The hotel experience does not simply begin and end when guests check into their room. It starts when they start researching a hotel’s amenities, location, and availability. It continues until the final bill is delivered, and in some cases, even longer.
Hotel guests want to feel like they are taken care of in every way possible. Ever read the most favourable reviews? Many of the comments attribute a positive experience to the “extras” a hotel provides. Whether that means extra attention, extra consideration, or a few extra toiletries when the guest forgets theirs, it is not unheard of to expect hotels to go above and beyond with hospitality gifts and impeccable service to provide a five-star guest experience.
Start off on the right foot by making sure you are equipped with the right kind of toiletries, amenities, and guest add-ons that will make a stay more pleasant. When it comes to hospitality, it is your guest’s hotel experience that counts the most. Whatever it is that makes your hotel stand out, make sure you capitalise on that as much as possible. This will result in not only happy guests, but loyal guests as well.
For example, if you are a boutique hotel, what you may lack in space can be made up for in customer service. If you’re a large, chain hotel, focus on leaving a personal touch and lasting impression for every guest who walks through the door. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with someone who is a world traveller or someone who is new to staying in hotels, you want every person to feel welcome and comfortable throughout their stay.
Listen to your guests when they leave hotel experience feedback, good or bad. They will tell you where you have had missteps, but they will also let you know what parts of your hotel they enjoyed most.
A concierge helps guests navigate their way around the facilities of the hotel, but also the attractions of the city. A well-versed concierge will help guests secure restaurant reservations, get discounts on local activities, or serve up recommendations for things to do in the city.
It is important that your concierge reflects a hospitable demeanour. Nothing is worse than an unprepared or unfriendly service. If your hotel doesn’t have a dedicated concierge, train your front desk staff to engage in conversation with guests in a way that makes them feel cared for and special rather than another customer in a room. Offer thoughtful gestures like a bowl of customised sweets to be taken upon check-in and check-out, so guests always arrive and leave on a sweet note.
As travellers, there’s most likely been a time when you’ve forgotten your toothbrush, razor, or some other small, but significant necessity for your trip. Rather than making guests track down a local shop to stock up on these items, you can have them readily available for their convenience in the room or at the front desk. It also can serve as a subtle way to incorporate your branding on some hotel promotional items, while still leave a lasting (and helpful) impression.
It doesn’t hurt to invest in some wholesale hotel amenities to always have on hand, such as pens and notepads with your logo for taking notes in the room, or even a small stock of customised umbrellas – an item that can come in handy if an unexpected spell of rain hits an unprepared traveller.
The mini-bar is often deemed a no-no for travellers who don’t want to spend a pretty penny for a chocolate bar. As such, a free bottle of water or small snack left for the guest’s enjoyment can make a big difference in their hotel experience.
Everyone likes a complimentary item, no matter how small it may be. Take this into consideration when you’re setting up the room for your guests. A notepad, keyring, or a tote bag can all serve as inexpensive hospitality gifts that will feel more welcoming. Make sure to customise these items to represent your brand, whether that is with a logo, slogan, or other memorable quote that will make you stand apart from your competition.
What’s special about your property, or is there something specific your destination is known for? Does your city make a local snack everyone loves? Is your city known for any seasonal treats? It’s nice to provide a small and homemade or handcrafted product to share with guests, if possible.
It’s also a good way to partner with local businesses to further integrate yourself as part of the community. For example, if you work with a bakery known regionally for their homemade scones, it’s a special touch to have a tray of their freshly baked pastries upon your guests’ arrival.
Even a bouquet of seasonal flowers special to your city says something about the destination and makes the lobby or guest room feel more inviting.
Business guests who hold conferences or meetings at your hotel usually require certain office supplies, such as pens, paper, and business card holders for networking, in addition to a variety of other essentials. Consider branding these items so they can serve two functions: convenience for guests and promotion for your hotel. Set up each seat with all the necessary supplies to ensure every guest leaves with your products in their hands.
Does your property have a hosted wine hour, special dinner, or social event every month? Events can range from a movie night to a food demonstration to an all-out themed party. Give your guests a night to remember with a fun DJ and signature cocktails. This also serves an opportune time to add a little bit of branding and offer hotel promotional items that work as party favours. Bottle openers or coasters can be small take-home souvenirs and act as a reminder of the fun they had at their stay in your hotel. In addition, put together a giveaway bag for a randomly-selected winner with gifts such as a wine bottle opener or coffee mug.
Whenever the occasion calls for it, make sure you are putting your hospitality promotional products to work. Promotion through products is a reminder to your hotel guests just how special your property is. When you provide convenience, comfort, and make them feel like their presence is welcome and appreciated, guests will reflect these positive feelings in return.
Make it a priority for your team to test out what is working, and switch up your promotional strategy to reflect your guests’ responses. It’s all about the hotel experience before, during, and after a person has stepped foot on to your property.
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