Author Archives: Mark Ellis

Summer Hotelier Tips: 4 Ways To Use Your Hotel Channel Manager More Effectively

Summer Hotelier Tips: 4 Ways To Use Your Hotel Channel Manager More Effectively

It’s summer, and we’re in the middle of a unique calendar year, which means most hoteliers have probably not concerned themselves with refining their distribution strategy.

That’s understandable, but if you can squeeze an extra hour or so out of your day to pay closer attention to your channel manager, you’ll be able to maximize your occupancy – and do so profitably.

Channel managers are now part and parcel of most hotel booking systems, and while it might be tempting to set yours up initially and then leave it to its own devices, you’ll quickly find yourself cursing the hotel’s inability to match its competitors’ occupancy levels.

To be competitive in this market, you need a proactive channel management strategy – it’s that simple.

In this blog, we’re going to look at four ways hoteliers can use their channel managers more effectively.

1. Make sure it’s integrated

Are you using a separate channel manager and hotel booking system without any link between the two?

Bit of an effort that, eh?

There’s a way around this, which is to ensure you opt for a channel manager that integrates with your hotel booking system. And when we say ‘integrates’, we mean a full, two-way link between both platforms.

Such solutions ensure your availability and rates are correct, no matter where they appear online but, more importantly, rid you of the frustration that comes with updating multiple systems. You’ll also avoid overbooking and benefit from a very happy team behind the front desk.

2. Work to increase the number of OTAs you use

We’ve often said that you need to spread your wings far and wide online when it comes to channel management, and that remains true today.

It may feel like you’re giving everything away to third parties by signing up with as many OTAs as possible, but if your hotel is missing from a website on which your main competitor resides, you’re giving up far too easily.

Surely you want to fight for those bookings too?

The more channels you add, the more you get to explore the industry and find new ways of attracting guests. You may even find new markets you hadn’t considered before or discover that overseas visitors are particularly fond of your independent hotel.

Never consider your distribution network complete; new OTAs arrive regularly.

3. Tailor tariffs for different demographics

Once you have a good number of OTAs on board, you can start sussing out the types of guest they attract.

If certain websites are favoured by millennials or baby boomers, you can tailor your tariffs to attract those types of guest. Conduct your own research by finding out what kind of extras and price points float the boats of these people.

If you simply offer the same style of tariff across every OTA, you may be alienating significant portions of your customer base.

4. Don’t neglect your own website

It’s easy to forget that one of the most important websites within your channel manager is your own.

Treat it like an OTA, albeit one that you know like the back of your hand. Be careful not to break the rules of your OTA agreements, but, equally, have some fun.

Try offering package that include additional, ‘freebie’ extras that can’t be found on OTAs. Modern guests will do an awful lot of research before they decide to book, which means they’ll inevitably stumble across your website at some stage.

Give them a reason to book direct.

Wrapping up

We’ve got you thinking, haven’t we?

Grab that extra hour and log into your channel manager. Those buttons, switches and toggles will all still be there, waiting for your input.

Don’t leave your occupancy to chance.

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

For U.S., please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.

Why the Cloud Will Make Your Hotel More Resilient

Why the Cloud Will Make Your Hotel More Resilient

It’s thought that the shift to cloud computing among American businesses will amount to over $1.3 trillion in IT spend by 2022.

That huge figure should come as no surprise. Cloud platforms are now commodities in many industries – the hospitality industry included.

Despite this, there’s still some nervousness among hoteliers when it comes to moving from an on-premise property management system to a cloud-based alternative.

This is understandable, but the resilience offered by the cloud has never been more important. Here’s why it could transform your hotel business.

You’ll never worry about data loss again

Data loss is a major concern for any business, but the cloud guarantees that your data is always available, even if you have hardware problems on-site at the hotel.

In fact, the term ‘disaster recovery’ is rendered largely irrelevant if you’re running your hotel software in the cloud, because it simply isn’t going anywhere!

It’ll mobilize your team, right when they need it most

The best cloud-based platforms work across a variety of devices. For instance, that means you can access your reservations from your tablet and break free from your workstation.

As demonstrated during the Covid pandemic, cloud-based apps come to the rescue when the team has to temporarily work remotely, by providing them with the tools they need, wherever they happen to be. This will give hotels the flexibility to let employees work remotely, or work remotely themselves, should they need to.

It’ll scale as fast as you do

If your hotel business is growing, you need technology that can come along for the ride.

On-premise systems often need to be updated to account for business growth, but the cloud scales at the same rate you do, which can significantly reduce costs and periods of downtime.

Data security will always be ahead of the curve

Relying on your own in-house IT security is challenging because it involves continually updating antivirus software and device operating systems.

Moving to the cloud won’t alleviate the need to think security-first entirely, but it will mean that the most important data you deal with is secured on servers that are equipped to deal with the latest forms of cybercrime.

It’ll help you gain control of your overheads

Gone are the days of big, expensive up-front implementation costs and high recurring support fees.

The cloud isn’t only scalable, secure and mobile – it’s highly cost-effective, too. Most cloud platforms are offered at a reasonable monthly fee which can be easily accounted for and which typically includes upgrades, too.

Wrapping up

The reasons for moving to the cloud are mounting.

It won’t happen overnight for many hotels, and their concerns about moving away from an on-premise solution are understandable. The PMS does, after all, sit at the heart of every successful hotel.

Have we tempted you to make the move sooner rather than later?

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

Why cloud PMS systems are changing the hotel industry for the better

Why cloud PMS systems are changing the hotel industry for the better

 

It is certain that as the hotel industry prepares for a new era, needs are changing.

Consider the transformation we’ve seen in just the past few years. With the rise of cloud-based PMS systems, hoteliers are saying goodbye to stacks of paper, and freeing up physical storage spaces in back offices to make room for cloud PMS systems that efficiently run their properties.

Hoteliers have been slow to move to a cloud-based PMS just because making any transition to a new technology can be daunting.

However, since the goal of any hotelier is increased efficiency and enhanced integrations, cloud-based PMS systems seem to be where their decisions are heading. Combine this with the fact that remote work may very well be a habit many keep even post-pandemic, and hoteliers and staff alike will have the ability to connect from anywhere.

Truth is, cloud-based systems are changing the way hoteliers manage their properties. Through features capable of obtaining guest data in real-time, increased access to owners and general managers offsite, and through friendly interfaces that are easy on the eyes, cloud PMS systems are a win-win to hoteliers of all skill levels.

Cloud-based PMS impacts for hoteliers

The emergence of cloud-based PMS systems had quite an influence on hoteliers.

For example, hoteliers can access their hotel PMS from anywhere in the world where an Internet connection is available. This feature is welcomed to busy hoteliers so they can keep tabs on their properties and still have time to do a little traveling themselves.

In addition, cloud-based PMS systems are hosted by a PMS vendor’s server that provides the hotelier with a scalable solution that is easily updated and super flexible.

Cloud PMS impacts for staff

Cloud-based PMS systems have proven to increase productivity and efficiency in staff members at all levels of the property. Using automation, staff members can spend more time responding to guest requests which in turn creates a unique guest experience for each guest and keeps them coming back.

In addition to improving the level of productivity and efficiency at the onsite staff level, hoteliers that have implemented a cloud-based PMS have also seen a decrease in outside IT staff as well. By eliminating the need for an on-site server, a hotelier can also eliminate the need to maintain the server; no more costly software upgrades.

Cloud-based PMS impacts for the budget

To put it frankly, cloud PMS systems cut hotel costs and increase revenue. Period!

Most server-based PMS systems require that hoteliers purchase expensive licenses, hardware, and peripherals that add up to a sizable amount over the course of a year. However, most cloud-based PMS systems are sold as a service that allows hoteliers to select as many (or as few) options as they’d like or need.

This makes cloud PMS systems extremely affordable and customizable, saving hoteliers’ money in the long run. Did you know that when purchasing a cloud-based PMS system you can say goodbye to items like
maintenance costs, software to support the PMS, software licensing and specific hardware?

Wrapping Up

It is apparent that cloud-based PMS systems are where hotel technology is going.

But whether you’re looking to save money, access your property from anywhere, increase productivity or simply keep up with the times, cloud PMS systems are the direction you’ll want to go.

If you’re interested in finding out more about roomMaster Anywhere and how it can help your property become more efficient, contact our Sales Team today to schedule a quick demo.
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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

How to make your hotel eco-friendly in 2021

How to make your hotel eco-friendly in 2021

If you’re currently looking to the future as an independent hotelier, you might have eco-friendliness in mind.

The ‘pause’ on the hotel industry the past year has given hoteliers everywhere a chance to rethink how they operate. Not only in how they serve guests, but how they can operate in a more eco-friendly matter. After all, not only does that mean a better future, but it could also mean a boost to the bottom line.

In a post-Covid era, the vast majority of travelers will want to travel sustainably. Therefore, if you’re a hotelier who wants to stand out from the rest, you can use it as a differentiator.

1. Ensure every room has clearly marked recycling options

Head into any modern office and you’ll quickly spot the recycling options for staff. Catch-all trash cans have been thrown out (excuse the puns) and replaced with color-coded waste baskets.

You can do the same in your hotel’s rooms. Encourage guests to correctly recycle their waste by marking bins for recycling, landfill and food waste.

Make sure you do the same for staff too, including compost bins to get rid of the waste created by your garden staff.

2. Stop using disposable cups

Hotels have for quite some time relied on disposable cups for in-room refreshments.

It makes little sense. The cost for continually replacing those cups and the impact they have on the environment just doesn’t benefit your business or its brand image in any way.

Instead, invest in real glasses. Sure, they’ll cost a little more upfront, but they’ll last for years and will be far more pleasurable for guests to use.

3. Don’t forget the restaurant

If your hotel features a restaurant, there’s plenty you can do to lower its carbon footprint.

Here are some quick wins:

  • use cloth napkins rather than paper towels;
  • don’t use plastic straws – opt for paper straws instead;
  • brew real tea and coffee (you’d be amazed by how detrimental the packaging for instant coffee and tea is);
  • don’t use individually wrapped butter, mayo or other condiments – instead, use small ceramic bowls for guests to use; and
  • only use real cups, plates and cutlery.

Check out this blog post for some great tips on furthering your green efforts in the restaurant.

4. Implement an energy management system

Hotels use an awful lot of energy, and sometimes for little to no reason at all.

For instance, when a guest checks out of the room, why should the air conditioning remain active? Equally, if no one is in the corridor on floor seven, why keep the lights on?

An energy management system may not be a small investment, but its long-term, positive impact on your energy overheads and the ability for the hotel to reduce its carbon footprint is likely to be profound.

5. Make some small, but vital changes

Sometimes, the small stuff makes a big difference, and that’s definitely the case with these simple eco-friendly hotel tips:

  • ask guests to reuse their towels as often as possible;
  • make sure room key cards are reused for as long as possible until they absolutely need replacing;
  • email invoices from your hotel property management system;
  • offer reusable laundry bags; and
  • try and stock minibars with eco-friendly packaged snacks and drinks.

Wrapping up

You future guests are going to be increasingly environmentally conscious. However, if you start making eco-friendly choices now, your hotel will remain competitive and highly attractive to the modern traveler for a long time to come.

Let’s not forget that while you’re going green to increase your property’s eco-friendly rating and sustainability, you’ll also be doing your part to protect the planet too!

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

The Key Ingredients of a Powerful Channel Manager

The Key Ingredients of a Powerful Channel Manager

There are so many sources of potential business for modern hotels. From the humble hotel website to the myriad of online travel agencies (OTAs) and review websites, guests can, literally, appear from anywhere.

But how do you tame this vast online platform of bookings?

For new and experienced hoteliers alike, channel management can be something of a headache. That is, unless you have the right tool.

With that in mind, here are the five key ingredients of a powerful hotel channel manager.

1. Genuine two-way connections with OTAs

A channel manager isn’t much use if it only synchronizes your availability and rates one-way with OTAs.

If you have to manually input reservations into your PMS or spend hours each month uploading your rates and availability into a channel manager, it will cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Channel managers should be in constant contact with OTAs and your website (see point 4). This ensures every room price and level of room stock advertised online is correct.

2. No extra commission charges

Online travel agency commission bills are hard to swallow at the best of times. So why add to them with a channel manager that also charges per reservation?

Most channel managers are built directly into property management systems, but if you’re implementing one as an addition, find a system that doesn’t charge commission or booking fees. It’ll be far more cost-effective if you just pay a flat subscription or up-front fee.

3. Full control over rate and availability distribution

Without getting into the rate parity debate, there’s no denying the fact that, as the hotelier, you should have ultimate control over your availability and rate distribution online.

This is why the channel manager you choose should give you the ability to dictate the prices and availability each website receives. You may never decide to modify those settings, but what if you need to cut off the supply to a particular OTA or remove availability that’s reserved for a wedding reservation?

4. Integration with your website (that’s a channel, too!)

It’s easy to forget that your hotel’s own website is a booking channel, too.

With that in mind, your channel manager should treat it as such. That means it should sit alongside your OTA connections and be given the same level of customizability. It should also be given the same rate and availability distribution options as the rest.

5. Two-way link with your PMS

Just like those two-way OTA links, your PMS should have a constant, bidirectional link to the channel manager.

This means that as soon as availability changes in the PMS (i.e. due to a telephone booking), the net result of your room stock should be updated online – without manual intervention.

The same goes for reservations; they should enter your PMS’s booking chart without anyone having to lift a finger.

If your PMS has advanced revenue management features, those should also be compatible (as far as possible, depending on OTA capabilities) with your channel manager, enabling you to make swift changes to your rate strategy and see them reflected online.

The right channel manager will be key to your success

Modern channel managers of course do an awful lot more than the above, but this list represents the features you simply can’t do without if you want to attract as many guests as possible.

Are you ready to take advantage of the huge market that lies in wait for your hotel? Make sure you have the best channel manager and hotel PMS to hand, because they’re key to making a success of 2020.

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology. We deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

5 ways to raise guest engagement at your independent hotel

5 ways to raise guest engagement at your independent hotel

If you run an independent hotel, guest engagement is essential. You’ll want to build a relationship with your customers so that they remain loyal after their first visit. The advantage you have in running an independent hotel, is that you can truly provide some unique engagement that guests are unlikely to get with larger hotel chains. By engaging with your guests, you can get a better sense of what your guests want and in turn, prompt them to book with you again.

This is easier said than done, especially if you’re not a natural marketing whiz kid. And you need to strike the right balance between building your brand and letting your guests get on with their lives uninterrupted.

To help you out, here are five things we think will help you get the hang of engaging guests at your hotel, whether you’re starting from scratch or updating existing strategies.

1. Know your audience

It may be tempting to send out offers and deals to every single one of your previous guests who are still on your mailing list. Unfortunately, this approach is guaranteed to annoy some people. Each guest is different, which in turn should have you trying different approaches in engaging with guests during their stay.

Receiving marketing that isn’t relevant to their interests will create a bad impression of your hotel. Instead, it’s a good idea to drill down into the data, assess which customers will be a match for your various packages, offers and services, and target smaller segments to get the best results.

2. Make suggestions

Guests will feel that you understand them better if you give them a few ideas about activities and offers that are best suited to their lifestyles and desires.

Suggest local events which fall into their areas of interest when writing marketing mail-outs. Just be sure that these are relevant; it might not be appropriate to send a customer who visited alone on business an invitation to the next family fun day, for example.

3. Encourage feedback

Unless you take action to engage your guests after their first visit, they’ll probably forget about your hotel altogether. By simply requesting a quick review following their stay, you’ll stand the best chance to boost the likelihood of repeat business.

You can also try other tactics to earn future bookings. Why not email customers in the run-up to their birthday with a discount offer that they’ll recognise as an opportunity to treat themselves?

If you don’t follow up on the first visit, you’ll never establish lasting relationships with guests.

4. Avoid oversaturation

Remember the balancing act we mentioned earlier? Engagement isn’t about bombarding people with constant blog posts and emails or prodding them for interaction at every turn. It’s about working out the right time to strike and not taking advantage of their contact info too often.

Ultimately, it’s the little things that count. From the unique touches that make guests feel welcome the minute they arrive, to the help and support you provide throughout their stay and beyond, good customer service goes a lot further than an unwanted shower of emails.

5. Share what makes you special

Being honest about what sets your hotel apart from your competitors is the best way to get potential customers interested. And you shouldn’t be worried about being copied by rivals, as imitations rarely match up to the real thing.

You could use social media to give people a behind-the-scenes look at how you operate, from preparing food in the restaurant to choosing quirky accessories to create compelling room designs. Don’t be shy to experiment with new platforms to generate engagement.

These tips are just the ‘tip’ of the iceberg when it comes to guest engagement! So, get experimental and see what works for your independent hotel.

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

For US, please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.

How UK hoteliers can boost destination promotion to boost occupancy

How UK hoteliers can boost destination promotion to boost occupancy

Some hotels try hard to be unique so that guests are more likely to come knocking, but the biggest influence on booking numbers will often be location, location, location. Hence, destination promotion is crucial in having guests flock to your hotel.

The UK hospitality industry is currently in a period where reaching out to domestic travellers will be key to maintaining occupancy. There’s clearly an appetite for travel, even if it means staying within the UK, as bookings soared by 450% following the PM’s announcement that the industry can reopen this May. Therefore, boosting marketing efforts towards staycationers will be crucial to hotels navigating the storm.

While hotels in the country may not be hosting many guests from abroad for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean that all other marketing efforts are in vain; it just makes it important to emphasise that your hotel is the gateway to an amazing destination. Implementing some effort into destination promotion can help your hotel in a big way, as guests will be more inclined to flock to your hotel if you’ve made the effort into helping guests fill out their trip. Not only that, but if guests enjoy your suggestions, they’ll be more likely to become return guests. Incorporating this into a simple booking engine for your hotel also helps matters. By going the extra mile in helping guests learn more about your hotel’s area, they’ll feel more comfortable in staying at your hotel. So be sure to tout your hotel’s location!

Here are some ideas to help you promote your independent hotel based on the incredible attractions in the surrounding area.

Surf the social media wave!

While it might not be practical to hire a hotshot influencer to promote your hotel via social media, you can still get your guests involved to enhance your traction online.

One idea is to encourage customers to share snaps and videos captured during their stay using a unique hashtag to make them searchable and trend-worthy.

You could also incentivise mentions of your hotel’s social media accounts by offering discounts for guests who use Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to post pictures of local landmarks in which you’re tagged.

Secure local partnerships

Cross-promotional deals with other businesses in the area will always be mutually beneficial, so approach potential partners and suggest joining forces, (providing they’re not potential rivals, of course!).

For example, you could provide discounted access to nearby tourist hot spots to people who book a room at your hotel, which will increase occupancy rates and also send more visitors the way of the attraction itself.

Invest in unique content

Many independent hotels have already taken the step of amplifying their online marketing and increasing their influence by producing bespoke content.

This can be in the form of blogs, podcasts or videos, and tuned to highlight on-site facilities, while also drawing attention to the wonders of the region in which your hotel sits.

If your hotel is in a rural area, why not commission a video with drone footage of the countryside trails and gorgeous views that customers can experience?

Located within an urban sprawl? Be sure to pick up on the entertainment, leisure and dining options available nearby and write regular blogs that highlight the wonderful experiences they offer! Just make sure you always link it back to why visitors should use your hotel as a base for the night.

Promote events and activities

Even small-scale events taking place near your hotel or hosting your own virtual events will have some form of online buzz which you can latch onto in order to generate more traffic for your website.

You could simply get in touch with organisers and ask them for a press release to publish on your hotel’s website or go one step further and write a uniquely worded summary so that you can latch onto some of the search traffic for the event.

Wrapping up

Promoting your hotel as a gateway to an amazing destination is an incredibly effective tactic, but one which many independents overlook.

In an age of OTAs and web bookings, it’s easy for guests to compare every hotel in a specific area based on location and room price, while ignoring the countless steps you’ve taken to grab their attention via other means.

Proper management of destination promotion is one way to pique their interest and demonstrate that there’s far more to a stay at your hotel than the property itself.

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

For US, please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.

The 5 funniest things left in hotel rooms – and how you should deal with them

The 5 funniest things left in hotel rooms – and how you should deal with them

As the old saying goes, what happens in hotel rooms stays in hotel rooms…

Looking after countless guests over the years inevitably leaves hotel employees with some amusing stories over what they’ve encountered in their experiences. Inevitably there are days when all you can do is have a good laugh about it. It’s perfectly normal for a guest to perhaps leave an eyeglass case behind or perhaps a pair of shoes, but what’s one supposed to do when a guest leaves say, an animal or a strange letter behind? Well, we’re going to share some amusing stories addressing that along with some quick tips on how to proceed, other than chuckling of course.

With that in mind, here’s a few of the weird and wacky things guests have forgotten to take with them when checking out, as well as some tips on how independent hotels might cope when faced with a similar situation.

1. Enough potatoes to fill the bath

A few years ago, one guest at a Travelodge reportedly left a vast number of Jersey Royals… in the bath.

This is just one of the many odd objects guests have forgotten to take with them from this particular chain of bargain hotels, but surely one of the hardest to explain; who takes potatoes to a hotel?

If you end up with several hundred kilos of potatoes courtesy of an eccentric, carb-obsessed guest, at least you won’t run out of chips for the restaurant that evening…

2. A love letter to salad

Finding little notes or memos in a hotel room is perfectly normal and it’s been known for guests to accidentally leave their personal diaries behind.

What’s perhaps less normal is the notebook one hotel employee discovered, which was filled not with dates and reminders, but with an 80 page monologue on why salad is so delicious.

If you find a similarly bizarre food-based pamphlet (although, this is surely a one-off), we’d advise getting on the phone to a publisher ASAP, because you might just have a best-selling diet book on your hands.

3. Upside down furniture

This one’s funny in theory, but dealing with the reality might be a bit too much to take for many hoteliers.

A worker at a high end hotel reported that one guest had stuck pieces of furniture to the ceiling of their room, creating a complete inversion of how it would normally look.

An elaborate stag do prank or attempt at modern art? We’ll let you decide.

Ideally, in this situation, you’d take a deep breath to calm yourself, pull up the guest’s booking information on your property management system and give them a call – after taking plenty of photos for social media, obviously.

4. A small horse

Some hotels are happy to allow guests to bring pets with them, but this can have a few unforeseen consequences.

In 2015 a hotel in Scotland was visited by a Shetland pony, known as ‘Pudding’. Cute, yes, but a little unwieldily as a hotel guest.

Perhaps the best way to prepare for an animal event of this nature is to stock up on bales of hay, or when a guest arrives with any pet larger than a dog, just say “nay”. Sorry.

5. A fabric man (no, really)

Hotel guests often create a lot of obstacles for cleaning staff when they make a mess, but what if a customer took the time to construct a man-shaped avatar out of throw pillows, sheets, glasses and the TV remote control?

That’s exactly what happened at one hotel in Azerbaijan as a social media-savvy holidaymaker attempted to go viral with a new craze dubbed the ‘room service challenge’.

If this occurs at your hotel, you could politely ask the guest to stop, or better still, engage in some friendly competition by trying to one-up them each day with your own creations.

Wrapping up

In reality you’ll probably never want to discover an abandoned horse in one of your hotel rooms, or the furniture stuck to the ceiling. But, clearly, it happens.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found left in your hotel? Let us know in the comments section, below!

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between. 

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions. 

For US, please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.

How to turn your hotel into a specialist accommodation provider

How to turn your hotel into a specialist accommodation provider

If you’re sniggering at the back having read the title of this blog post, we should perhaps point out that by ‘specialist accommodation provider’, we’re not referring to the practice of offering hotel rooms by the hour.

However, the hoteliers promoting the use of their properties for such erm… endeavours… may well have a point.

Bear with us.

The modern hotel sector is driven by the desire to create unforgettable guest experiences, and property owners are finding ever more inventive ways to do so.

The key here is to create a hotel stay and experience that is memorable for the right reasons and inspiring enough to prompt guests to tell their friends. This can be achieved by focusing on any of following elements:

-décor;

-food and/or drink;

-technology comforts;

-warmth of communications;

-on-site activities (or tie-ins with local attractions); and

-relevancy to the guest.

If your hotel is closed at the moment, this could be an opportunity to take some time and think of ways where you can begin to zero in on potential guests you may not have considered before.

In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the latter, and look at three potential areas in which your hotel could specialise and appeal to a very specific audience.

1. The cycling pitstop

British cycling is booming.

Thanks to Bradley Wiggins and co, there appears to be more lycra-clad cyclists on the roads than ever before, and as a hotelier, that could present quite an opportunity.

If you happen to be placed conveniently on a common cycling route (and, let’s be honest, they’re rarely consigned to national cycle routes), your hotel could be the perfect overnight pitstop and respite for two-wheeled addicts.

By offering somewhere to securely store bikes, maps of alternative routes and high energy-based recovery meals, you’ll tap into a huge market that would otherwise have wheeled silently past your property.

2. The walkers’ retreat

It doesn’t matter where your hotel is situated, be it a busy city centre or tucked away in a pretty little hamlet – it probably resides either directly within or close by a common walking route.

A bit like cycling, the nation’s increased thirst for exercise has prompted many of us to head to our nearest outdoor clothing shop and stock up on rambling gear. And anyone who has gone one step further and actually used that gear will know how welcome the sight of a pub is during a long trek.

If your hotel has a bar – that’s your first route into this market, but you can go much further by following the cycling example.

Offer refreshments, restorative meals, maps and reasonably-priced rooms for the night and you’ll capture the eye of many a walking group. Make it clear on approach that you welcome dogs and muddy boots (in specific areas of the hotel, of course), and you’ll be amazed by how many people decide to take a break from their hike and drop in (or pre-book a room once word starts to spread!).

3. The classic car meet

Have you got a sizeable carpark or patch of grass that sits unused for long stretches of the year? If so, you have a brilliant opportunity to encourage car enthusiasts to regularly visit your hotel.

Classic car ‘meets’ are incredibly popular and take place all year round. What’s more, the organisers of these petrol-fuelled events are always looking for space in which to hold them, and your hotel could provide an attractive backdrop, plenty of room for the vehicles and beds for anyone who has travelled particularly far.

Wrapping up

In a market as competitive as this one, you need to get creative in order to differentiate your offering from the bland, flatpack chain competition and more adventurous independents. Our tips above will hopefully inspire you to do just that!

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management softwareroomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between. 

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions. 

For US, please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.