Novel Trends in Hotels: Shaping a New Guest Experience

By Philia Tounta General Manager, Apokoros Club Hotel & Villas | August 12, 2018

What's the major trend in hospitality industry you're seeing these days? Well, when it comes to the hospitality industry, trends can be both temporary and eternal. With the ever increasing amount of tourists worldwide the state of tourism has developed. Main tourist attraction areas include cities bordering on the coastlines and islands of course. In order to accommodate all the arrivals there are widely known hotels available but as of late it has expanded to include the developing trend of different types of hotels.

Boutique Hotels

To simply state a boutique hotel is a small hotel with a smaller amount of rooms than usual but with a more personalized service.  Nearly 40 years after the birth of the boutique hotels movement in the U.S., this trend transformed the way of travel. Nowadays, nearly 40 years after Bill Kimpton opened his first hotel and Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell opened theirs just three years later, boutique hotels remain an instrumental, and often crucial, influence on the way we experience hotels, and the way we travel. What started with scattered hotels on the two coasts of the United States is now a major and still growing sector of the hospitality industry. At the moment, every big hotel company has its own version of a "boutique" brand, and there are plenty more boutique hotels being added every year, and not just in major cities anymore.

The traveler need; that is driving this gigantic demand and growth in boutique hotels is the increased pursuit for authenticity, experiences and wellness. A known OTA lists "mind, body and soul" in its eight big travel predictions. It says, "in a hectic world people are increasingly seeing travel as a way to bring balance back into their lives. Almost half (48%) see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices." Hotels that offer a product or elements of a product that caters to this need are experiencing demand.

Improving and enhancing hotel products to address this audience taps into this requirement. Attentive design is no more something exclusive to boutique hotels. Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton are altering their outdated design bequests. Whether a hotel is ultra-luxury or just budget, guests expect it to look good, and feel good. Hotels don't really need deep pockets for a good design. After all design is personal taste and has always played a significant role in hospitality; especially defining hotel's brand and character.

There are "boutique hotels" with extra-ordinary deco & design such as the Emerson Spice in Zanzibar, the Hotel Henriette and the Hotel Original in Paris, the Hotel Zoku in Amsterdam and the list is unlimited. Surroundings have a profound effect on guest's mental state. If they are going to spend some time relaxing in a hotel, for instance, the details are important to them. In such cases, it's not just about having a clean room; it's about the superior feeling guests get in an atmosphere that is aesthetically pleasurable and well-decorated.

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.