Hospitality to the Rescue

By Judith Jackson Founder, Judith Jackson, Inc. | October 23, 2016

After the first stay, does your guest remember your property as "The Hotel Rescue"? Is your guest more refreshed when leaving than upon arrival? When you planned your guest facilities and services, were they designed to be genuinely unisex? Does everything in the room work – like thermostat, wall plugs and light bulbs? Is the clock set to the correct time? Is the television remote easily located? If the answer is yes, have you checked all of them lately?

Be sure you and your management team are building your brand, occupancy and enthusing your staff by a hands-on approach to rescuing your guest from hospitality neglect and the aches, pains and fatigue they may bring with them.

When I decided to create my own spas on land and sea, I had a definite plan for providing my clients with and ESCAPE from stress and every day challenges to wellbeing. From the moment the door was opened they inhaled a calming fragrance, saw relaxing pastel shades of blue, green and coral spiked by the shimmer of silver, and heard nothing but low, soothing music.

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Transporting guests to a "Zen" state of mind

At the desk the client was greeted by warm and efficient check-in. In my land spa – in Westport, Connecticut -- as the guest sat down on the aqua velvet covered sofa, the view through floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooked the Saugatuck River. A pitcher of cool, lemon/lime water and the latest women's interest magazines were on the large, round glass-topped coffee table. The only problem was that clients so cherished this experience that they would come to their appointments half an hour early just to relax in our reception area. That was a good problem to have when they browsed and bought from our retail display.

The point is, give your guest a break from a world that too often makes one feel nobody cares. My message to you, Dear Reader, is CARE! Let's face it, we all want to be loved. This approach to hospitality takes more thought and effort, but there are practical as well as emotional rewards for you and your staff – not to mention your guest.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.