the comments!

Ways to welcome the whole family

September 4, 2014

Ways to welcome the whole family

With the hospitality industry experiencing resurgence, hotels can expect to see more guests – one type in particular. Children. That’s right, with infants, toddlers, teens and more adding their presence to your property, it’s time to prep rooms and programs for the onslaught, as Kimpton, Loews, and many others have now done.

For Infants and Toddlers:

  • Parents generally don’t want to snuggle baby (dangerously) into their bed, and they’re not likely to check-in with a crib in hand after traveling, so that means you need to have an alternative available upon request. Cribs are great, but if you’re working with a small space, play yards may be the way to go, as they can fold into a sleek, more compact form.
  • From the moment a baby becomes mobile, parent anxiety skyrockets. Ease parent’s minds and keep your little guests safer by preparing a ‘Safety Kit’, including outlet covers, nightlights, spout covers for the bathtub, and more.
  • Stock up on on-the-go items like strollers and car seats. If your venue can’t carry those items in-house, team up with a local business that does so you have a quick response when a parent asks.

For Older Kids:

  • For the walking, talking, more self-sufficient kids, invest in some rollaway beds. Depending on a child’s age and tendency to roll, some parents may be nervous about tucking their kids into a bed high off the ground. Rollaways are the solution.
  • Do you know any professional sitter services nearby? Pair up, hoteliers, because parents are on vacation, too, and they are sure to want a night or two out on the town.
  • Kids can be picky eaters, so make sure you have food options available to suit their selective palettes. Just be sure to keep it healthy to suit picky parents, as well.
  • How many times have you heard a kid say “I’m bored”? It’s your job to make sure there is plenty to keep those kiddies entertained. If your venue boasts a pool, you’re winning brownie points from the kids already, but don’t stop there. Consider organizing kid-friendly programs or renting out game consoles, board games and toys. Memories are made on family vacations, so make them fun.

How does your venue cater to the under 18 guest? Tell us in the comments!