The guest experience is central to most items tied to the success of a hotel. A hotel can have a premiere location and top-notch amenities, but if guests find your hotel frustrating or disappointing to stay in, it will never prosper.
It’s hard to narrow down the key qualities of a successful hotel. We were able to decide on five categories hoteliers need to pay special attention to if they want to succeed.
Location, location, location! It’s a commonly used phrase in real estate, but it applies to hotels just as well. When traveling, guests are usually looking for a specific area to stay in. Investing in hotels near common tourist attractions is a smart business move.
However, what if your hotel isn’t near any major tourist magnets? You’re not doomed, it just takes more innovative marketing. Every area has special qualities and attractions. If your hotel is in an area that is less frequented by travelers, you’ll want to market your location on your website.
You should provide pictures and descriptions of local gems. Whether your area has great locally owned dining, a unique art scene, or unparalleled lookout points – these seemingly small details can influence guests to choose your location.
In today’s Internet-driven world, online reviews have a serious impact on a hotel’s success. Although traditional travel and food critics still exist, the Internet has enabled anyone to become an amateur critic with few requirements.
The invention of online review platforms allows consumers to share honest feedback freely with each other. One or two bad reviews might be seen as a fluke, but a hotel that has consistently negative reviews will deter interested travelers.
As a hotelier, you want to avoid consistently negative reviews. That’s why wise hoteliers monitor their online reputation constantly. When a hotel receives one or two negative reviews that cite a certain issue or concern, it should be taken as a signal to fix whatever issue is at hand.
Ignoring your online reviews is one of the most detrimental actions you can take in the hospitality industry. From hotels to restaurants and bars – reviews are how travelers choose where they will spend their money. Hotels that ensure overwhelmingly positive online reviews are present will receive more business.
3. Aligning with the Guest Demographic
The more targeted a hotel can make its branding and advertising, the more bookings it will get. You can advertise all you want – but if it’s not reaching the right audience, it’s just a waste. That’s why it’s incredibly important for hoteliers to identify and target their typical guest demographic.
A hotel that sits on a popular spring break beach will have a much different typical demographic than a hotel that’s attached to a business convention centre. So, hoteliers should lean into their demographic to attract the right people.
Part of doing this successfully means fine-tuning your online marketing to reach the right groups. Once that’s done, it’s important your hotel is advertising specials and features that matter to your demographic.
For example, a hotel that attracts a lot of families could offer discounted prices on a nearby amusement park for a limited time. Overall, the more a hotel can tailor its offerings to its demographic, the stronger the business will become.
4. Innovative On-Site Experiences
As mentioned previously, the guest experience is integral to receiving the increased bookings and glowing reviews every hotelier wants. Great examples of innovative, experience-centric hotels are those owned by Disney.
Hotels at Disney in Florida offer unique one-of-a-kind experiences, such as exclusive ferry rides, character-themed rooms, and even on-site safari parks. Now, of course, not every hotel has a Disney budget. However, hoteliers can take a lot of inspiration from this approach.
When a hotel offers innovative and fun experiences on-site, a guest can easily stay in the hotel all day and feel like they made great use of their day. Depending on the demographic, a hotel can offer different experiences to cater to diverse groups.
For example, a hotel that sees a lot of young adults can lean into that with their experiences. To exceed the expectations of young adults, hotels can offer on-site clubs and/or bars, theme nights, karaoke contests, package deals to nearby nightlife, adult-only pool hours, and more.
The more a hotel can show their guests that they understand their desires, the most business the hotel will earn.
5. Hotel Tech and Online Advertising
Tech, overall, is an integral piece of a successful hotel’s marketing strategy. Hotel tech covers a wide array of applications – from PMS for property functions to web-based booking engines, hoteliers have a robust tool belt of software available today that help them run their hotels more efficiently and increase revenue.
When hoteliers use technology to streamline their operations, they don’t just optimize the back end of the business. These technologies also positively affect the guest experience. Using hotel tech, such as a property management system, makes the experience of checking in and out of hotels much smoother for guests.
Plus, applications that connect to the cloud allow guests to check in remotely or access online maps of attractions around your property. Implementation of hospitality technology is a win-win for hoteliers and their guests.
On the marketing and sales front, it’s unwise for hoteliers to overlook how effective targeted online ads can be. In today’s world, people are online all day, for work and pleasure. If hoteliers want to find new business, it’s smart to let technology do the heavy lifting.
Investing in technology for property operations and advertising will pay itself back tenfold in virtually no time.
These five qualities are a macro view of the key categories that successful hotels excel in. Each hotel is unique, so it’s always important that hoteliers make their business decisions based on their hotel and customer base.
However, regardless of the specifics, the above qualities are factors that will positively affect any hotel business. Hopefully, you can find ways to implement what you’ve learned here to maximize your hotel revenue and draw more positive attention to your hotel.