I title this article because a while back, there was an idea that customers wanted their rooms to look like their home. It seemed like a reasonable request, however not everyone was willing to invest in the idea. Customers were asking why the hotel can't be more like their home. The bathrooms were basically sterile, and there was no glamour in this area. This concept went on for a while, chains and executives pondered the idea and tried to come up with a concept that would appeal to customers as well as increase awareness of their respective flag.
I would say that many ideas came across the table and were pondered and discussed back and forth. When you have committees to look at new concepts it can take forever to get a consensus.
Well, while all of these concepts were being considered by most, one company decided that they had the golden egg, and indeed they did. The debut of the "Heavenly Bed" by Westin hit the market. Was it a daring move? That it was, since they replaced all of the beds in the property chain. The concept was brilliant, not only because of its marketing appeal, it also did something else, a movement that probably was not anticipated by Westin. It forced all other chains to provide the same type of bedding as Westin. They had different names, but in the end, most properties have a darn good bed. The Heavenly bed went viral, customers wanted to know where they could buy one. A complete accessory line sprung up and the bed is carried in stores as well.
Now that was a piece of art. Westin hotels can take all of the bows for that. There are even some budget hotels that now offer white down comforter's and feather pillows. Now there are other concepts coming around the corner, some may be used, while others will be discarded. Take a look at the hotel bathroom, the way the hotels are decorating them. Pretty soon there will be a full sitting area in them. Hotel lobbies are becoming social function areas. I say to all of you out there put your thinking cap on and let's have another "Heavenly Bed" revolution. Boutique hotels (Life Style) are also a new concept that took hold and most of the hotels have a boutique style hotel in their arsenal. The problem with this style is that in order for them to become truly "Tique" they must be a particular size. They provide a very high level of service that is expected by the customers. You can't have a 1000 room hotel and call it boutique. Now don't get all caught up in the uproar. Dubai, the luxury hotel capital, has huge hotels, however if you have ever been in one of them, do me a favor and count the amount of service employees you will go through from the entrance to the front reception area. The hotels in the USA could not sustain that kind of payroll. The Ritz Carlton had probably 6 service personnel usually in blue coats making sure that you got to your destination. We won't count those that are in other areas of the hotel.
Now here is the challenge to all of you hoteliers coming down the pike, find a new concept and become the next hotel marvel.
The Hotel Guy
About the Author
Alan Campbell has been in Las Vegas for over 30 years and has worked for the major strip hotels. He has spent some time in California, Los Angeles where he worked for the Radisson and Sheraton hotels. Alan considers the hospitality industry the best job in the world - it is the only place that both kings and Paupers will visit you.