Luxury Touchpoints Are Not Just for the Leisure Traveler
By Dana Orlando General Manager, Hotel Ivy | September 10, 2017
"It is attention to detail that makes the difference between average and stunning" - Francis Atterbury
Group business is a wonderful driver of market share in all tiers of our industry. The ability to understand the details of luxury touchpoints can be an important competitive advantage. I hope to share a few stories and examples of how applying the disciplined approach to crafting luxury touchpoints can create tremendous energy, increase group market share and achieve authentic guest engagement.
The reasons I love leading luxury hotels and resorts are many. Hotel companies are continually seeking to understand and define what the discerning traveler desires and how to deliver at a level of creativity and consistency that exceeds expectations. I like to define touchpoints as any product or moment experienced by the guest, specific to a hotel or resort landscape. Our goal, as leaders, is to understand what these touchpoints or opportunities for interaction are and then to architect the experiences at an elevated level at every one of these defined opportunities. The best international luxury hotel brands have done a tremendous job of understanding touchpoints that pertain to the individual leisure traveler.
I will discuss how applying the same disciplined approach to creating luxury touchpoints for the leisure traveler can create magic for the meeting planner, corporate or incentive group, and their individual participants. When the brilliant sculptor, Michelangelo, was asked how he carved the masterpiece known as David from a raw slab of marble his answer was simple. He said, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David." It is with creating truly memorable experiences for groups choosing to invest their time and money at a high-end hotel or resort that we exceed their expectations and cultivate loyalty. Our quest is to make the group experience, as a whole, and for each individual, a masterpiece. We "chip away" to create this experience with tools known as luxury touchpoints.
There are, literally, countless opportunities to focus on, especially as it pertains to the exceptional execution of a meeting or event at a luxury hotel. The most basic touchpoints include an immaculate hotel in addition to hiring and training hotel employees that are friendly and understand what it means to have the heart of a servant. At the luxury level, there is an expectation that hotels be in unique destinations with a strong sense of place.
Our group clients expect to see touchpoints that include a higher quality of linen, china, glass, silver, and culinary creativity. Technology, fast, easy to use Wi-Fi, and state of the art audio visual, are a must. As important as these are, I would like to share three touchpoints that are often overlooked, but can create very loyal group guests for life: Empowerment, "procovery", and discipline.