Hospitality & Luxury, We need to rethink!
Just some thoughts, from a Hotelier!
By Nicolas Frangos, Forward Thinking Hospitality Executive
In the Hospitality Industry the main goal is guests' ultimate satisfaction, their expectation to receive it and our way of delivering it! So have we gone off track, trying to correct the situation with discounts, clever and catchy promotions and wasting marketing money? It's time to reconsider what makes a memorable experience, as guests are becoming more discerning, more experienced, more aware and no longer swayed by our claims of value, and therefore they are becoming more demanding?
Thoughtful hoteliers need to serve up their aces to their guests in such creative ways, being inspirational providing signature class services, tingling "invitees" senses, from the time the guests arrive to the time they bid adieu.
We have to get a step further than the expected, tried and now seemingly ordinary set of "luxury" amenities such as bathrobes, handmade soaps, natural fabric mattresses, branded speakers, Television or the clock and radio, 60 channels in various international languages, complimentary newspapers from around the world, have actually become quite common for an outstanding luxurious property,
We need to set standards for experiential excellence!!
Somme ideas below:
- Develop a statement signature fragrance for your property and for its rooms &suites.
- Offer your guests crisp linen, mists and sleep balms.
- Introduce a dedicated Fragrance Butler who serves up a fragrance menu tailored for Lady guests and for Gents.
- Appoint an inspired tea & sparkling water sommelier for your afternoon high tea service.
- Establish among with your 24 hrs in room dinning an on call in- room mixologist with a selection of cocktails for all tastes.
- A "sleep" butler who will be well-armed to combat any situation, that the modern, hectic, stressed way of life has "offered" us with a list of curative cocktails, sparkling and coconut water and savory snacks – a different pillow menu : water-filled version, NASA-designed Swedish Memory Foam version, a foot body cushion or an iPod-ready lullaby pillow, aromatherapy bath products, comforting treats like warm milk, cookies and calming teas, sleep mask, lavender linen oil etc……..
- In-room spa treatments (the hotel's masseur/masseuse star available on call) and a specialty anti-oxidant menu.
- Offer a personal shopper & customized concierge service.
- Better organize your private Chef services.
- And the list goes on……….
To offer outstanding service, a luxury property needs great TEAM, both management and front/back of the house employees, with emotional intelligence. This means intuitive people sense, empathy, and genuineness and……… of course the hospitality personality, the face of the property, "the Maestro" this goes further than cheerfulness, what is needed is graciousness, kindness, humor and savoir faire, a Hotelier with cosmopolitan flair and originality, both, essential ingredients of the recipe to offer even more awe-inducing hospitality moments to "invitees"!
Our people is our strength! we also need to rethink on how we could improve our recruiting & training methods "train both, recruiter and trainer"! and avoid making costly hiring mistakes. For the recruiters to learn how to read between the lines to determine real competence Vs fluff. Identify the essential human competencies which are necessarily requested in the extremely sensitive world of hospitality: charisma, quality, attitude, behavior, sensibility, enthusiasm, passion.
We'll also need a particular level of expertise, knowledge and functional skills, but before all we need Imagination which is more important than knowledge, what will make us stand out from everyone else is our values and characteristics that define how we operate, think and contribute. Hotel Owners and Operators have to invest, and provide us with the necessary "funds", on what is missing Inventive People!
In conclusion we can say: "when love and skills work together then expect a masterpiece"
Exceptional service is about making difference and creating magic!!!