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10 easy upgrades every great hotel should think of

Luxury is so in the small details that sometimes can be easily forgotten and misunderstood by accommodation hosts – hotels, hostels and airbnb included. My definition of luxury means something you can’t put a price on. Or call it a double ‘P’ – Pretty Priceless. It’s not about the money anymore though about that little unforgettable detail experience. We often believe that some extra attention is exclusive from the 5 star top luxury hotels and this is a huge mistake. And you’re falling behind in the hospitality world if you’re stuck into this thought.

Finding opportunities to improve, instigating brand awareness and engaging everytime there’s an opportunity with your customer won’t cost nothing and in return you’ll have both loyalty and word spreading (which money can’t definitely buy) meaning = revenue. It’s a win win strategy.

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Treat your guest as if your best friend were visiting you in town for the first time and you’ll see how powerful is the true world-of-mouth. It’s not about selling rooms anymore – or you’ll have sleepless nights counting the days of your business. This is not for any specific hotel/accommodation category but exclusively to the ones looking for the simplest yet memorable guest experience.

#1. B2B

B2B in this case means Back-to-Basics and not Business-to-Business. What was one of the very first things you accomplished in school that made you run till home to show off your new skill (your first little kiss don’t count here)? Your full name. That’s right. That’s the one thing we always react no matter what. I’ll never forget that very first moment when I entered in a hotel and the doorman opened the door welcoming me using my name. Now I know how Obama feels. Hot tip: Aside from the normal tools, use your photography memory and present your guest with this little kind, polite and memorable treat everytime you can.

#2. The waiting game

In the technology/app era, why on earth is the check-in and check-out such a big pain in the… ? Flexibility is key nowadays and very much appreciated. I once visited a hotel in Thailand with a 24-hour rule, meaning checking-out only 24-hours after the check-in. Before that you can waive the do not disturb flag. Hot tip: Anticipate as much as you can the check-in process and think about keyless options. I still got a magnetic key-bracelet (to open the hotel room) from my past vacation.

#3. KISS rule

It sounds impossible but I still find accommodation places with no Wifi or only under payment. This is the most basic required asset to have nowadays. And don’t let the guest ask for the password, give it promptly in advance, you can even play with it and make it personal, memorable and if possible fun. A good friend of mine used to tell me this KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule in every situation and I must admit it was equally annoying as effective. Create a password / official hashtag to be used. The coolest password I found? YesICan. Imagine… “Can you give me the password please?”. I’m still laughing. Hot tip: Avoid complex passwords and why not offer a lollipop or a bonbon wrapped with the username/password in it?



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#4. What’s this smell?

Smell is the first thing you sense when entering in a room. What if it smells bad? Basically, it will compromise and set the tone of your experience because then you’ll start wondering if it smells bad, the bathroom might not be so well cleaned, the sheets not so white, who was the last person here (…) and no one enjoys feeling like the second visit. We want to feel smellcomed. It’s the most basic comfort tool which immediately puts us in or out our comfort zone. Hot tip: Find a universally likeable scent that matches your brand/place, without being too-much-in-your-face type and make guests feel relaxed.

#5. My bag is kind of empty-ready

You can’t imagine the amount of amenities I’ve been seriously collecting from my hotel stays (#hoarderhustling). My drawers are happily screaming already!  And like me, a huge percentage of visitors do the same. But, it’s time to step up and realize that amenities are one of the most valuable branding tools, lasting in our minds for a long time and I can guarantee that no one forgets a one-of-a-kind amenity. But whatever you do, try to keep it local. Hot tip: Find that one thing your guest might forget at home (a pair of comfy socks or a hydrating lipstick with SPF?) or something so unexpected that rapidly turns memorable (a fresh mint chewing gum pack?).

#6. Who’s who?

Nowadays, it’s definitely a bad excuse saying you don’t know your client. I’m sure I was not the only kid playing that Guess Who game (but I got so addicted that ended up spoiling the other kids’ turn all the time). All this to say that this is a mandatory skill to be developed and applied to your guests. With the booking reservation, only by the name of your guest, you can find loads of info on the web and please make the best use of social media in your advantage. Hot tip: Google is definitely your best friend here and search like a professional stalker.

#7. Life & Style together

More than ever, we are in the free & low era. Sugar-free, low-fat, gluten-free, low-carb, lactose-free and the list goes on. So it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever assuming everyone drinks alcohol, love sugar or eat gluten. So be smart with your welcome or turndown gift and use it to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Why not going for a natural flavored water or a bag of freshly made popcorn (cooked the healthy way)? Make the best use of seasonal products. Hot tip: Play with the open bar and put unexpected stuff in there – carrot sticks or some fresh berries #cantgetanyfresherthanthis.

#8. I’ve got the power!

Snap knew best when wrote this song. Everything is valid here: adapters, cables, chargers and avoid the solo iPhone route – hello Android! Put at disposal to be used and you’ll be thanked for the gesture. Dead cellphones represent a major buzz-killer in any trip. Hot tip: No need to have endless cables, there are other resourceful solutions available such as the 3-in-1 universal USB charging cable that might fit everyone’s shoe.

#9. That little special request

It’s definitely proven that breakfast plays a huge part in the accommodation overall experience. It’s that one thing everyone has always high hopes on. If it’s good, it’s memorable, if it’s bad it’s a no-go next time. In case you can’t have a full table breakfast (totally understandable), stay fresh and avoid saying you don’t take any customized order. Hot tip: Have at least one thing that can be served upon request, whether is a 2 to 2,2 minutes soft boiled egg, oatmeal with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon or a freshly squeezed juice.

#10. 24-hour best friend

When visiting a place besides our home, we like to feel comfortable and tend to find someone to be relied on, even if only for a dinner suggestion or to know where is the closest pharmacy in case of an emergency. It’s part of human nature searching for our comfort zone and as hosts, that’s our role – create the ultimate trustworthy playground. Hot tip: Don’t be afraid of assigning someone (or even yourself) with name and contact to personal assist with specific requests.

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