Here are10 Basic Things a Hotel Must Offer Guests. Hoteliers and hotel employees: pay close attention to ensure your hotel can deliver on these guests expectations.
1.Cleanliness: This is an absolute must. Hotels, not matter whether a Red Roof Inn or a Bulgari resort, need to uphold the highest cleanliness standards ensuring clean public spaces, bathrooms, bedrooms and amenities. An important initiative, recycling, while key, must not give way to a lack of hygiene and hotels must ensure that all staff maintains the highest level of cleanliness throughout the property.
2. Adequate safety/security : A hotel serves, for many, as a home away from home. With that comes a hefty expectation for the most diligent safety and security measures. Many hotels are now focusing on providing personalized safety and security measures for different guest profiles such as women, children and the elderly. This aspect again permeates all hotel categories and cannot be compromised on. Technology is now playing an increasing role in providing better safety, however some guests still place more importance on the human element.
3. Internet: Guests who visit any and all types of hotels demand some level of internet. Hotels who position themselves as business hotels must offer the highest level of internet, along with technology connectivity and flexibility. Furthermore, at many hotels if not all, guests expect internet to be a complimentary amenity. For some, it's as necessary as breathing air.
4. Bed Comfort: At the end of the day, a hotel serves a very basic need. A place to rest your head. That rest can only be had if the bed is of good quality, is clean, well maintained, and well-designed. Technology todays allows for a plethora of bed types from the adjustable bed, box bed, air bed, etc. The bed also needs to be well positioned in the room to allow proper circulation. Some hotels take the liberty of being creative with the pillow and blanket offerings, which is great as long as the guest feels comfortable with the choice available to them.
5. Bathroom Plumbing: The reason this is highlighted as "plumbing" as opposed to just a "good shower" or "hot water" is because this concerns the entire bathroom. Hot water is of no use if it is just trickling down and lack of proper water flow from the sink and toilet is a significant burden and inconvenience to any guest staying in any hotel category. All guests should expect clear potable water, proper and continuous hot running water in the shower, flowing water in the sink and toilet, and no leaks.
6. Attentive Phone Answering: We all know hotels have a standard ‘"answer the phone in three rings." Unfortunately, this does not happen as often as we would like and if it does, sometimes it is just to an agent who does not have the information but is rather there to just answer the phone…so on to another transfer! No matter what the hotel classification, the property must assign a qualified agent who is able to effectively and efficiently answer a guest’s questions and concerns or refer them to the appropriate department only if absolutely necessary.
7. Lighting: This is a pretty big issue across a lot of hotels. Most don’t offer adequate lighting in the hotel rooms and it is a hassle for all guests across the board. From bathroom lighting to bedside lamps, hotels need to offer adequate lighting as it serves to enhance the guestroom experience and provide a sense of security.
8. Aroma: Upon entering a hotel and the hotel room, the smell of the property significantly impacts the first impression of the stay. Guests are often sensitive to newly created hotel "signature" scents or stale smells from carpets and bathrooms, which can considerably impact the guest’s perception of the quality and cleanliness of a hotel.
9. Simple, tasty food: The availability of F&B outlets varies based on the hotel service level. However, certain offerings such as a hot, convenient breakfast are a basic offering that really adds to a guest experience. Even starting hotel categories could be conveniently located next to an all-day diner, which caters to hotel guests. Access to an efficient, affordable and tasteful breakfast is almost always a plus and a must for hotel guests.
10. Check-in/Check out: Nowadays, a front desk check in/out experience varies greatly. From pod check-ins to a personalized iPad check-in, the initial welcome to a hotel is constantly evolving. While these advances and changes are exciting and unique, hotels need to stay focused on certain elements of a check-in/check-out process that really impact a guest stay.
A) Clear direction: A guest should know what to do or where to go when they enter the hotel or come down to the lobby
B) Convenience – Whether it is an iPad or a front desk agent, a guest should have immediate access to a source to handle their check-in/check-out and be able to sort any billing issues out promptly
C) Consistency – No matter what the process of interaction, the hotel must be able to offer the exact same experience every single time so that the guest develops a sense of comfort and confidence with the hotel.
My last point, service, does not warrant a number because it is the most basic requirement of any hospitality establishment. A Sanskrit saying, "Atithi Devo Bhavah" meaning "the Guest is God" is perhaps a more pronounced way of underlying how to treat guests. Although hotels are evolving and unique hospitality offerings are being created, guests should always come to expect certain "basics." No matter what the hotel, from a luxury Four Seasons to a budget Premier Inn, all guests should expect a warm welcome, a friendly face, attentive service, heartfelt thanks and know that the hotel is their "home away from home."
[Photo: Ken E. Lee/Flickr]