Located in popular Ocean City, New Jersey, Ocean 7 Motel is a seasonal property that offers 75 individually-owned and decorated studios and suites. All units are equipped with kitchenettes with two-burner stoves, and additional amenities include laundry facilities, an outdoor pool and a convenient located just steps from the beach and boardwalk. Ocean 7 has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit the hotel’s website to see how they are using WebRezPro to accept online bookings!
The Camrose Le Chateau Hotel is a 34-room property located in Camrose, Alberta. A wide variety of amenities are available onsite including a restaurant and bar, a business centre, WiFi and laundry facilities. Le Chateau Hotel has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro to accept online bookings!
Located in popular North Wildwood, New Jersey, Roman Holiday: A Family Resort Motel offers over 50 guest rooms and a host of amenities like an outdoor swimming pool with a kiddie pool, WiFi, kitchenettes in every room and a spacious oceanfront sundeck. This hotel has just started using our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how WebRezPro enables the hotel to accept online bookings!
Independent hoteliers have a huge job. To run a successful lodging operation, they must oversee on-site operations, hire and manage staff, and develop marketing strategies—all while ensuring top-quality customer experience. It can all sound a little overwhelming, but we live in a modern time, and there are technological solutions that can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Here are the four management tools every hotelier should have in their arsenal (and a few extra thrown in for your consideration):
Property Management System
The most important tool for success in this business is a powerful . The right choice will handle all front-office operations from making reservations to checking guests in and out to controlling rates and inventory. By managing these daily processes, and integrating with other core systems, the manual tasks that eat away at your time can be eliminated—allowing you to focus on more important matters.
There are a lot of options out there, and not all PMSs are created equal. So how do you know if a PMS is right for your property? Read on the essential features you should be looking for in a PMS.
Content Management System
When it comes to marketing, your website is your most important asset. It’s the digital extension of your property, and likely the first experience guests will have with your hotel. So you need to leave a good impression. And guest expectations for websites are high. They need to be informative, aesthetically pleasing, and dynamic—static sites just don’t cut it anymore. That’s where content management systems come in. With platforms like WordPress, keeping your website fresh is easy because content can be updated quickly, without the need for any coding or web design abilities.
Social Media Manager
No marketing approach is complete without a social media strategy. There are over three billion users active on social sites around the world, so it should be a priority for any business that wants to be successful. But there are a lot of different platforms out there, and while you don’t need to be on every one, you’ll likely have at least a couple different profiles to curate and maintain. So how do you stay on top of all these accounts? Social media management systems (like Hootsuite) allow you to manage all your profiles from one place. You can schedule posts (so you don’t have to waste time in the middle of a busy workday), monitor keywords online (so you know what people are saying about your property), and even measure the impact of your campaigns with built-in analytics features.
Customer Relationship Manager
The hospitality industry is all about customer experience. And while things like knowledgeable staff and excellent amenities still matter, personalization is what makes a business stand out today.
Being able to offer personalized experiences requires comprehensive guest profiles. If you want to surprise a guest with their favorite coffee, you need to know what their favorite coffee is. Customer relationship managers (like Guestfolio) allow you to keep track of valuable information about your guests as well as manage email communication, send newsletters, and facilitate guest surveys.
Scheduling solutions >> From front-desk staff to housekeeping to restaurant servers, hoteliers have to schedule and manage a team on top of all their other responsibilities. Tools like Agendrix can make that job a lot easier—saving you time and reducing inconvenient scheduling mistakes.
Task manager >> Whether you’re planning an event or running a marketing campaign, undertaking projects can be daunting. Task managers, like Trello and Asana, can help you plan, collaborate on, and track the progress of any tasks big or small.
Running an independent hotel can feel a little overwhelming. Set yourself up for success with these four (or more) management tools.
Today’s savvy nomad has realized that the hotel experience is an integral aspect of travel. Hotels are no longer merely the place of a morning departure and evening return, the place to shower and sleep, the place just to hang one’s hat; many guests expect their hotel to be an experience and an extension of its locale. Services and amenities continue to be important, and a beautiful space is essential, but travelers are increasingly choosing and returning to hotels based on ambiance. In other words, how your space feels is as important as what your hotel offers. Many recommend that a hotel create a home away from home, and that’s certainly important in the sense of comfort. A hotel should aim to be as comfortable as a home, but shouldn’t it offer more ease? In a sense, a hotel’s space should aspire to feel like the ideal home.
Travelers have eclectic tastes and strong expectations; still, it’s possible to enthuse them with unexpected features. The details of these features will depend on the brand you want to portray and story you want to tell – and make no mistake; ambiance tells a story. Decor continues to trend towards minimalism; however, simplicity can be executed in many ways. Some are choosing to mix neutral colors with soft blues, greens, and yellows. Others showcase one bold color – like a deep blue, red, or purple – set against softer creams and whites. Still others include urban art (like graffiti) as a striking visual statement. Mix and match tones, textures, and styles to produce unpredictable and engaging results.
One of the unique aspects your hotel has at its disposal is… itself. What is the history of the hotel? The building? If newly built, what is the inspiration behind its design? What is the history of the community? Every hotel has a story. Tell it through the traditional mediums of photographs, art, and displays, but also in the furniture you choose and the overall mood you set. Including pieces from local artists and artisans is a great way to tell your and your community’s story, and can also give your guests a unique glimpse at local ways of seeing the broader world.
This year many hoteliers will also rethink the function of their spaces.
Lobbies >> Front desks are increasingly being replaced with sit-down concierge desks where guests sip on coffee or wine while the check-in is conducted by staff with iPads. The lobby is your guest’s first interaction with a hotel’s physical space. It should be inviting, not pragmatic. Many hotels already have cafes, restaurants, or bars connected to their lobbies. Others are thinking beyond those mainstays, incorporating specialized bookstores, galleries, and libraries into their lobbies, opening a space for community members and guests to interact.
Rooms >> How often do guests use all the drawers in hotel rooms? Or hang a full closet of clothes? If your hotel caters to short stay visitors (and most do), the trend in room design is moving towards simplification with furniture designed especially for hotel rooms, including wall racks for hanging clothes, bed frames that enable a guest to slide their luggage underneath, and nightstands that double for desks. This trend is particularly appealing to hoteliers in urban markets where square footage is limited. Simplified furniture lends a spacious feel without needing as much space. Also, by designing variations in layout and differences in decor (through wall treatments, rugs, and lighting), hotels are increasingly providing a more distinct, fresh, and memorable experience, one that guests will be inspired to relive.
Including natural elements in hotel design is not new in 2018, but it has recently gained a new name, and with that comes a whole philosophy for rebuilding a relationship between humans and their environment. Biophilic Design will be on many designers minds this year. Biophilic Design seeks to remedy the discord between our lifestyle (especially urban) and our innate desire to connect with nature. Designers with this mindset aim to integrate buildings into their surroundings, incorporate natural elements like large plants, wood and stone, and maximize natural light. In a hotel’s communal spaces, designers are incorporating vertical gardens and multi-level terraces. At resorts, room sizes are decreasing to make room for larger balconies and verandas. In urban and rural hotels alike, expansive windows enable the local foliage and panoramic views to become part of a room’s ambiance.
The Human Spaces report into the Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace suggests that having a view of nature can trigger a dopamine response, and that contact with nature “has a restorative effect,” reducing stress and contributing to overall well-being. Designing spaces that incorporate elements from nature encourages an emotional connection with our environment, which will not only provide a sense of experience in your guests but also contribute to the productivity of your staff.
We crave more interaction with nature and people, but we’re also not willing to relinquish our electronic devices. Hotels should design bedrooms, boardrooms, and communal spaces that allow guests to stay connected.
Designers are creating clever ways to hide charging stations and preserve the décor of a room. Seamless doors in desks or nightstands open or lift to reveal USB ports and electrical outlets, enabling the modern guest to quickly plug in for work or play. Other designers are creating innovative ways to incorporate ports and outlets into the design of their headboards and other pieces. Hotels are also providing ports to enable guests to connect to their own media (Netflix, Apple TV, Google Play and YouTube) to watch their own content on the bigger screen. This is especially attractive for families who desire immediate access to cartoons and other programming for their young children, but many of us live in a world where we’re used to having our media at the tips of our thumbs. Offering access to our own media is one more way to offer the comforts of home, and offering access through innovative designs has the potential to elevate those home comforts.
Hotels are continuing to adopt smart technology like solar panels and personalized tablets to control room temperature and room service, but hotels are also ushering us into the future by embracing dynamic design features like wallpaper that changes color or pattern based on light and temperature. The hotels that deliver the most memorable experiences in 2018 will fuse innovation, design, and storytelling with comfort, leaving guests to return home to tell not only of their adventuring in your community, but of the experience they enjoyed throughout your hotel.