Dharmendra Rama is a successful hotelier and a very good friend of mine who has created a group of hotels which specialize in excellence. I have been speaking to him recently about what he believes makes a perfect hotel and what hotels and their management teams should be focussing on in order to maintain a great reputation. The hotel industry is packed at the moment and this means bigger competition and a greater need to create a great reputation in order to keep bringing customers through the doors. In terms of how to do this, here are Dharmendra’s thoughts on the most important aspects of running a hotel.
Fitting the Mould
Customers need to know what to expect when booking a hotel and they should have those expectations matched when they arrive. Far too many hotels try to be a jack of all trade sin their efforts to appeal to a wider customer base, when in reality they are better served picking a single theme and running with it. Whether the hotel is boutique, luxury, budget or family-orientated, that is how each aspect of their hotel should run. On budget hotels, this does not mean that they can get away with dirty or poorly serviced rooms, but rather a clean and secure space, which doesn’t feature the bells and whistles of a more expensive hotel.
When customers stay in a hotel they expect the highest levels of service and this is where many hotels fail. From the moment that the customer walks through the doors to the moment that they check out, they should be made to feel welcome and have help offered to them in all aspects of their stay.
One of the biggest complaints which customers make after staying at a certain hotel is that the description of the hotel on the company or the 3rd party website was not accurate. For this reason it is vital that the hotel is fully transparent in their description of what and who they are. If there are building works going on then this should be made clear, if the hotel is way out from the center of the action it should also be declared. False advertising may get customers through the door for a while, but once the negativity pours in this won’t last long.
A recent study showed that the top priority for customers staying in a hotel was not amenities or location, but cleanliness, something which has to be one of the most important aspects of running a hotel. Dirty bed sheets and towel, dust on furniture or bins that have not been emptied are not the way to impress customers who are paying money to stay in your hotels. If there is any cost cutting to be done in the hotel it should never be on cleaning staff and hotels have a massive responsibility to ensure that every corner of the hotel is gleaming.