When you hear five-star hotel, what comes to mind? Exceptional food? A tailored experience? An elegant atmosphere? Great customer perks? To many, it varies.
Attaining a five-star status is a massive competitive advantage that can be the deciding factor for a lot of guests when choosing one hotel over another. But what determines a five-star status and how can you achieve it? Today we answer those questions and take you through some of the latest best practices for transitioning your property into a five-star one. Let’s begin.
Provide Extensive Perks
Extensive perks are one of the biggest reasons why customers choose five-star hotels over others – and they’re much more than offering your typical travel size shampoo and conditioner.
A five-star hotel knows what their guests want. Through analysis of previous clients and research on their targeted audience, five-star hotels pinpoint the wants and needs of their clientele and utilize it for their perks. Everyone expects shampoo and conditioner in their hotel, but what about a few travel sized cosmetics or a sample fragrance? A five-star hotel knows that small thoughtful touches can make all the difference in elevating the experience because it isn’t about meeting customer needs, it’s about exceeding them.
In any tradition five-star hotel these are the typical perks offered:
- Valet parking
- Specials on spa services
- 24-hour room service and reception
- Extensive fitness services
- Exquisite in-hotel dining
- Entertainment areas
Having these perks alters the overnight stay into a luxurious experience. A great example of providing a customer-driven perk at a five-star hotel is New York’s “Four Seasons”. They offer access to a chauffeured Rolls-Royce Phantom, a 24/7 personal butler and an unlimited supply of caviar when you book their Ty Warner Penthouse Suite” – as cited by Go Banking. They know their clientele and know that the luxury perks they provide are more likely to resonate with individuals willing to pay top dollar at their hotel. When someone books that suite it becomes more than an overnight stay at a hotel but an incentive to visit again.
Pictured Below: Ty Warner Penthouse Suite
Exceptional Guest Service
Five-star hotel status is about anticipating what your guests want when they want it. Especially in the hospitality industry, it’s important to always be one step ahead and welcome suggestions or criticism with a smile and solution.
Service for example, in every area of your hotel, should be prompt and courteous. According to the L.A. Times, five-star customer service means that “arriving guests are greeted and assisted curbside within 60 seconds of arriving” and “refills at restaurants are offered within 30 seconds of the guest’s beverage being empty.” Attaining those expectations are critical within a five-star establishment as it not only shows your hotel is efficient but that you care about the guest’s time. In order to meet those expectations, it is important to set measurable goals and emphasize how critical speed of service is.
In addition, exceptional guest service in a five-star hotel means adjusting services and operations to ensure all guest needs are met. Instead of having set 9 am to 7 pm hours, a five-star hotel will provide service 24 hours, 7 days a week. Whether a guest wants a meal at 9 am or they want a meal at 12 am, they can order what they want when they want it.
In order to make managing guest services easier and more efficient, consider adopting a customer engagement tool to track and measure guest inquiries. For example, adopting such a tool can help you average out the length of time it takes for front-line staff to respond to guest requests and deliver data that can help managers continually enhance service. Whatever the case, making sure guest expectations are constantly met and exceeding expectations will help you achieve that five-star rating.
Impeccable Room Maintenance
Have you ever arrived at your hotel room after a long flight and realized that the room isn’t what you thought it would be? Maybe the bed isn’t made properly or the AC doesn’t work or maybe there are crumbs on the floor. Whatever the case, if that’s the first impression a guest has with your hotel it can sabotage the rest of their stay.
To achieve a five-star hotel status, your hotel rooms should be impeccable upon customer arrival. The rooms should be functional, clean, up to date, and continuously monitored. To attain this, your team members should be checking rooms on a daily basis and conducting a maintenance review on a weekly basis. Having a list of items to look for, including dusting areas, appliance functionality, laundry duties and so on, should be a top priority. Everything should be working in the room and all the furniture and linens should be in practically new condition.
In addition, the products you use to stock your guestrooms should convey the five-star hotel experience. From the snacks in the minibar to the complimentary coffees and teas to the shampoos and body gels you put in the bathroom, you’ll need to consider what the five-star guest would want to see and what would make them happy.
Let your guests pamper themselves in luxury with products such as Hermès or Jo Malone London. Some of the more unique minibar items the Vogue team has come across include handcrafted vodka and gin from Legend Distilling, popcorn-makers and kernels that get restocked daily, gluten-free tortilla chips, and puppy treats from Vancouver’s Three Dog Bakery at their pet-friendly hotel. This is also the perfect opportunity for hotels to bring a touch of local to their properties.
Technology in the hospitality sphere has been growing immensely, helping hotels around the world offer immaculate service and improve operations.
It’s become a norm that customers have come to expect and that hoteliers have been quick to adopt. As a five-star hotel, you should be offering your customers the latest technology to maximize efficiency and convenience as well as to position your property as a leader in hospitality advancements.
One of the biggest trends to adopt in hotel technology as an example is keyless doors. Not only does it make accessing your hotel more efficient but it cuts down wait times at reception. According to Open Key “Mobile key drives an average 7% improvement in guest satisfaction scores and can save $1,000 per month on RFID keycard costs.” In addition, it makes the experience for the customer that much more elevated and can help you attain data that you can use down the road to further enhance the experience.
Of course, one of the biggest ways technology can improve service is messaging. Whether in a hotel’s app, via SMS texting, or connecting through popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, providing a means by which guests can share a concern or request an item is growing in popularity. In fact, many hotel brands like Marriott, Sandals, and Four Seasons have made real-time messaging a key part of the overall service delivery within their five-star properties.
Other forms of innovative tech in the hospitality realm consist of uninterrupted, high-speed Wi-Fi, HD/3D TV, Kiosk Check In and Out, I-Pad or Phone room service options, a real-time feedback kiosk, and more.
Offering these options to guests can elevate the experience as well as streamline operations to match that five-star hotel status.
An Inviting and Engaging Concept
The look and feel of your hotel is your guests’ first impression upon arrival. It can dictate the rest of a customers stay so it’s important that you make the concept of your hotel inviting with a touch of luxury – reflecting the guest and your brand.
In five-star hotels, every aspect is designed with the guest in mind; From the lobby to the guest suites, to the table wear in the dining room, five-star hotels make sure to add the components that resonate with the guest. Everything is designed impeccably.
The Mandarin Oriental, is a great example of using the guest preferences to provide the ultimate hotel experience. This five-star hotel has one of the most intrinsic Asian inspired interiors to reflect its history and holding immaculate standards to ensure an elevated experience that reflects the modern day traveler.
An inviting and immaculate interior can set a positive tone for the rest of the guest’s stay, so it’s important to always consider your brands’ vision and guest expectations.
Obtaining five-star status is a huge advantage that can be the deciding factor for a lot of guests. By following these best practices to a five-star status you can not only help improve your guests’ satisfaction but also increase your revenue along the way.