Service in the Bedroom: Making Experiences Memorable
By Roberta Nedry President & Founder, Hospitality Excellence, Inc. | February 20, 2011
You have arrived, your moment of anticipation is here, you are about to open the door to your sleeping chamber for the night, also your temporary living quarters. You are about to experience perhaps the strongest impression making moment of your hotel stay. You have activated your contribution to the revenue per available room (REVPAR) of that property. You are entering-"the bedroom"
What do your senses tell you the moment you enter the room you have been given as a result of your reservation? What kind of experience will you have in this intimate space you will call "home" for the next period of hours or days? Will you be able to find your way around the room? What kind of service will you experience in the bedroom?
What makes the guest's room experience memorable? What are the dos and don'ts of bedroom service and how does each department/role of the hotel impact that intimate space?
It is never easy to arrive late in the evening to any hotel. The guest may be tired and probably grumpy and ready to crawl into bed. There have been at least three occasions in the past year when that grumpy guest has been me. After a long day of work, travel and transitions, I was ready for my rest. After checking in, it took me less than 10 minutes to unpack, wash my face, brush my teeth and jump into a soft, clean bed. That was the first time I relaxed and felt relieved knowing I was on my way to a well-deserved rest.
Little did I know that at 4am, the alarm clock would interrupt that rest and completely disrupt the euphoric state of REM sleep I had just reached. I woke up startled, disoriented, surprised and confused. I tried to remember what meeting I had, what commitment I had made, what reason I had for waking up at 4am. Then, after I was finally wide awake, I realized I had no reason and that the alarm had been set and left by the last guest. Now, I was angry. Why didn't housekeeping check the clock and especially the alarm to make sure my sleep would not be interrupted? Falling back asleep was not easy or peaceful from that moment on, especially since I could not wait to wake up and complain about this overlooked step. As I mentioned, this happened at least three times last year, and two of those occasions were on weekends, my free pass for a late sleep that was not to be.
Checking the clocks for accuracy, making sure a pleasant volume and station are on for the first time the guest opts to turn on the radio or alarm, making sure the alarm is not on when a new guest checks in and even cleaning the clock since dust seems to accumulate in the little crevices would seem to be part of basic steps in clock etiquette and bedroom service. Yet guests frequently exchange "alarm clock nightmare" stories that leave them feeling unrested and unhappy.