The topic this month is the incredible impact, good or bad, that a hotel can have on guests, and the responsibility we have as hosts to do everything we can to honor and exceed their expectations. Among the earliest of hospitality stories was one particularly well-publicized episode just over two millennia ago, involving the turning away of a soon to be very well known family. If offered a “do over”, I suspect that Innkeeper would not have missed the opportunity to somehow improve the overall experience. The point of my story is that hotels are critically important; they often make impressions that last a lifetime, or longer!
If you have the wonderful fortune to own or work at a hotel, you are fortunate. Other than the medical profession, there is no other that has the potential to impact its customers any more significantly. Think about it. People come to hotels for all kinds of reasons. They might be on their “dream vacation”, one for which they saved a lifetime. Or, they might be in town to visit their first grandchild, or attend a family wedding. They might even be there to prepare for the most important job interview or business meeting of their lives. Perhaps, given the pace of our daily lives, they might just be celebrating their first weekend off in “awhile.” Or, maybe your guests are touring the USA, something that they dreamed of all their working lives, and now have the opportunity to do in retirement. Whatever the reason for their visit, it has the potential of being incredibly important to your guests, and you have the responsibility as a host to give it the attention it deserves.
This responsibility is the same regardless of whether the hotel is a five-star palace or a limited service freeway property. The basic expectations of the guest may change depending on the market segment, but the experience and the obligation on the host to make it a positive memory are the same at every level. Hotels have the opportunity each day to improve lives, maybe just a little, maybe life altering. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a world-class host.