Friday, January 15, 2010

Top 5 Low Cost Improvements Hotels Can Make

I realize these are tight times for many hotel chains. The key ingredients that will differentiate a hotel property are attention to the basic details. What makes your hotel memorable over the others?

Have seen many hotels spend countless millions making architectural improvements yet still be lacking in the basics of how to impress their guests. Here I offer a few simple low cost impovements which would go far in a hotel reaching its' goal of attracting positive word of mouth and buzz (and adding to their bottom line).

1. Be Unique.
So maybe you are part of a chain of hotels that offer vanilla services. That may satisfy someome looking for a cheap room to sleep or do otherwise for one night. For the discerning traveler, that is not the case. They want a place to talk about where they've been, to remember about their trip, whether it is on business or part of a vacation about where they went. Spice it up some. Paint the walls an appealing color. Name each section something different that is tied to the history of the local area. Open a section of your lobby with old local ads and memorabilia of the area. Offer daily fresh cookies, produce, or locally made soaps/shampoo. Always emphasize locally made.

2. Parking.
If self parking is not available and valet parking is the only option, state it clearly (and give pricing on your website). If self parking is included then by all means list it on your website.

3. Be Thoughtful.
Have been to many hotels where it is a challenge to find an available electrical outlet. Many times these outlets are all being used by appliances in the room or behind bulky furniture. Consider having a power strip in every room for guests to hook their electrical devices to (iphones, cell, laptop, etc.). On checkin, provide guests with a map of your hotel with a map of the local area on the other side with restaurants and attractions noted that you recommend.

4. Everything In Its Place.
The TV remote control needs to be attached by velcro on top of the radio/CD player by the bed where it can be found easily. An extra measure, have cleaning people check the remote control to make sure the battery is good as part of their daily routine.

5. Offer Reliable Free Internet Access.
A hotel having reliable and free Internet access is a given in today's market unless you are in some remote mountainous region. And speaking of the Internet, make sure it works. Nothing frustrates more than hooking in after a long day and watching pages take forever to load or not at all.

I will add two final suggestions. Have friendly staff. It should be obvious, but I have been to some hotels where the staff acted as if they were bored to death and had no interest in their guests. And lastly, be hooked into social media with Twitter/Facebook and encourage guest interaction and feedback.

With these small simple steps, a hotel can think further outside the box and garner more guests and positive buzz.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 10:43 PM
Edited on: Friday, January 15, 2010 10:57 PM
Categories: Accommodations
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