Extra Sensory Hospitality to Capture and Keep Your Guest

The Sixth Sense - How to Win by a Nose

By Judith Jackson Founder, Judith Jackson, Inc. | November 27, 2016

The race is on. How can you differentiate your hotel or resort from other attractive, well positioned and advertised properties? All you have to do is bet on the senses of sight, sound, smell, hearing, and touch to keep your property on the inside track. And if your guest offerings include a spa, that could be your sensory triple crown. Science has proven that the human limbic system, located deep in the middle brain, is the seat of memory, learning and emotion. Turn that on and your guest will never forget walking into your lobby and being seduced by the subtle fragrance of sandalwood. Let's explore ways you can have your lobby, amenities, food and spa "kidnap" guests' senses from the moment they step into your sensory haven…and, upon checkout, begin planning their return.

Real estate brokers have long agreed that it is easier to sell a house if the prospective buyer is greeted by a homey smell – perhaps apple pie spices. Once the limbic system is awakened, the buyer is more attentive, less stressed and more likely to fall in love with the property. Can this reaction alert other senses – even that mysterious "sixth sense" which comes from the same deep place as your "gut feeling?" Yes, indeed it can. Read on.

An important consideration when planning to capture your guests by their senses is to understand that no two individuals have the same sensory response. Too little or too much music, fragrance, heat, AC, lighting, decor etc. can have the opposite effect of what your property aims to achieve. A solution to this dilemma is to round up a group of Testers who fit a general profile of your guests – including a child or two. Children are usually outspoken and should be considered if yours is a "family" hotel. Have a trusted member of your staff accompany this sensory safari to listen to comments and to take notes.

Since we are discussing five senses - plus the mysterious sixth in this article- and the limbic system dabbles in emotion and learning as well as smell, did you know that beauty salons and barbers try to flatter their clients with both lighting and mirrors? Having owned and run four spas – three of which had full service salons – I well know the value of light and reflection that takes a few years off the image. Go into your hotel's bathroom and turn on the light over or next to the sink mirror. Do you like what you see? If you want your 50 plus guest – male or female - to return, I suggest you be guided by your own response.

Let us now consider facilities and services offered by your property that would be logical targets for sensory fulfillment. This could increase business and add to your bottom line. In-house would include restaurants, spa, and gym. If you have the grounds or are a resort, you can extend your sensory field – literally.


Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Coming up in May 2019...

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.