Impressing guests with luxury these days is becoming harder as our standards and expectations become higher. Visiting most people’s houses show that our home life is becoming more luxurious; big comfortable beds, high end bedding and comfortable couches are readily available to most of us. So where does that leave the accommodation industry when trying to impress domestic and international travellers.
The Oxford dictionary definition is-
1. A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.
synonyms: opulence, luxuriousness, sumptuousness, richness, costliness, grandeur, grandness, splendour, magnificence, lavishness, lap of luxury, bed of roses, milk and honey; comfort, security; affluence, wealth, prosperity, prosperousness,
Look through the list of accommodation websites and the words used to describe holiday accommodation would have you believe the industry is filled with opulence of the highest standard. Delve a little deeper at the gallery photos of all this luxury and you will see that the majority is sadly lacking. Unfortunately, there are no limitations to using these descriptive analogies but it is time to spread the word unless you are confident in the standard of luxury you are offering, it is time to find some more realistic descriptive words.
Travellers across all demographics have higher standards than in the past so whether you run a backpacker’s, small accommodation property or a high end hotel the pressure is on to compete with your clients rising expectations.
There is always a certain degree of expectation when arriving at the chosen accommodation property, guests need to feel that sense of arrival, that they are somewhere special and it has been worth the travel time and money paid. Arrive at your own accommodation, walk through your front doors or guest rooms with the critical eye of an arriving guest and see what awaits you. A clean, shiny uncluttered foyer with fresh flowers or healthy green indoor plants and quiet background music makes for an inviting arrival experience. Front desk staff are the first point of contact, presentation, efficiency, a professional yet friendly attitude and a welcoming smile can make the guest feel that sense of arrival.
Reading reviews recently, travellers are constantly disappointed with the standard and cleanliness of the room on offer. The photos on websites can look amazing when taken by professional photographers and the room styled to perfection for the shoot but you need to live up to your claims.
It seems that outside areas, hallways and paths are not receiving the attention to detail they deserve. The lobby may look clean and inviting but once you leave this area the standard of the surrounds can drop considerably, there is nothing sadder than walking down a sad grubby hallway to get to your room and already the judgement process has begun.
Cleanliness would have to be everybody’s number one factor whether its 5 star or the local motel, a clean fresh room without the overpowering stench of bleach and other cleaning fluids, no residual odours from previous guests and no indication of how many people have been in the room previously are just a few important points. There is nothing worse than stains, stray hairs and dirty corners but it seems increasingly hard to keep a high standard of cleanliness.
The standard and quality of towels and pillows rate highly as well, guests seem to judge quite strongly in this area, the quality of a good fluffy towel, a comfortable pillow and a firm mattress. We all love a big thick fluffy white towel or two but it seems that it is a standard few can live up to.
When guests wish to feel luxurious it seems that you can’t beat the fluffy white robe and guest slippers, but unfortunately that option isn’t open to everyone. Simply being in a beautifully clean room, with clean bedding, clean walls, windows and clean carpets can be all that is required to keep a guest happy with their choice of your accommodation property.
Tasteful art on the walls and tidy furnishings need to all come together to portray the image you set on the website. Make sure all light fittings and fixtures are installed correctly, there is nothing worse than a wobbly bedside lamp and digital bedside clock with its glowing red numbers set to the wrong time. Stains on carpets and flooring need to be removed promptly as these are the areas that immediately catch the eye as you enter the room.
The modern-day traveller may have high standards but it is the little luxury items, exceeding expectations and attention to detail that can keep those positive reviews flooding in.
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