Five Effective Ways to Make the Most of a Hotel Renovation
By John Ely Senior Vice President of Marketing, Signature Worldwide | June 17, 2012
I occasionally suffer from migraine headaches. They're brutal, with pain beyond most anything I've experienced, including many broken bones and bumps and bruises from playing sports. Why do I tell you this? Well, my migraines are sometimes brought on by stress, smells, or lack of sleep - of which I experienced all three during a recent stay at a hotel undergoing renovations.
I arrived two days early for my conference because I had a series of big presentations due that week, and I wanted to review them to ensure I was on track. I was told upon arrival that the entire hotel was undergoing a massive renovation. I had my choice of either being awakened early by demolition noise or I could stay in an area of the property that had recently been painted. I opted for the new paint, as noise was not a great option since I was trying to concentrate.
I got to my room and could certainly smell the distinct odor of fresh paint, but there was something else in the air too. With a trip down the hallway, I concluded that there was fresh carpet laid and the overwhelming aroma of glue permeated the place. I tried to stick it out in that room but by 3 a.m., the migraine had taken hold. In the morning, I asked to be moved to the "noisy" section.
Well, as you can imagine, that section was no better. During the first evening, I felt I had made a smart decision, but at 6 a.m., all positive thoughts were shattered when it sounded like someone was breaking through my wall! A bit of detective work uncovered workers removing old wall dividers in the room adjacent to mine. On my short trip back to my door, I wondered why I couldn't be residing in one of the other rooms at the end of the hallway.
At this point, I'm not sure if I was more frustrated and stressed out by the lack of sleep, the killer migraine, or the total lack of knowledge that I was staying at a construction site prior to my checking in. Had I known about the renovation, would I have still stayed? Yes, probably. But not knowing until the moment I arrived set my mood for the entire week.
This begs the question, "Can a hotel maintain the guest experience during a renovation?" Probably not at the same level as without the renovation, but it is possible to manage it much better than the example shared above! Let's face it - part of the customer's experience is the property and amenities. If they are not all available or exist in a state of disrepair, then the guest's tangible experiences will be lessened. However, there are ways to make the experience much more tolerable.