Hospitality Refined! Going Beyond the Conventional
F our walls, a Bed, Television, In-room Décor and a Bathroom!
A recurring lament and blame on the hospitality sector has been that its proponents have done little to reinvent the sector’s core offering. Ever since the concept of letting rooms came into play, room configurations have been altered, a variety of cuisines explored, and an increasing assortment of amenities offered; the fundamentals of hospitality products and services, however, haven’t really evolved. Really, all hotels, no matter what their size, location, positioning, branding and offerings – essentially offer a variant of the same thing. Or do they?
With an eye to meet the rapidly changing guest expectations from their ‘experience providers’, hotels today are pushing boundaries, broadening horizons, augmenting services and aiming to provide guest care that is truly discerning and savoir faire.
The days of the ‘cookie cutter’ hotel brands may well be numbered. While a large mass of today’s traveler continues to seek accommodation with the primary purpose of getting a good night’s sleep, taking that guest’s need for granted may be a folly that the hospitality sector cannot afford. Hotel brands have begun to recognize the fact that their patrons don’t just want a good product and great service. They yearn for a unique experience. Although this is certainly more relevant for the leisure guest, it would be an error of judgement to assume that the corporate traveler doesn’t have the same lookout.
Journal Hotels, for instance, are a unique chain of lifestyle hospitality assets. Making experiential innovation a cornerstone of their philosophy towards guest care, they bring a refreshing bouquet of hotels to the otherwise thickly populated array of chains across the USA. With a keen ear to the ground, this collection of hotels does not aim to standardize their offering. In fact, the paradigm shift is that the chain endeavors to embrace the culture and character of fraternity that exists in its neighborhood; making each of their hotels an experience provider unto itself.
“The days of the ‘cookie cutter’ hotel brands may well be numbered.”
AccorHotels’ recently launched Jo&Joe brand of hostels and economy hotels is aimed at creating a vibe of sharing & spontaneity for the ‘millennial minded’ travelers. The brand’s ethos aspires to attract an audience that seeks a social, welcoming and communicative lifestyle. Rather than just providing a lodging product or service, they aim to deliver new emotions to their guests. Their hotels intend to offer a lot of open spaces on all floors to promote interaction and foster positive community living. However, while some markets may easily embrace this rather unconventional style of hospitality, admittedly other cultures may not accept it so openly.
Life, in general, is moving away from owning, hoarding to sharing and experiencing. The very idea of embracing the quaint, unique and specific elements of the market where a hotel is built is amply visible in the way Hyatt designs and operates their ANDAZ hotels. Every neighborhood has its own quintessential story. A hotel brand’s intent to embrace the community it operates in makes it that much more desirable to its patrons. When this sense of community truly oozes out of the ethos of a building that would have otherwise been brick, mortar and furniture, the result is likely to be phenomenal.
The evolution of tomorrow’s hotels must perpetuate. Rather than infringing into the space of a neighborhood by simply planting a structure that sells rooms & food, why can’t the hotel be contributing to that neighborhood? Hotels could be your community’s laundry shop, the fresh breads & produce store, florist, barber, gymnasium, co-working office space provider, art gallery, business center, and so forth. The list could go on really. A hotel that becomes the melting pot for a community is no longer just for the inbound traveler. It services everyone!
The fact of the matter is that the hospitality sector is indeed unique. Influences, both sectoral as well as macroeconomic, have an immediate impact on the success of hotels. Hoteliers are acutely aware of the dynamic and rather variable nature of the business. While attempting to preserve a sustainable yet dynamic approach to business, stakeholders of the industry ever so often require a hand to hold, a guide, reassurance or unburdening. It has long been believed that a good consulting firm is one that provides consistent, structured and process led solutions to its clients. While that may have well been the case for the past few decades, it is time that the approach to consulting also underwent a metamorphosis. True consulting today is not just about consistency, but about customization. It is not merely about templates, but about targeted solutions. It is not simply focused on processes, but on problem solving. Hotelivate, thus, recognizes the need to go beyond the conventional and emulate the industry’s ongoing evolution. No two investments in this sector are alike and no ‘rule of thumb’ solutions can stake claim to repetitive success. We at Hotelivate acknowledge the unique requirements of our clients and the industry, and we endeavor not only to help build their future, but play our part in building the future of Hospitality!
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