How to make a hotel feel like home
Fortunately, there are ways that hotel managers can achieve the home-away-from-home environment. Here are the different elements that make hotels inviting:
- High levels of cleanliness – The emergence of the novel coronavirus has resulted in many hotels adjusting their approach to cleaning to prevent the spread of infection. Guests will expect the cleaning process to be more visible than it once was. Thus, hotels will need to frequently address high-touch surfaces as well overlooked areas like flooring. Many hotels have thousands of square feet of carpet, so it’s important to have a strategy that supports long-lasting, better-looking carpet. Plus, Harris Poll research verifies that dirty carpet in a hotel would negatively impact 80% of Americans’ perceptions of the business. A thorough carpet care program should rely on low-moisture encapsulation machines and chemistries that can treat a variety of stains without adding excess moisture to the carpet.
- Welcoming design – Making guests feel relaxed is a primary goal. Conscious interior design decisions are known to affect the mood and mental health of building occupants. Thus, hotels should incorporate open layouts with ample lighting that create positive emotional responses. Color schemes, artwork and furniture choices all play important roles in the interior space as well. Many hotels opt for soft carpet with colors that complement the design aesthetic to bring that home-away-from-home feeling to their property.
- Attentive customer service – Visitors want to feel that staff members cater to their individual needs, whether its offering suggestions for a local restaurant or quickly resolving any concerns. Managers should trust that their employees will participate in pleasant interactions when prompted by the guest. This includes encounters with valets, bellhops, restaurant and bar employees, concierge and housekeepers. Staff should present themselves professionally and politely when speaking with guests, no matter what time of night or day.
- Thoughtful amenities – Hotels should invest in high-quality amenities to make a hotel room feel like home. Because guests often pay close attention to details throughout their stay, a property’s purchasing decisions has a direct effect on the overall experience. Hotels should consider soft and absorbent bath, spa and pool towels and toilet paper, plush beds and even slippers and robes in each room. It is also important to stock enough tissues, soap and other toiletries. Lastly, hotels should consider offering free access to Wi-Fi, pools and fitness centers.
- Adequate employee training – None of these initiatives are possible without the entire hotel team on board. Managers must properly train their staff on hospitality etiquette and cleanliness standards. Considering the new guidelines for facilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, housekeeping staff must know how to correctly disinfect nonporous surfaces and clean porous surfaces like carpet. Provide staff with easy-to-use tools and machinery, along with hands-on instruction so they can be consistent in how they maintain the facility and interact with guests.
Checking into guests’ preferences
There are many ways to make a hotel feel like home, including providing carefully selected, high-quality amenities, training staff to be attentive and welcoming and designing inviting interiors that feature plush, clean carpet and soothing colors and lighting. As people become more comfortable traveling and staying at hotels again, managers and employees must go above and beyond to provide comfort and cleanliness.
As a result of the pandemic, cleanliness is likely to be closely scrutinized by guests. The COVID-19 crisis urges reopened hotels to responsibly follow new cleaning procedures so that guests can feel at ease. Expectations from guests and recommendations from public health institutes like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focus on adequately addressing all areas of the hotel to ensure health and safety. As carpet covers almost every square foot in countless hospitality environments, it should be an important focus for housekeeping teams.