Opening the doors to your own hotel, bed, and breakfast or rental apartment complex can be a dizzyingly complex time as a business owner. Not only do you have to ensure that the rooms are up to standard, but for the length their stay in your establishment, you owe the guests a great experience.
Hotel standards across the country seem to be slipping, enough so that Gordon Ramsay has plenty of material for his new ‘Hotel Hell’ series, which features some incredibly dysfunctional hotel operations that started off strong. The major chain hotels are now so strong and so up-to-spec that most guests would prefer to use those because they are guaranteed uniformity and regularity in quality provided.
It’s important to understand why these hotels work so well. You, as a new independent, should take some inspiration from the following tips, if you’d like to gift your guest’s heaven and not the hell that might provoke Gordon Ramsay to show up at your doorstep with a camera crew.
Accurately Market Yourself
The guest’s potential stay begins the second they come across your website. If you don’t have an appealing hotel website design, you fall down at the first hurdle. If you’re not sure of how to host and design one of these, hire the professionals. Also, no matter how pretty your website is, you need to effectively and accurately promote the rooms. No fish-eye lens photographs here, please. Make sure that the guests know exactly what they are renting to dispel any potential complaints or negative online reviews.
You have a duty to your guests to keep their financial information safe, and the front door to the building locked at night, either allowing them to gain entry through a keycard system, or in older buildings, through a doorway attendant. Alongside security, you need:
At all times, someone must be available to answer the phone and satisfy and client requirements or questions that they might have (within reason.) An unattended desk at any time is not only unsafe for the guests who are trusting you with their spare room keys and financial information, but it also looks tremendously unprofessional. It is worth paying the extra salary, as well as a couple of support staff to make sure each night is a smooth experience.
There is no legal requirement to provide breakfast to your guests, but if you want to draw repeat business, it’s a good idea. Make sure you have a dedicated kitchen team who are duly qualified, even if this is one chef, to help satiate your morning guests.
In capitals for emphasis. Your rooms must be spotless, and must never, never, never give the client a reason to complain. Change the bed sheets daily unless otherwise instructed, and pay sharp attention to the bathrooms and behind the tricky-to-reach spots in the corner. Your cleaning team is arguably one of the most important teams in the hotel, so make sure you pay them good salaries and make sure the work they do is thorough.
With these tips in mind, the foundations will be dutifully set up for your guests to have a lovely experience at your establishment.