Social and environmental forces are driving today the need for innovative practices and approaches to enhance and complement the welcome experience. In a very competitive industry, every hotel is looking for new practices to create a memorable welcome, giving the very best to each guest in the hotel and the destination.
In this article, we will examine what experts and managers revealed that really works to provide a better welcome, corresponding to the customers’ needs and the fast-pace changing environment.
The first impression is crucial
The arrival is fundamental. Outside the hotel and, most of all, when the guest gets into the lobby, “his hotel”, “his house”. In this particular moment, everything should be prepared to get the maximum of emotions and the luxury spirit.
The design and layout of the lobby updated and upgraded to get a contemporary lobby that combines the hotel’s message, the exterior environment and the guests’ comfort and wishes through interior design, the atmosphere, and service. The staff also offering an exceptional and friendly welcome with the right welcome attitude, tone and verbal traducing elegance and luxury.
Wow effect at all points of contact
The main thrust is to surprise and delight the guests at all the points of contact, with a need for a subtle balance of perfection, discretion and recognition. The direct interface employees is privileged from the arrival to the departure of the guests. Rather than suppliers, luxury hotels prefer to have their own staff and vehicle fleet. Airport representatives, drivers, butlers are then trained and dedicated to a personalized welcome.
Creativity is essential to give the guest the sense of being expected and desired. And giving the sense of pride is fundamental as guests “want to feel proud to be customer” in their preferred hotel, and have the personal feeling “that it is perfect for them” and they get here a unique personalized treatment.
Little touches, high personalization
A high trend in luxury today is the “Less is more”. It seems like the more money the guests have, the more excited they are by simple and authentic experiences. Impress the guests is thus not always pampering by throwing money on physical things, as wealthy people are used to it. The smallest or simplest gestures are those who create human connections and strong emotions.
For example, a lady came in a Luxury hotel and had everything perfect. But what made her experience memorable is that, when she was walking in the gardens with her friend, she smelled exotic flowers and was amazed. A personnel staff listened to her conversation and relayed the information. Then, every morning, she found in her room a bunch of these flowers especially for her.
Co-creation of local and authentic experiences
What touches the guest is also to live an extra-ordinary experience, something he cannot get in his daily busy life. The innovative practices are those who question the conventional and create a sense of awe for the guest. For example, being welcomed with a paragliding flight, or in a special luxury vintage car. Or keep the room as it was during the last stay, create unique experiences within the environment and at the contact with the local population (bake the bread with the artisan baker of the village, eat traditional dishes with a local family, get a simple picinic on the beach with fishermen…).
Timeliness and value for money
Saving time is luxury in a very stressful world. A good welcome is thus handling the guests’ constraints to let them relax or to share time with their family. This is called “discretionary time”, that is to say the time left where they can do something other than working or tackling after administrative tasks. Wealthy people are also more judicious when they get to spend their money. For example, Asian guests and young generation travelers, dislike to be taken advantage of and want to pay only if there is an added-value. They consider they have the right to get all what they want “all inclusive” as they have paid the extra price.