Room to improve: Steps for a better stay that all hoteliers should adopt
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Wednesday 20 November 2013
Too many hoteliers have failed to notice that the 21st-century guest carries a minimum of mobile phone, laptop and Kindle, all of which require charging overnight. To offer just a solitary socket concealed behind the chest of drawers is disempowering the guest.
Don’t merely brag about environmental credentials: do something positive to show you care, beyond the sign in the bathroom asking people to re-use the towel. Example: serve English apple juice rather than Florida orange juice for breakfast, reducing the carbon footprint of refreshment.
Shine a light
Provide proper room lighting at the touch of a single switch, rather than an immensely complex “interactive lighting solution” that requires (a) a torch to track down in the gloom and (b) a vast intellect to operate.
Free, simple Wi-Fi
You don’t charge extra for hot water, nor specify that it is available only in the lobby. Every guest expects hot and cold running internet access, and does not expect to pay for it – nor to have to enter a monumentally complicated code to access Wi-Fi.
Let us walk
Many guests prefer to walk up and down stairs rather than wait for the lift – it’s better for us and for the planet. Yet hotels staircases are usually hard to find and unappealing, and tend to deposit guests in the kitchens or car park rather than the lobby.
Just as I won’t fill my pockets with hotel cutlery nor sneak a bathrobe into my bag, I promise I won’t pillage the minibar.
Every guest wants to leave as swiftly and smoothly as possible – and won’t return to a hotel that insist you stand around while the chambermaid conducts an inventory check. You know our credit card details…
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