Hospitality is my trade and I thrive off providing the perfect escape for people all over the world. We have 23 bedrooms, two bars a restaurant and some sports facilities including a pool and tennis courts all based in the glorious green English countryside. My hotel is my pride and joy and it has to as it takes up your entire life. Social life? Forget about it! Over the years we have had extensive work done to improve the facilities as we strive for the five start glory. It’s not been easy and it hasn’t been cheap either but I think due to our friendly hotel and service we have been able to secure our five stars and provide an excellent experience for every single one of our guests.
If you are thinking of opening your hotel, improving your current premises or starting a B&B I have a few tips for you to help ensure your guests keep returning year after year and that will help your reputation grow.
- Welcome everybody with a friendly smile and a comfortable atmosphere. Discrimination doesn’t belong in the hospitality industries. You shouldn’t turn away or treat anyone differently because of their race, religious beliefs, sexuality or disabilities.
- Ensure your facilities are up to scratch. Do you have easy access for wheel chair users? Are your signs able to be read by the blind or the partially sighted? Are your bathrooms safe and in good condition? Have you thought about the needs of the elderly? If you want to improve your premises always consult with the current Best Practice and of course the Equality Act and Health and Safety information.
- Provide a friendly and professional service. Although you may have been up all night sorting out an emergency in the kitchen you still need to put on that genuine smile to welcome your guests. Have a porter on hand to help with luggage and bags, keep the rooms clean and hygienic and be prepared to provide an additional local tourist service.
- Food is a vital area to get right. We use local foods and change our menu quite regularly to attract local diners to boost our business. We have a modern restaurant, fully trained kitchen staff and comfortable seating for everyone. We also have printed menus for the blind and plenty of space for wheelchair users.
- Respect your guests as they are the ones who will be recommending your hotel to their friends and family. It’s a great idea to ask all guests to fill in a quick survey (we do this by adding the form in the welcome pack) and actually take the time to read the feedback and consider any suggested improvements. One of our guests highlighted the fact that the shower was leaking and we had no idea, another informed us they were unable to reach the bathroom light so we had the string extended in all rooms.
Running a hotel can be extremely stressful but if you like meeting new people and making sure they are comfortable it’s a wonderful way of making a living. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to be accessible to all of your guests. If you have the time and the guests wish to ask you anything be sure to give them your attention. It really does help to personalise their stay and we have received many excellent reviews complimenting us on our friendly service and relaxed atmosphere. In addition to this think of all the small details and stay on top of minor problems before they can become large expenses.
Before you open your hotel to the public request access audits to be carried out by consultants and discover how accessible your premises are to your paying guests.