Hotel Online  Special Report

Major Hotel Operators Have Rediscovered Hospitality Fundamentals by Revisiting the Guest Room


By John R. Hendrie, CEO, Hospitality Performance, Inc.
July 6, 2004


Well, the “Majors” have done it again.  They have rediscovered Hospitality Fundamentals by revisiting the guest room.

In print and television, the consumer is no longer battered by the flash, pizzaz and glitter for their travel dollars.  Rather, we are now shown the “glamour” and receptivity of a wonderful, welcoming, warm bed, home-like furnishings and restful color schemes.  Quite a turnaround in marketing strategy, but, after all, at the end of the day, we travelers do spend significant time in our guest room, and it should be comfortable, tasteful, clean and safe – a return to Hospitality basics.

All Hospitality operators need to pay attention to what leading hotel companies, such as WESTIN, Radisson, Sheraton and Hilton, are doing and demonstrating in the marketplace.  They have the marketing clout to research, in-depth, Guest Satisfaction and expectation, gather reliable data, and present to the public what their research has uncovered.  For this round, the results show that the consumer wants a Quality Experience in their room.  And, you know what, they are right!  One large hotel concern, WESTIN, even has beds and appropriate linens for sale on their Website, and these products have become a new cottage industry for them.  Talk about Branding!

What can we, those without the resources of the “Majors”, learn and apply, for the consumer has spoken with specific expectations in mind, and we must deliver.

Firstly, in the parameters of your own guest room, suite, cottage or time share condo, fully reconsider your beds, your furniture, and, especially, your bathrooms.  Spend a night, yourself,  in one of your beds. Sit upon your couches and chairs. Use your bathrooms and experience what your guests experience anew.  If you are not satisfied, neither will be your guests.  Take a hard, objective look at the following:

  • Is the room absolutely CLEAN with no stains, wear, soil, peeling paper, paint chips, gauges, dents and dings?
  • Are the furnishings in excellent shape with no rips, frays, burns or spills?
  • What of the ambiance of the room, the lighting you have chosen, the color scheme, the guest room door security, the window privacy, the soundproofing, and ample closet space?
  • Is the television in good working order, accessible with remote on hand; are guest room informational materials present and presentable?
  • Are there unsavory odors, or simply the wrong aromas wafting about the room, bath or hall?  Do the heat and A/C work satisfactorily?
  • Lastly, is the bathroom.  Housekeeping must be spotless; the tub/shower/jacuzzi in excellent condition; the toilet immaculate; the sink/vanity area commodious; floors, walls and ceiling sparkling; lighting generous; ventilation sufficient; and bathroom supplies and linen abundant.
This is merely the beginning of a checklist for you, because your guest looks at the above inventory and more, and you either meet and deliver the expectations or not.  Live the experience yourself, for you may be surprised. Self-Assessment is not always self-fulfilling!

The “Majors” have given us a heads-up with a clear message to return to the basics.  The fundamental, quality Hospitality Product is what the consumer demands, and they should.  We have grown lax in our responsibilities to the guest, and we need to recognize our obligation, for this translates directly to Guest Satisfaction and your Bottom Line. 

By John R. Hendrie, CEO
Hospitality Performance, Inc.

Also See: Destination Marketing 101: Take Care of Mom / John R. Hendrie / June 2004
Service Unions Combine, Presenting Huge Challenge to Hospitality Industry / John R. Hendrie / March 2004
What Value Quality? Most Hospitality Operators Use the Term “Quality” In their Advertising. What Exactly Does that Mean? / John R. Hendrie / April 2004

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