Hotels: It’s Not Just a Stay – It’s an “Experience”
Hotels have become more than a utilitarian solution to finding a place to lay your head for the night when you’re away from home.
Now competing with not just each other, or a favorite cousin’s extra bedroom, hotels are competing with the likes of Airbnb or couchsurfing.com. And like so many other companies in the new economy – modern hoteliers are trying to figure out exactly what consumers want.
We surveyed a range of news reports, studies and general articles to learn just that.
Experiences Mean More
Researchers have found that the Millennial generation (those born from 1980- 1996) value experiences over things. But don’t just feel that this just applies to only your Millennial customers. This can be applied in general to the over all hotel experience across all generations.
It used to be that “experiences” meant how well a hotel treated a guest: just a different word for customer service. Modern hotel design goes beyond the literal customer service sense of that definition and realizes that “experiences” include how your guests engage or interact with the actual room or hotel property.
The experience isn’t just human. It’s tactile. It’s visual. As ehotelier.com found, “luxury is not just about having a great looking interior, it has to feel good too.” From luxurious nap of your couches to the sheen of your bathroom fixtures, your customers “engage” and “relate” – judging your hotel every step along the way with every finishing, furnishing and floor covering.
Add A Little Flair
The trend towards classic, quality furnishings, rich textures, and intensely saturated colors provides a foundation. But this also gives you an opportunity to judiciously use color, culture and local flair to create interest throughout your hotel.
Think of your hotel color palate like a wardrobe: picking rich, high quality foundational items allows you to “splurge” on interesting aspects that make your hotel memorable.
One way to keep your hotel from looking like a cookie cutter of every other well appointed hotel is to take inspiration from your locale or local culture.
• Highlight local artists in your rooms and entry areas.
• If you’re near the beach, pull nautical elements such as sand or driftwood or sea glass into your decorating scheme.
• Even locally sourced, luxury bath products specially created for your hotel, say “luxury” in a way that speaks to your guests senses.
A Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name
As ehotelier.com has previously shared, “hotels are becoming destinations themselves.” So destination planning isn’t just thought of in terms of a locale or city (ie: Orlando) but rather in terms of the specific experience or care a traveler wants in that city. So for example, a family might say they want to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
Travel has always been a series of personal choices. Today – it’s even more so – and so personalization is key.
Another example of the convergence between personalization and luxury is in the hotel bar or restaurant. Lousy hotel restaurants are a thing of the past. Now hotels are making sure their restaurants are unique, extraordinary restaurants that even locals want to make as their own hang outs and haunts, often bringing in big name chefs to anchor that experience with extraordinary fare.
Personalization then becomes the name of the game: getting to know your clients and delivering exactly the experience they want and need. Customers are looking for highly personalized, luxurious experiences that still evoke a sense of comfort – and are comforting.
A hotel restaurant, as an example, might take “experience” to the next level with extraordinary meals made with high quality, local ingredients, that can be created and served table side or in room – incorporating the local flair with custom, direct table side service that allows the patron to engage directly with the master artisan chef.
By taking just a few of ideas, find new ways to incorporate more “experience” into your hotel, its restaurant and bar, and you too will find guests craving your unique brand.
Read More About Hotel Experiences:
- Branded Experiences: It’s More than Just a Logo
- Hotels: Create Spa-Like Get-a-ways… Just Don’t Unplug Too Much