Are You Giving Your Guest the Best Hotel Experience?

Hotel Experience

Take this 14 Question Survey

We all work hard throughout the year, and enjoy the time that we have away from the office. We may take weeks to plan, schedule and anticipate the experience to come. Most of us have very few days to get away, and we want our time to be spent in a place that is better than we imagined.

As a hotel owner/manager, your main goal is to create an experience that your guests will remember and recommend to their friends and family. Most people have done their research and have chosen your establishment. Make their stay a memorable one so that they keep coming back!

Hotel rooms are intimate spaces. It is where your guests sleep, relax, work, bathe, and sometimes eat. We now know the science behind the creation of not-so-good, good and great memories. How can design be used to directly impact our brain and influence those memories?

Think about it; everything in that hotel room space counts in creating a memory.

Appealing to all the senses is the best way to ensure a memorable experience. What is the story that your guests will come away with after staying in your hotel? That question does not just mean “what does the room look like?” It involves much more. It includes all the senses.

Take a walk through your hotel room with this article in your hand and ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the “Threshold Experience”? A threshold is a point of transition. Does the opening invite you to go through? When you opened the door, was it like opening the door to a really nice car or more like opening a rusty farm gate? How does the door handle feel in your hand? Did the door rub on the carpet?

2. What was the first thing you smelled? Cleaning solution, musty smell, or citrus? Obviously, you want that smell to be something that is pleasant. The sense of smell is one of the most memorable. Can you remember a time when a smell triggered a memory?

3. What was the first thing you saw? And could you see it if it was dark? When people are asked to describe their accommodations, they almost always describe the way it looked. Great sights give us a permanent picture in our brain, so make it a great one!

4. Where is the light switch? Believe it or not, it matters. Is it conveniently located and easy to find, or do you have to grope in the dark to find it?

5. What was the temperature? Did you immediately run to the thermostat controls and turn it up or down? Did you wish that you had on a short sleeve shirt or sweater?

6. What was the first sound you heard? Was it a loud heater or air conditioner, or was it soothing music specifically to reduce stress?

7. What is your first and then second impression of the bathroom? Are the toiletries colorful and make you want to pick them up and smell them? Does the bathroom itself have a pleasant scent?

8. How do the towels feel? Are they plush and thick, or are they as thin as paper? Do they smell nice?

9. How does the bed feel? The bed is one of the most important aspects in the room. Is it comfortable? How do the linens feel? Are the pillows plush? Remember, our skin is our largest organ and we have a lot of area to create memories of touch.

10. How do the furniture handles look and feel? Do they feel nice in your hand? Do they have the “feel” that is the reputation your hotel is wanting to portray? Do the drawers slide smoothly?

11. The Clock/Radio – Is it a memorable object or just a plastic brick? Are the numbers too bright?

Now that you have been in the room for a while, check out the scent again. Do you smell something deterrent, if so, what?

12. How is the natural light? Is there plenty of it, or does there need to be more? Light can affect our moods, our energy level and our sleep.

13. Is the artwork appealing? Did you know that according to a study conducted across cultures, a landscape painting or photo with water and a live animal is the most remembered and desired by over 80% of people?

14. Think about the special objects in the room. What, you don’t have any? Come on, create another memory that people will talk about. Fruit, candy, chocolate.

See how sight, smell, touch, taste and sound work together?

After you have done a walkthrough and answered the questions above, ask a few others to do the same. As a group, talk about what you found.

John Stewart