I love hotels, I love looking at photos of guestrooms in the same way as some people salivate over recipe books. I have worked in hotels as has my daughter so this got me thinking…if I owned a hotel.
To begin, I would realize that the most important people in my hotel are the housekeepers. It does not matter how great the facilities are or luxurious the spa. If the guestroom is unkept, in any manner, I’m not coming back. Period. If the room is really run down, I’m not coming back and I’m telling everyone I know about it. I want to walk into my guestroom and see no evidence that anyone has been there before. No left over trash, no hairs in any location, no dust on any surface. I can forgive the sully person at the front desk, the concierge who does not call back, my breakfast missing my bacon but not stains, in any shape or form.
I have been warmly greeted at the front desk of a 2* hotel and ignored at a 5* resort. Working at the front desk requires patience & kindness. Some people are just not cut out for this job and my hotel will recognize these people and remove them from dealing with my guests. I expect a smile at the bare minimum and polite conversation if there is time. I expect my guests to feel welcomed & special to be booking into my hotel. This costs my staff nothing to achieve except time. My staff must be up to date with all specials and promotions including general knowledge of the area.
I would rent my dining room to experienced restaurateurs and let them deal with this end of the business. I would deal with breakfast only & keep a small room service menu. I am not a restaurateur, I am a hotel owner. My job is to sell my guestrooms not dining tables.
I would spend a lot of time on the never ending maintenance of all the public areas, guestrooms, air & heating units etc. Boring but a stitch in time, saves nine. I would include wireless Internet, breakfast, local calls, decent size toiletries, enough towels, bottled water for each guest and lots of clear reception TV channels in the price of my guestroom. I would approach local business within my area and get great samples of their products for my guests. Attached with their business card, of course.
I would not care about any rating system. In my mind, this only means that a hotel has more in house facilities that I do not have. For example, you cannot get a 5* if you don’t offer a swimming pool, spa, exercise room, business facilities etc. I would concentrate on my guest. I would build my business with every guest that leaves. If a guest is happy, they will tell 5 people, if they are unhappy, they will tell 20. I will follow up with each guest via email and invite them to contact me, I would keep an email list and offer specials, I would read what my former guests are writing about me online and respond to everyone. I would make my website easy to navigate with a quick booking system.
Obviously, I would have accountants, bookkeepers, IT, middle managment, grounds, maintenance people and more to deal with but my guest does not care and they pay my bills. So I will take very good care of the people that make my guests stay an exceptional experience. I will reward them accordingly. As should you, so the next time you are leaving your room, please leave a tip behind, not your dirty sock.