Tag Archives: guest

A History of Hotels

While many associate the word “hotel” with that of our modern day dwellings featuring conveniences such as TVs, minibars, spas, and more, hotels have been around for much longer than that. The word “hospitality” is a derivative of “hospice” which loosely means “a place of rest for travelers and pilgrims.” Since the development of early civilizations, hotels have been a part of society – we have seen evidence of hospitable facilities since early biblical times. Travelers all over the world have sought a hospitable place to eat and sleep and while they did not offer the luxurious conveniences that hotels today offer, they were hotels all the same.

Greeks and Romans

The Greeks first developed thermal baths in various villages that were explicitly designed for rest and recuperation. Sometime later, the Romans built mansions for traveling government officials to provide them with accommodation. They then further developed the Greeks initial thermal bath design and introduced them to England, Switzerland and the Middle East.

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the first establishments included monasteries and abbeys that offered shelter on a regular basis to travelers. Religious orders then built inns, hospices, and hospitals to better cater to travelers. As time went on, inns continued to multiply; however, they did not yet offer meals. These inns only provided basic services, such as the ability to change horses easily.

15th Century France

At the beginning of the 15th century, the law in France required hotels to keep a register. This spread to England, where additional rules were introduced for inns, where more than 600 were registered. The structure was relatively similar across the board – there was often a paved interior court that was accessed through an arched porch with bedrooms located on the two sides of the courtyard, the public restrooms and kitchen were found at the front, and the storehouse and stables at the back.

The Industrial Revolution

In the 1760s, the industrial revolution expedited the development of hotels in mainland Europe, England, and America. These hotels were built with the sole intention of providing accommodation to travelers. The City Hotel, New York’s first hotel, opened in 1792 and the Royal Hotel was built in London at the beginning of the 1800s. Holiday resorts began to spring up and flourish along the Italian and French rivieras. Guest houses popped up in Japan, and government-run bungalows were developed in India.

Throughout the years and through the 20th century, more and more corporations and business organizations took over ownership and management of larger hotels. Courses began being offered to provide basic hotel management training and have further developed and specialized over the years.


This article was originally published at SteveFarzam.org

 

Things to Ask Your Hotel Concierge

Your hotel concierge holds a wealth of local knowledge that is more often than not, untapped. Not many travelers thing to ask their hotel concierge for much more than restaurant recommendations or directions. A great hotel concierge can assist you with nearly any travel issue you may run into, so you should take advantage of the powers they have to offer. Here are just a few of the things your hotel concierge can do for you.

Recommendations

Outside of restaurant recommendations, your hotel concierge can suggest fitness facilities if the hotel you are staying at does not have one, or lacks the equipment you want. The concierge can more often than not point you to an affiliated hotel with fitness facilities, suggest a good running or hiking trail, or provide you with a list of fitness centers nearby that supply daily or weekly passes. They can also provide you with local service recommendations, such as babysitters, dog walkers, and auto repair shops.

Find You a Ride

During rush hour traffic, when it’s raining, or it’s really late at night, it can seem impossible to find a taxi or an Uber. Often, your hotel concierge can find you a ride in a matter of minutes, just by placing a phone call.

Assist in Celebrations

If you are celebrating a special event, such as a birthday or reunion, or proposing to your partner, your hotel concierge can assist you with the details. Whether it be filling your hotel room with flowers and balloons or coordinating a proposal on the rooftop complete with a photographer, your hotel concierge can help make the organization process seamless.

Job Duties

If you need help with work-related tasks, such as sending items to a printer, your hotel concierge can help. They are able to not only get materials to a printer for you, but can set up courier service, mail packages, and set up a meeting space for you if needed. If you’re in the area for a job interview, they can even help make sure you look your best and book an appointment with a barber or hairdresser, get your clothes pressed, and more.

While you may feel shy about asking the concierge to help you, there’s no need to be. He or she is available to help all guests at the hotel, and they will be more than happy to assist you.


This article was originally published at SteveFarzam.org

 

Interesting Facts About the Hospitality Industry

At some point in your life, you will most likely spend time in a hotel. As of 2015, 15.2 million people were employed in the hospitality industry, and an average of 62.2 percent of rooms are occupied at any given time. When you are traveling, a hotel stay can make or break your trip. If you’re traveling for vacation or tourism in general, your hotel experience is all about having fun, relaxing, and possibly spending time at the spa getting pampered. Even if you’re traveling for business purposes, having all of the amenities you require, and a little more can make your trip painless. Whether you work in the hospitality industry or a guest at one of the many hotels in the world, these are some interesting facts to connect with and shed some light on this integral industry.

World’s oldest hotel

Over 1,300 years old and recorded as the oldest hotel in the world in the Guinness Book of world records, Koshu Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan holds the trophy. Located in Japan, this hotel has been owned by the same family for more than 50 generations.

World’s largest hotel

Currently, the title for the world’s largest hotel belongs to First World Hotel in Malaysia. Hosting around 7,351 rooms, they cost on average between $12 to $83 per night. First World Hotel will not be the largest hotel in the world for long though. Set to open sometime in the next two years, Abraj Kudai Hotel in Saudi Arabia will hold over 10,000 rooms and contain 70 restaurants.

Most expensive room service

You can find the most expensive room service in Las Vegas. The average tab for room service is $68. New York City follows closely behind, with an average check of $67.

Highest average room rate in a city

Many might expect this statistic to fall in New York City, New York, but this is incorrect. The city with the highest average room rate is in Geneva, Switzerland. An average night’s stay costs around $308!

Most expensive hotel room

Based on the previous fact, you might have already guessed that the most expensive hotel room is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson costs, on average, between $61,000 to $84,000 per night.

Tallest hotel in the world

The tallest hotel in the world is the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai located in, you guessed it, Dubai. It stands at a whopping 76 stories. Another fun fact about Dubai – 6 out of the ten tallest hotels are located here.

World’s largest hotel pool

Holding 66 million gallons of water, the pool at San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile is easily the largest pool in the world (not just at hotels). It is 20 times the size of an Olympic swimming pool!


This blog was originally published at stevefarzam.org.

Key Roles In A Hotel

It takes hard work to make a hotel feel like a home. That’s why hotels—from luxury resorts to family-owned bed and breakfasts—employ a small army of staff to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. These jobs can be challenging, but at the Shore Hotel, we’re fortunate to have a dedicated team that goes the extra mile to fill our guests’ every need. For anyone who may be considering a career in hospitality or anyone who’s ever wanted to peek behind the curtain of the hospitality industry, take a look at some of the essential roles in a hotel!

Front Office

The front office staff is the face of the hotel. These personnel greet guests, check them in and out, and provide information about the hotel as well as the surrounding areas. They also handle reservations and most of the hotel’s external communication with clients or on clients’ behalf.

Uniformed Services

Roles in a hotel’s uniformed services department consist of bell staff, valets, door-persons, and concierges. The first people most guests meet upon arrival at a hotel are bell-staff, who help to unload baggage from the guest’s vehicle, deliver it to their room, and possibly introduce them to other helpful figures or show them the facilities. Guests may also meet valets, who park guests’ cars and pick them up as necessary, and door-persons, who open doors, greet guests, and help bell staff with luggage.

Additionally, concierges act almost as assistants for guests and have a range of responsibilities that may include helping guests navigate the area, making reservations or handling issues that may arise during their stay, and much more.

Housekeeping

The front office staff may be the face of a hotel, but housekeeping is its backbone. Beyond the obvious duties of cleaning guests’ rooms and the hotel’s other facilities, housekeeping staff also handle laundry needs, provide dry-cleaning for guests, and more. Many hotels also recruit inspectors who supervise and inspect the work of the room attendants; at smaller businesses, this role may be filled by a manager who randomly checks the rooms.

Food and Beverage

Hotels typically include at least a restaurant and bar on their grounds as well as room service, and they may even offer catering services. This means hotels need chefs, bartenders, waiters, dishwashers, and any other kitchen staff to provide guests and patrons with top-quality service and delicious food and drink.

Sales and Marketing

The sales and marketing branch of the hotel handles its promotions and advertising. Through various channels, the hotel works to involve the community and attract new consumers. Most hotels that hire full-time sales and marketing have a more substantial budget for marketing and advertising.


This blog was originally published at stevefarzam.org.

Traits of a Great Hospitality Manager

The hospitality industry is a fast-growing sector, but this does not by any means mean that competition is non-existent. Rather, it is quite the opposite. Competition for hospitality management positions is intense, with limited job openings and those that are applying are highly trained individuals.

Hospitality management involves overseeing a variety of departments within a hotel or resort. This often includes the front desk, housekeeping, concierges, spa services, restaurant and room service, conferences, maintenance, budgeting and finance, and guest services. Not only do hospitality managers need to oversee all of these departments, but they must also be able to organize and flawlessly integrate these departments with any other services that are being offered at the hotel. Due to this, great hospitality managers tend to acquire these traits and strengths.

Communication

It is imperative that hospitality managers have excellent communication skills. They need to be able to actively speak to staff and have the staff open up in return. Failure to communicate results in someone dropping the ball, and the customer is going to be the one to pick it up. This is often accompanied by a complaint or a bad review, which is not what anyone wants.

Problem-Solver

When problems arise, guests and staff will be looking toward the manager to offer a solution. This requires the hospitality manager to be able to think on their feet, make decisive decisions, and respond to customers and employees questions and concerns in a sensitive, polite manner. It is also vital for managers to be prepared and anticipate any issues that could arise and have a backup plan in place, especially because this happens almost daily.

Time Management

Since hospitality management involves overseeing so many different departments and requires the ability to integrate them efficiently, hospitality managers require excellent time management skills. Managers need to be organized and abide by a punctual schedule. There are often times when work requires managers to put their personal lives on the back burner and deal with an immediate crisis at any moment, so they must also be flexible and able to adapt to a fast-paced work environment.

Motivation

Working in the hospitality industry is all about making sure the guest feels special and putting them first. This is a team effort, so the hospitality manager must have motivation themselves, but also be an effective team motivator. These individuals need to lead by example and know when they need to roll up their sleeves to help get the job done.

How Millennials are Impacting the Hospitality Industry

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are currently the fastest growing customers in the hotel industry and by 2025, they are expected to make up 50% of all travelers. With this generation comes the need for a tech-savvy, transparent environment, and the desire for connection. They have already begun to have an impact on travel and the hotel industry, in particular. They are looking for a unique experience that simultaneously meets their expectations. That being said, we can expect to see changes in the hospitality industry that appeal to this influential generation.

Technology

Millennials grew up with technology, so it isn’t too surprising that the desire for a technology-driven travel experience is a must. Millennials are very likely to post the overall experience of their stay on platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and more. The convenience and seamless process of checking in and out on their mobile device is very enticing to millennials. The same goes for free WiFi – it’s practically expected for a hotel to offer a strong internet connection.

Personalization

In conjunction with technology, the notion of personalization for their stay is particularly enticing to millennials. Artificial intelligence is an ever-growing sector of technology, and hotels that provide smart rooms and AI personal assistants attract these travelers. Additionally, having the ability to personalize their rooms online so that everything is how they would like it when they arrive at check-in, will play a large role in the adaption of hotels moving forward.

Green Living

Millennials are also a generation that focuses on the environment and they will make their decision on which hotel to stay at depending on whether or not the hotel implements sustainable, eco-friendly practices. These travelers want to supply business to those that coincide with their own values. Some specifications that may contribute to their final decision of stay are sustainability programs for energy, water, and other utilities (like cogeneration), efficient waste management, and eco-building certifications.

Experiences

Maybe it is because they are so interconnected through technology, millennials are actively seeking meaningful, genuine experience when they travel. No longer content to spend the entire vacation laying by the pool, this generation is more likely to leave the hotel to interact with the local culture. Hotels that provide information to millennials regarding local nightlife, events, and more, are enticing to these travelers.

How to Make Hotel Guests Feel Welcome

He’s away on business. They’re enjoying a honeymoon in a dream destination or vacationing with the family during a yearly getaway. Maybe she’s just passing through. Regardless of why people are travelling, they trust the hotels where they stay with the important responsibility of making them feel right at home even when home might be thousands of miles away.

At the Shore Hotel, we take this duty very seriously, and as COO, I do everything in my power to make sure that guests have the most enjoyable and welcoming experience possible during their stay with us. Check out some of the secrets on how to make guests feel welcomed that I’ve learned after a long career in the hospitality industry!

A Personal Welcome

First impressions are lasting, so making sure you’re ready to greet your guests as they arrive goes a long way toward making them feel right at home. The personal introduction shows the guests that they’re valued, but beyond that, this is the first opportunity you have to shape their opinion of the hotel. You should be dressed professionally and with a friendly, enthusiastic attitude so you can warmly welcome your guests on behalf of the hotel and make them feel special—and happy with their choice of accommodation—as soon as they step through the doors.

Take Care of Their Needs

If your hotel is going to serve as a guest’s home away from home, then you’ll want to provide them with all of the creature comforts they need. In the bathroom, lay out toiletries like sustainable or eco-friendly soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, and other sundries. Place fresh flowers so that the room is fragrant by the time they arrive to make them feel at ease. And another nice touch for the modern traveler is offering a complimentary phone charger during their stay!

Touch Base Often

Once the guests have had a chance to settle in, find opportunities to catch up with them and ask how they’re enjoying their time with you. Do they like their room? Is there anything that you can do to make them feel more comfortable? These check-ins let guests know that you’re invested in their happiness and that you actually want them to be as comfortable as possible, which will make them feel right at home.


 

This blog was originally published on stevefarzam.org.

How You Can Book a Hotel Like a Pro

Whether you’re just sleeping in your room for the night or intend to spend your entire vacation at the hotel, booking a room at a luxury hotel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of overpaying for a room, save your extra cash and use these tips to book a hotel room like a pro.

Check Out Business Hotels

Business is often slower during the summer months and on weekends, especially in Europe. This means that hotels that cater to business travelers are slower as well, and they tend to offer deals and lower prices.

Wait to Check-In at the End of the Day

Since most guests have already checked in, ask for a corner room if any are available. Typically, you’ll get more square footage for the same price. Additionally, hotels are more aware of their occupancy by this point in the day, so you’re more likely to be offered an upgrade on your room.

Call the Hotel Directly

Rather than calling the 800-number provided, call the hotel directly, as the employees working will have a greater chance of being able to provide you with an upgrade. Having a good rapport with the employees and booking directly with them will also increase your chances of perks and upgrades if you book at the hotel regularly.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Signing up for the hotel’s loyalty programs is one of the easiest ways to score free upgrades and points. Loyalty programs vary per hotel but can include perks, like free Wi-Fi, free items with your booking, and more. You can also join loyalty programs through third-party sites, such as Hotels.com, which offers one night free with when you book 10 nights.

Get Alerts When the Price Drops

Life gets busy and it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of price changes. When you sign up for alerts through third-party sites, they will notify you when the price drops without spamming your inbox. If you don’t have a set destination, you can also check out Hotel.com’s Hotel Price Index, allowing you to see the increase and decrease in hotel prices around the globe.

Use Your Smartphone

Using hotel-related apps on your smartphone can unlock major discounts. Certain apps will provide you with secret prices for rooms during peak times, like weekends, and get you last-minute deals on rooms.

Utilize Membership Programs and Credit Card Perks

Member programs like AAA and AARP can offer a variety of special discounts to travelers such as a discount on bookings, activity vouchers and more. Many major credit cards also offer travelers a ton of perks, like cash back, points, or miles for flying. Check with each to see what they offer, utilize them along with the hotels’ reward programs and you’re sure to save.

If There Are Any Issues With Your Stay, Follow Up

No one like a noisy neighbor or a messy room, particularly on vacation. If there are any issues, follow up. You could receive an upgrade for the rest of you stay, drink vouchers, or a credit to your account.