How Electronics Can Make Your Hotel a True Comfort Zone

By Kalen Willis Senior Interior Designer, Hatchett Hospitality | July 17, 2011

In our gadget-obsessed world, technology has grown from a convenient amenity to an essential element of every hotel's design and services. The challenge is to blend high-tech with high-touch – namely, to use cutting-edge science in a meaningful and memorable way that enhances every guest visit.

Let's look at nine ways you can meet that challenge, attract more guests, and justify higher room rates. Most of these are relatively easy and economical to consider for either new construction or renovation, although a few are more exotic, more expensive, and require considerable advance planning.

The Internet: Your First Impression

Guests used to get their first impression of a property when they arrived on-site and saw the hotel exterior or lobby. Today, opinions are formed much earlier and much quicker – typically on the web as travelers increasingly use their computers or smartphones to search for a hotel and to make a reservation.
Your website must tell your story visually and "sell" your property effectively, so invest in professional photography. Shots taken by a relative or friend at no charge may turn out to be a very expensive favor if they cause you to lose rather than attract business.

In contrast, strong photos will give visitors to your website plenty of reasons for becoming visitors to your property. You can use still shots or you can create a more dramatic video tour.
Whichever technique you select, your pictures should inform – by showing people what they can expect to see and to experience at your hotel, including:

  • The exterior, lobby, and public spaces
  • Various guest room types
  • Special areas such as meeting rooms, lounge, pool, fitness center, and meal service
  • Popular nearby attractions such as tourist sites, shopping areas, restaurants, beaches, and business districts
  • Airport transportation options such as taxi and shuttle services, with schedules
  • And be sure to include a map showing distances and transportation options to various destinations.
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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.