In today’s competitive hospitality sector, businesses must take every chance to improve hotel experience. Outstanding water amenities and other extras can make a real difference in delighting guests and ensuring increasing revenues.
In an ever-competitive hospitality industry that is recovering from the pandemic, any effort to improve hotel experience pays off. All current winning formulas in hospitality have a common idea behind them: successful hotels work actively to provide a differentiated, personal experience that leaves a memorable impression.
While any business transformation might seem daunting at first, there are some key measures that hospitality operators can start applying right away. Find out about them and get inspired to improve your hotel experience.
The hospitality sector has constantly been subject to year on year transformations. As a highly dynamic and competitive industry, companies must take a proactive stance in adjusting to hospitality trends and take on new developments and technologies that align with customer preferences. This is particularly a reality in a post-pandemic context, as the sector recovers from COVID-19 and its devastating effects.
While travel restrictions have eased out, customers are more cautious when it comes to spending. On the other hand, when they do travel, they expect real value for their money.
In such a context, there’s one crucial completion that hospitality companies must reach if they’re not to become obsolete: businesses will only succeed by focusing on offering value. But what does offering value mean in 2022? What are current hospitality guests looking for and how can businesses improve hotel experience in a decisive manner?
The following keywords draw a picture that describes how to satisfy customer experiences in hotels today:
- Personalization. Hospitality must move away from standardization and listen to guests’ particular needs, getting ahead of competition and even ahead of their own customers’ expectations.
- Safety and hygiene. After a global pandemic, standards have shifted: citizens are more aware of hygienic and safety measures and they want their accomodation to align with these requirements.
- Digitalization. In order to create appropriate experiences at hotels, businesses must be aware of customers’ expectations and make an effort to digitize their processes, from booking to check-outs. In fact, most hotel operators are already working on this according to Statista.
Aquatic installations have always stood out as a crucial element in providing extraordinary guest experiences. Typically associated with fun and/or relaxation, the right type of swimming pool and associated areas can be decisive to improve hotel experience and leave a mark on customers, which translates into excellent reviews and loyal clients.
Aquatic spaces are key in the hospitality sector for at least the following two reasons:
- They’re a must-have requirement for guests. Many travelers are sure they want their holidays to include swimming pool experiences – and they use filters on their hotel search to ensure they find the right hotel with aquatic installations. This is the case for guests traveling with children, who will be delighted to find a safe and fun splash park, or those looking for a “wellbeing experience”, who will be captivated by outstanding wellness installations.
- They have the potential to become the heart of unique leisure spaces that pushes a hotel’s economic performance. From exclusive water shows to cocktail bars or family entertainment experiences, adding surrounding amenities can turn an otherwise unused space into a key functional location that justifies a higher price per room, while increasing the hotel’s average ticket and ROI (return of investment).
Contemporary developments in aquatic systems allow hotels to improve their experience by playing the swimming pool hand, while also guaranteeing efficiency and sustainability of business’ installations.
This can translate into a number of solutions: from cutting-edge automation technologies that ensure safety and energy efficiency to state-of-the-art building techniques and installations that reduce the pool’s costs while taking guest experiences to a new level.
The following are the key swimming pool possibilities that can help businesses to improve hotel experience and stand out in today’s competitive market:
Automation and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies applied to aquatic installations mean efficient management that ensures energetic and economic savings. Modern systems such as Fluidra Connect & InnfoPool optimize operator’s management capacities while also providing guests with an improved and more hygienic pool experience. Additionally, all of it can be done through intuitive platforms controlled from smart devices such as mobiles or tablets.
Water games and thematization
Aquatic installations can play a significant role in providing personalized experiences for hotel guests. Themed pools offer immersive experiences that can match a hotel’s atmosphere and align with a business’ target audience and their preferences. The possibilities in that area will mix professional pool engineering and efficient pool construction systems with innovative features such as cascades, waterfalls or hydromassage jets, among others. Furthermore, water slides and splashparks help improve swimming pool experiences for kids and improve hotel experiences in family-oriented businesses.
Although often overlooked, swimming pool illumination systems are a central element in guaranteeing the right atmosphere and safety in aquatic installations. Nowadays, opting for LED lighting systems ensures hotels can generate themed atmospheres, and extend their pools or fountains life by preparing them for night activities while remaining sustainable in terms of energy savings and cost-efficiency.
Wellness areas can help differentiate a hospitality business and target “wellness-oriented” guests looking for the right accomodation to relax during their holidays. It’s thus an unmissable opportunity to improve the hotel experience. The possibilities for wellness circuits today are multiple: water elements include hydrotherapy pools, vitality pools, floatation therapy spaces, and hydromassage pools with waterfalls, among other installations. Besides, circuits are often enhanced by the addition of Finnish and outdoor saunas or steam baths.
Also, and following current wellness installations’ trends, all these elements will generate a coherent circuit. This way, hotel guests are taken on a guided experience in which body and mind are taken care of through different treatments.
Water fountains consist of ornamental installations in which water effects, light, color dynamics, and sensorial experiences combine to leave a lasting impression on guests. They represent a fusion between architecture, art installation and aquatic engineering all blending in to enhance a hotel’s appeal.
These elements can be built in both indoor and outdoor areas and translate into multiple experiences such as thrilling water shows, cozy, zen-like cascades at resort gardens, modern and interactive dry deck fountains or a classic vessel fountain at the hotel main hall. All improve the hotel architecture appeal and provide pleasant sensations to the guests.
Natural experiences: ponds and bio-pools
Businesses looking for ways to improve hotel experience can make the most of today’s renovated interest in the environment to target certain types of guests. Both ponds and bio-pools provide aquatic experiences that bring pool users close to nature, inviting them to swim and immerse in a natural environment where fauna and flora coexist. The latter option is especially adequate for businesses targeting eco-conscious consumers who make travel decisions based on a hotel’s sustainability.
Guest expectations have rapidly transformed in recent years. This means a changing landscape has developed in tourist experiences thanks to digital possibilities and, more recently, hygienic and safety measures as a result of the pandemic. Hotels and resorts face the challenge of aligning with these rapidly changing preferences.
However, the winning formula is not as complex as it may seem: unique facilities and entertainment, personalization and extraordinary customer service will rapidly translate into loyal customers, return on investment, word-of-mouth recommendations and positive reviews in online social platforms. All of these must be integrated into a proactive service model that anticipates customer needs and potential issues.
The following represent some key, practical steps that hospitality operators can take in order to improve hotel experience:
Personalized services in hotels mean guests are offered experiences and services that align with their particular needs and tastes. Technology plays a crucial role in helping hotels implement personalization policies, with tools such as CRS (Central Reservation System) platforms for reservations, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for marketing and sales operations and SO (Service Optimization) systems for evaluating current and future guest experiences.
Multi-channel and adequate digital communication
Both business travelers and guests expect hotels to be reachable through a variety of digital channels, from booking to check-out and all other exchanges in between – such as social media, email, text messaging, or telephone calls. And also includes providing the possibility of contacting hotel staff to request services or solve potential issues during their stay.
While this is extra convenient for guests and a good way to improve their hotel experiences, hotel operators will also see substantial enhancements in their workflows and efficiency.
More so, post-booking communication is a specific area that must be taken care of. An adequate follow-up email is a key marker to improve hotel experience and enhance a company’s branding. It actually performs a number of important operations:
- Confirm the booking for the guest
- Respond to personal messages they’ve sent at their reservation
- Offer additional services (meal reservations, extra pillows, etc)
- Set the tone for future communications. The right follow-up email will move away from cold, distant messages and start developing a personal connection with the future guest
- Gather information on the guest’s preferences and needs before their stay, building a client profile and preparing the hotel to generate a perfect experience.
Freebies and complementary services
Freebies and extra services (such as free shuttle buses to airports or free Wi-Fi) are great for improving branding and reputation, inciting word-of-mouth recommendations and great reviews on social platforms.
Hotels are incorporating technology solutions to improve hotel experiences in a number of ways, from smart keys that guests activate through their phones to using tablets for room requests.
Rewards that encourage guest loyalty
Reward programs often include discounts or free nights for loyal clients that repeatedly book stays. A faster-pace model for loyalty programs can incorporate other rewards such as free drinks, late check-out possibilities or room upgrades. Identifying and calling guests by their name when they come back will also improve the hotel experience for loyal guests.
Guarantee inclusive and accessible experiences
With aging populations around the world (demographic predictions show the aging population will represent 21.5% of the Earth’s inhabitants by 2050), hotel operators must make sure they align with this demographic’s particular needs. This might include modifying architectural installations as well as other processes, including customer service policies. Guaranteeing inclusivity in all areas will not only improve hotel experience for guests, but also ensure extra attention on social reviews.
Ecological and veggie food offers
Hotels can join ecological, vegetarian and vegan food trends to target conscious consumers. Additionally, embracing local businesses and cuisine that is also healthy will attract the “foodie” and “wellness” guests looking for body and mind experiences during their holiday.
All in all, today’s consumers are demanding added, real value from hospitality operators. From aquatic installations to digitized processes, any investments in these shown areas will likely see a quick return on investment, as guests will easily appreciate the hotel’s effort to provide a differentiated experience.