The hotel experience has many aspects, but the reception and welcome desk is the first place people walk to, check in, and interact with the hotel staff. The hotel itself could be aesthetically impressive, however, if the attentiveness is not on par, the experience is almost instantly tainted. Comfortable, inviting, and relaxing are all feelings that guests want to experience when engaging with the reception desk.
Guests will absolutely forget things. This is a known fact and most of the time running out to a convenient store is actually not so convenient. This fact alone is why it is important to stock up on the not so typical essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap can be taken care of by the cleaning staff, but the other items need to be kept by the welcome desk. Guests will call down to the desk for any of their needs, so why not have them on hand?
What the Tourists Do
If your hotel happens to be a destination hotel, these next few items are even more necessary. Most guests come to your hotel because it’s within a certain proximity to attractions and activities they are interested in. With that being said, a lot of visitors do not know about all of the cool spots. Make sure to create a well thought-out lists of attractions and activities to give to guests when they come asking about things to do. Include the typical tourist traps, but also add in a few local places that will give them a better cultural experience. This type of thoughtfulness is appreciated and will absolutely get you repeat customers and referrals.
Especially with travel destinations, hotels usually have an area around the concierge full of all types of brochures. Make sure that when stocking up this area, the staff and the concierge are all knowledgeable about the good, better, and best activities to look into. If a guest says they are scared of heights, please don’t throw out a hot air balloon brochure. It seems pretty obvious, but sometimes the staff is thinking about stuff that they like to do as opposed to appealing to how the guests want their trip to play out.
Guides of the City
Maps of the city, roadways, and public transportation are CRUCIAL. Think about traveling around a country like France or England and not know which way to go to get to the trains. Once you figure that out, you have to figure out which train to take. It’s the same in New York City. Providing maps of all public transportation and the city in general makes travel and walking around way more approachable and less scary for tourists. It is also important to make sure that the staff knows how the transportation works as well in order to help guests get going.
All Day Reachability
The reception desk needs to have staff available 24/7 at all costs. It does not matter how small the hotel is, it’s important to have someone available at any point of the day/night. This does not mean for food or room service, but there should be someone ready for emergencies, questions, late/early check-ins, etc.