Ten Tips to Improve your Inn or Resort
by Matt Bushey, November 2, 2009
At last week’s fall conference for the New England Inns & Resorts Association (NEIRA), we distributed a list of ten strategies that property owners could take to improve their facility. Attendance at the conference was high, and many Inn owners and operators appreciated these suggestions for improving their property or changes to their day-to-day operations that would hopefully lead to more satisfied guests and increased business.
Ten Strategies to Improve your Property and Enhance your Guest Experience
By TruexCullins Resort Studio
From our work with Inns and Resorts around New England, we know that many lodging owners would like to make improvements to their facilities, but are not ready for a full building renovation. We have compiled this list of ten easy things you can do to make an immediate impact on your facility, including simple updates to guestrooms, and ideas for operations and events to increase your business. From becoming a ‘greener’ resort to implementing strategies for bringing people together, these steps can help set you apart from the competition and strengthen your unique identity.
1. Join your state’s Green Hotel Association.
Many states have started programs that promote sustainable building and operations practices specifically for the restaurant and lodging industry. By joining these programs, you will develop your property’s brand as an eco-conscious resort or inn, and you could benefit from inclusion in the Green Hotel directories and marketing efforts sponsored by the various associations.
Many of these programs have two levels of participation: For a small annual fee, you can have your property listed as a member in the organization, supporting the green building movement. For a deeper commitment, you can also pledge to implement a number of green practices in the area of operations and maintenance and become certified as Green Hotel.
Programs in New England include: Vermont Green Hotels; the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging & Restaurant Program; and the Maine Green Lodging Certification Program. Boston-area hotels and resorts can participate in the Boston Green Tourism program. Once you join an association, display your membership prominently by the front desk to increase your green credibility among your guests.
2. Expand your brand.
If you have a brand or insignia that represents your resort, think of new ways to incorporate this graphic into products both in and outside of the guestroom. Towels and linens are a natural place to use your company’s logo. It adds a touch of luxury and reinforces your brand among your guests.
Invite your kitchen staff to incorporate your brand in unconventional ways, and you may find that your chef gains a new talent for drizzling chocolate in the shape of your initials along the edge of the dessert plate.
3. Bring life into your lobby.
One of the more effective trends we see in lobby design is the use of various styles of furniture in the lobby and lounge areas. Using a creative mix of furnishings can increase the flexibility and versatility of spaces that may normally be tailored to just a single use.
Instead of using strictly lounge seating to serve the bar, and tables and chairs for dining, try mixing it up a bit. At the Portland Harbor Hotel in Portland, Maine, we combined lounge seating and low side tables with dining tables and chairs. Taller bar seating added a third option for guests to use at any time of the day. Whereas previously, the bar area was vacant during breakfast and the dining area sat dark during Happy Hour, by blurring the line between the two, a much more appealing and versatile space immediately began to draw more users. The result was a dramatic increase in business for the bar and restaurant.