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.