Executing 5 Star Service on a 3 or 4 Star Budget

By Cassie Hernandez Director, The Spa at The Broadmoor | July 14, 2013

In the world of the spa industry it goes without saying that how you execute your service is just as if not more important than the service itself. Being a 5 star property comes with its own rewards; however it also comes with an enormous amount of expectation. As my leaders always say, it's not the chandelier or the expensive furniture that our guests are going to remember, it's our people. The question always gets asked, what is the difference really between 5 stars, 4 stars or even 3 star properties. And the golden answer is not tangible.

It is not something you can put your finger on. It is a feeling, anyone can get once you enter the room. Of course the luxury behind the property is going to stand on its own, but there is more to it than that. It's the people. The warm faces that greet you when you enter, the happy smiles that are excited for you to check in, the inevitable pleasantries that are delivered to you with your morning meal, it all works seamlessly as a group to show you how grateful each and every employee is to see you. Any spa, business or hotel can have 5 star service with or without the plaque. You just need to want it bad enough.


It is the first sign of a wonderful property and spa to have. If you can deliver the teachings of gratitude to your staff, then they can begin to understand the meaning of delivering 5 star service. Being grateful by definition is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Philosophers have studied it for centuries, and religions have embraced it in practice, but to truly be grateful is not always easy. You will continue to have barriers and roadblocks, with staff members always reverting back to the mindset of "what about me!"

Having a team that is so focused on the "I" and not the "we", is going to be your most difficult hurdle. It is this concept that requires every organization to start showing gratitude to the staff first. Managers show your team members, CEO's show your managers and so on and so on. If we begin with the simplest gesture of all then the rest comes naturally. A humble and modest "thank you". And I don't mean the thank you that you say when running by someone or not looking them in the eye when you say it. I mean the honest, heartfelt and gracious thank you. Thank you for staying late, thank you for coming in on your day off, thank you for working the weekend to maximize our revenue. Just "Thank You". A mere thank you allows each and everyone one of us to feel validated for our work and our efforts.

Just like any good service, the delivery of your gratitude is just as important as the words you utter. Look the person in the eye, shake their hand, give them a hug, make sure he/she know that you are so appreciative of the work they do. It makes all the difference in the world when you want that same person to deliver flawless service. This gesture of good will costs nothing and you will see a huge turn around the moment it is implemented.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.