With the advent of the concept of staycation and mini vacation, there’s no longer a need for a travel calendar for both, the customer or the hospitality industry.
A concomitant of this trend has been the rise of the well heeled traveller- solo, family, friends – all varieties.
This has also led to an increased awareness of what hotels can and can’t do, to up their hospitality scale.
Well, as an avid traveller here’s my top picks of what hotels can do to truly offer a star experience- five or otherwise. Add yours!
As you read, let the pics of my recent visit to Agra, accompany you…
Beyond a point, words will fail to fill in the gap of non-existent ‘guaranteed’ facilities, lack of an experience of local flavours, non-addressal of a query from a well researched traveller. Mostly, in the training to the hotel staff, language and its usage is emphasised, with little or no stress laid on the staff’s own local knowledge of hidden tit-bits about the local flavours of the tourist kind, and worse still, of the hotel facilities and amenities. So there, work on it! On my last trip, I felt the absence of a small library at the property, to fill in the lull of amidst the hullabaloo of travel.
If you are a Sauna lover, like me, you would first head to it or at least enquire abut the facility, first thing upon your arrival. Very few hotel staff will be familiar with the protocol of using one, let alone the hotel guests. It is a common sight in the best of Indian hotels to see an absence of female staff at these facilities, missing toiletries, non-existent explicit rules of use for the first time user and familiarization tours of such facilities at the property. In the absence of these, is it really a wonder that we see children as young a 9-10 using the sauna, people unaware of the temperature control inside it and in some cases unaware of the hygiene issues involved in the use of these places.
As a courtesy to other users of the Sauna or the steam room, the etiquette that ought to be followed is absent, the reason lies in the lack of pro-activeness of the hotel to recognise, that now it is not viewed as a luxury but a necessity in such properties and the traveller is no longer complacent and is surely more open to trying out new things.
An informed staff
Upon reaching earlier than our check in time, on a recent trip, we were told by the one of the staff manning the front desk, that it won’t be possible to check in then due to the unavailability of rooms. No sooner had he said that the manager next to him, piped in with a ready room available for us to move into. Really? Is this the lack of information we wish to display? No one’s is saying you have information right on your finger tips, but surely you can double check? No? This pattern is viewed consistently when ‘Let me check that for you …’ gets checked only at the time of check out!
Not to say that this is only applicable to Indian hotels, it is specific to hospitality industry that needs to up their awareness on the levels of depth that a well heeled traveler can go into, to make her trip memorable, in a pleasant way!