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 Stamford Hotels and Resorts Banishes
Ridiculously High Mark-ups
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Reduces Hotel Telephone Room Charges to Rates Cheaper
than Mobile Phones, Cuts All Mini-Bar Charges by 50%

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New Initiatives Encourage Guests to Enjoy
Hotel Facilities Without Fear of Costs 

March 10, 2004 - Leading luxury hotel group Stamford Hotels & Resorts is continuing its program to revolutionise the guest hospitality experience, today unveiling service initiatives that set a new competitive standard in the industry.

One initiative sees guests able to make interstate and overseas phone calls from Stamford hotel room telephones at far cheaper rates than those normally available on both hotel landline telephones and mobile phones. As well, costs on all mini-bar items in the Group’s 2,325 rooms in Australia and New Zealand have been cut by 50 per cent, to encourage guests to relax with a drink or snack in their room without worrying about the cost.

“This is an innovation across the company and in the hotel industry that sees Stamford further promote the true concept of hospitality,” Stamford Hotels and Resorts Executive Chairman C.K. Ow said. 

According to Stamford Group director for marketing and sales, David Perry, the innovations reflect Stamford’s commitment to creating and implementing new initiatives in an industry that rarely undertakes efforts to innovate as well as returning to the true concept of hospitality.

“We want to promote the true meaning of hospitality, and hospitality existed long before hotels,” Mr Perry said. “For example, if a relative or friend comes to stay wouldn’t we offer our phone to that person to stop them spending far more on their mobile? Would we charge them ten times more than the cost to us of that phone call? And as they were about to leave, would we ask them if they took anything from the fridge the previous night and then charge them an exorbitant price for it? We want our guests to relax in their room without feeling captive to the exploitation of ridiculously high mark-ups.

“Stamford believes that when guests stay in the region’s leading luxury hotels they deserve to enjoy all facilities without fear of overpricing and they deserve to be made to feel welcome and at home.”

Under the new telephone initiative, guests will be able to use hotel telephones to speak to friends and family in the UK or US, for example, for 10 minutes for under $5, up to 90 per cent less than is some hotels. Interstate rates have also been reduced, along with rates to all other overseas destinations.

“It’s well known that most travelers avoid hotel phones and mini bars because of the costs and common overpricing, and this hardly positions hotels as being hospitable and welcoming,” Mr Perry said. 

According to Mr Perry, as well as benefiting travelers wanting to stay in touch with friends and family, the telephone initiative will also mean huge savings for businesses.  “Stamford is the preferred hotel for many of the region’s top 500 corporations, and this sort of initiative, along with our other packages, can result in savings of tens of thousands of dollars in ancillary travel costs.

“Right now many of our corporate clients’ policy is for executives to use their mobile phones instead of hotel phones. It seems strange that the usually more expensive option of a mobile phone is viewed as more cost effective than a hotel landline. We’re taking the steps to change this,” he said. 

Stamford Hotels and Resorts will trial the new initiatives for the next three months, soliciting feedback from guests and the corporate sector, and will fine-tune the program based on guest responses. 

Throughout 2003 Stamford Hotels & Resorts introduced a range of innovative packages and services, including offerings such as free movies, a romance and seduction package, and competitive rates in key holiday periods. These, along with strong global sales partnerships and alliances, saw the Group double its global distribution system revenue in 2003 over the previous year.

“We will continue to create and implement service innovations throughout the Stamford Group that will directly benefit our guests,” Mr Ow said. “It is time the hotel industry thought about the true meaning of hospitality and found ways to innovate and improve, much as the airline industry has done over the past decade as they roll out personal entertainment systems, beds in business class and constantly improving menus and travel aids.” 

Stamford Hotels and Resorts has the region’s finest collection of luxury hotels including historical landmarks and waterfront properties. It is the largest and fastest growing owner and operator of exclusive luxury hotels in Australia and New Zealand, with clear plans for regional and international expansion. Among the properties are two of the region’s finest luxury hotels, in central Sydney and the exclusive Double Bay. The latter sits alongside an intimate boutique hotel in Sydney’s restaurant and shopping heartland. As well, there are luxury hotels in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland, complemented with resort style properties in Adelaide and Sydney’s North Ryde, and a five star hotel at Sydney Airport.

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Contact:
David G. A. Perry
Group Director of Marketing and Sales
Stamford Hotels and resorts
Telephone: 02 9770 7702
Mobile: 0413 806 533

 
Also See: Differentiate or Die, Says Stamford Hotels and Resorts Group Director of Marketing and Sales, David Perry / Aug 2003
Everyday Mini-bar Items Not in Vogue at Kimpton Hotels; Managers Seek the Creative Twist - Yo Yos, Local Microbrews / May 2003


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