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Ostrich effect – part II

This week at Millbrook Contract Beds, we've been thinking about the hazards of sticking our heads in the sand when it comes to disgruntled guests. In particular, those hazards can be manifested in stinging online reviews, some of which are plain unfair.   And, this is where the ostrich effect once again comes into play as it turns out even the ostrich itself is the victim of unfair press...   Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand: the myth probably originates from the bird’s defensive behaviour of lying low at the approach of trouble and pressing their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. Their plumage blends well with sandy soil and, from a...

Ostrich effect, part I

No hotel can afford to keep its head in sand when it comes to disgruntled guests.   Gone are the days when a difficult guest leaves and staff breathe a sigh of relief that they didn't actually unleash hell at reception. Nowadays all that means is that they're about to unleash hell online, in social media or within review sites; the effects of which will be more long lasting and damaging to your business than a few ruffled reception staff.   So much has changed and, yet, so little has changed in terms of the best way to smooth things over with a displeased guest. The key is to train and empower staff to deal with problems BEFORE guests leave. Have a plan in place...

Boutique unique

This month The Telegraph unveiled it's list of the 50 best boutique hotels in Europe. Compiled by the Telegraph Travel experts, the article describes boutique hotels as 'the catwalk models of the accommodation world'. Read the article in full at The Telegraph now and pick your next holiday from their list of dazzlingly intriguing and glamorous hotels. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/articles/best-boutique-hotels-in-europe/ While boutique hotels - and catwalks for that matter - are seen as the pinnacle of glamour, what they really stand for is a design-centric approach. An uncompromising commitment to a design vision is just that: uncompromising. In hotel terms, an uncompromising vision won't necessarily cater to everyone's taste or accommodation needs. You won't find a boutique hotel providing anything close to a large chain's one-size-fits-all flexible...

First impressions

Nothing beats a positive first impression. Whatever your line of work, this mantra almost always applies, and it certainly applies in the hospitality industry.   In terms of physical space, a hotelier's best opportunity to make a first impression is in the hotel lobby. Your guests enter your hotel and they are naturally anxious to realise whether they've made the right choice in booking your hotel. A hotel lobby is the place to provide that initial reassurance that your brand and your brand experience match the experience promised to them on the website or booking portal.   And hoteliers are investing big in lobbies.   Most people in the industry will know of some of the methods being used to wow guests in some of...

Old and new

We Brits can be a bit of an anomaly when it comes to our hotel habits and preferences.   We like contemporary notions and nods to modern styling in the decor, fixtures and fittings of our hotel rooms. But there are some traditional aspects and etiquettes that will never go out of fashion for us.   For instance, a lot of hotel guests like modern breakfast spreads that include healthier options and a more sophisticated cuisine than a fry up. But, don't get carried away with all the green tea, most Brits will still expect to be able to order a classic English breakfast tea (to be served to them in a teapot, never a mug).   Guests love sleek and smooth modern surfaces, but...

Be amazed

 Being amazed is nothing short of a modern day obsession.   Whether you want your Facebook page or Instagram account to be jam packed with 'amazing' photos that help identify your personal brand, whether you want your children's childhoods to be punctuated by 'amazing' experiences to inspire who they become or whether you're in search of that 'amazing' career that lets you be who you are, few people aspire to have an unremarkable life.   If our lives are amazing at no other time, the least we might hope for is to save up some amazement for our holidays and travel time. If we're going to travel the world, or even travel cross country, if we're going to spend our life savings, or even just...

Your slice of the pie

Apple and blackberry pie? No. Banoffee pie? No.   Fruit and cream pies may be a regular feature of your hotel or guest house menu but, on this occasion, we're thinking of a much bigger pie.   Visit Britain is a hugely valuable resource for anyone working in the U.K. hospitality industry, particularly so in terms of the wealth of data and market insights available. These insights can help you to appreciate whether your business is performing in line with market data, i.e. whether you're getting your slice of the pie.   Data is collated from a continuous International Passenger Survey run by the Office for National Statistics and, with data available on up to February 2017 on visitbritain.org at time of writing, you'll be...

How instagrammable is yours?

The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo in California has been dubbed the world's most instagrammable hotel.   According to an article by Caroline McGuire for thesun.co.uk, the Madonna Inn holds the unofficial title for its range of quirky rooms which, despite what you may assume, have nothing to do with the queen of pop. Each room is lavishly designed and adorned to kitsch perfection to create a collection of 110 uniquely ostentatious rooms.   Read McGuire's full article and view images here https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/3209347/the-fabulously-kitsch-madonna-inn-has-different-themes-in-each-room/ - or, of course, you can check it out on Instagram.   But what does it mean for your hotel to be Instagrammable?   If you're illiterate when it comes to all things social media, being popular on Instagram simply means you...

Clean sleep

Some hotels pride themselves on their housekeeping, boasting high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in their rooms and communal areas. Some don't, for which they are usually penalised for that inattention on TripAdvisor.   Cleanliness is a bigger theme than ever in 2017, but not for the reason you might think.   A progression from the wellbeing themes around clean eating in recent years, 2017 is the year when the pursuit of clean sleep has come to the fore.   A clean bed and clean sheets are a good place to start, but their significance isn't to be overstated. Clean sleep is a metaphor for having a clean attitude and positive habits towards sleep as a means to improve our mental and physical wellbeing.  ...

Hotel room workout

Once upon a time, unless your hotel was equipped with a gym or swimming pool, you wouldn't necessarily expect to hear that your guests had been working on their fitness during their stay. Times have changed. Guests bring their own agenda and, for business travellers staying away from home and their respective gym memberships, they don't want to take a whole week of their fitness routines just because they need to be away for work. No doubt with the help of social media, a host of sites and online communities have sprung up that offering a solution: 15 or 20-minute hotel room workouts, using limited floor space and standard hotel room furniture. It's another reminder to hoteliers, and indeed all business owners, that consumers have...
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