As most hoteliers would agree, we are in this business to show hospitality to others. Hospitality is one of the most powerful professions an individual can become a part of. Uncle Ben from Spiderman said it best, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This quote is not only used regularly in the Supreme Court, it is something hoteliers live by.
Hospitality can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I like to look at it as the responsibility and promise to our guests to create a home away from home. To achieve this promise, we must KNOW our guests on an intimate level. This very important step usually takes place when our guests are checking in. A conversion with each guest while making their key cards is where it all starts. Is the guest staying with us for vacation? For business? For a family emergency? Whatever the reason, the power of keeping our promise to take care of them is our responsibility and we are happy to oblige.
The fulfillment of this promise doesn’t stop at check in. Now that we know our guest, what steps can we take can we take to really make them feel comfortable and at home. This could be something as simple as remembering their name and greeting them every time they come back through the door or giving them some hometown secrets on where to eat or entertain their children. We also like to take it a little further for some of our guests. For example, a couple is staying with us on their honey moon and they go out for the day to enjoy the sites of the city. While they are away, we can make it extra special for them and leave a bouquet of flowers in their room or some bath salts and candles for their Jacuzzi suite. The surprise of taking hospitality to a new level, is the most joyous part of a hoteliers job.
Now that I have painted this beautiful picture in your mind and you are ready to jump in the car and book a few nights at a hotel, let me tell you the sad truth about creating promises in the hotel world. Most of us live in the real world and understand that promises are something that can be broken. This can happen in hospitality business as well. Believe it or not, sometimes we break our promise to provide the best service of hospitality. I know, I know, it breaks my heart as well. With the age of technology and the natural human error effect, disappointment of our guests occur when they book a romantic Jacuzzi room for their honeymoon and we don’t have that room available for them.We can however, do everything in our power to keep our promise of providing great hospitality even though they are now in a room with a king size bed and stand up shower. We can still get those flowers, we can still greet them by their first name, we can still send them to the most romantic restaurant in town. Hospitality and hoteliers are not perfect, but we will do everything in our power to keep our promise to our guests of proving them with a home away from home.