A 5 Star Hotel is a hotel that provides a luxury service through all its means of operation. It is geared towards catering to guests at the highest level. Therefore, everything from the exterior of the hotel down to the tableware should display excellent quality and high attention to detail. The service staff is meant to be highly trained and the attention should be focused on providing the guest with the best experience possible. Exceptional levels of proactive service and customer care are essential.
In over decades of being in the corporate gifting industry (one of my core businesses) I’ve had the opportunity to work with several 5 star hotels for their visitor gifts and other promotional requirements. After visiting a fair share 5 star hotels in Bangalore and other cities, what I’ve noticed is that they have more things in common than I can think of. For example, large lobbies, palatial patios, manicured landscapes, uber luxurious rooms, great buffet spreads and all the meticulous detailing that goes into cutlery, furnishings and pretty much everything one can lay their eyes on – the brass railing at the stair that is glistening, the impeccable uniforms the security dons at the entrance to the sign boards that help you navigate the property and the list is never ending.
Now oscillate to the other end of the spectrum – there too they have so much in common. Over 80% of them have appalling office setups for their administrative, facilities and marketing teams. Tucked away under or way behind the hotel, you are led to these areas through stinking corridors that smell of seepage, unclean and unkempt walls, atrociously contrasting flooring, no air conditioning and unbelievably crammed seating areas for their teams. These are teams that run the hotel, take care of suppliers, strategise on how to plan the next marketing promo and so on. And they are literally pushed into the dumps of the hotel property with terrible infrastructure, no access to a decent washroom in some cases, and unhygienic places for them to eat their meal of the day. I wonder what drives these employees to show up to work each day? I recently met a top notch marketing person from one of the reputed 5 star hotels in Bangalore and was shocked that her jacket was smelling of unpleasant odour…it was not her body odour, but the odour of the urinal smelling corridors she was walking through most of the day, that seemed to have settled in on her clothes too!
Here are a few simple tips these hotels MUST embrace immediately to demonstrate what they speak about and represent – top class luxury at all levels. I say MUST deliberately. Resources are not an issue, the willingness to get things done is the real challenge.
Fresh air to breathe – This is a basic right of every employee, regardless of the position one holds. Service the AC vents in these areas too – after all you provide this service to every single customer. Right? Remember you have the entire housekeeping team to maintain the property on board with you, as full time support teams 24/7/365. Won’t hurt your pockets as much to simply get them to include the office area also as part of their maintenance schedule. If air conditioning is unaffordable, the least you can do is give them enough windows and simple fan ventilation. But do something about it!
Bring in some art – Every inch of the property is prime real estate and that explains why you have left such odd and wasted pieces of the property to convert to the office area. Bringing in a touch of art to the walls will instantly add colour, life and some soul to the working zones, enhancing employee productivity! This is a time tested and well proven concept – all you need to do is meet some good artists and co-create inspiring pieces with them and breathe some life back into the office spaces. Alternatively, you could also invest in simple inspiration quotes printed on posters and framed, so each time they move around in office, their eyes fall on these and uplift their spirits!
Think ergonomics – Tiny workstations, stuck together like a complicated lego piece don’t render themselves well to comfortable seating. Engage with an expert to help you identify the right kind of seating, desk levels and overall layout of the tables and people to maximize the empty spaces and make them look a lot happier. After all a happy and fit employee will bring in the results a lot faster!
Clean up the access corridors – While it may not be practical to line these areas with a red carpet, you could think of simple ways to make the corridor more inviting for them. Add a dash of lush green plants and some flowering plants alongside the walkway, ensure there are no seepages from the overhead ceiling and provide some breathing spaces in the area for people to step out for a think break.
All these cost you only a fraction of the amount you spend on the entire hotel property, but will bring you returns beyond your expectation. Because the truth is happy people bring their best to the table and create a win-win combination with high levels of productivity, efficiency and focus.