Los Angeles, California – Today you will enjoy the advice of a wide range of hoteliers from all over the world. In addition, a private airline business owner takes travelers for their luxury vacations.
As informative presentations of the best boutique hotels share tips on tapping into your passion and goal to create your own unique brand…
How do the best boutique hotels turn a passion into a concept?
You are about to discover…
Peter Cole, founder of Eclectic Companies, shared his thoughts with Frances Kerajian, founder and CEO of BLLA. Peter’s backgrounds as CEO of Design Hotels and time spent as CFO at the Ritz Carlton have given him insight into the concepts of hotels that operate (this is a short list of his credentials).
Peter shared this thought: “Give them the content to get to know him and stay engaged. They will be your missionaries and will think of your hotel long after they leave.”
The corporate ideology of Eclectic is to be the hotel owner’s sound board. In other words, they do not correct the flight, but rather help direct the flight. They become part of their team and think about their goals.
Peter is so good at this that they pick clients, and then the project comes along.
Here are some tips to try in your hotel:
- Engage in operational excellence because that is what drives the financial benefits
- Membership clubs go hand in hand with the boutique membership movement where your concept should give your guests a sense of belonging.
- Consider offering content such as writers or guest speakers that matches your brand and conveys what you believe in
- Your gift shop should reflect your brand as another way to express your beliefs
To sum it all up, guests are drawn to hotel experiences that they can relate to. It makes the perfect guest sync hotel.
What does your brand represent as a craftsman?
People are becoming more out of the office as Zoom and other technologies become the norm. Hotels today can be defined as multi-use properties.
To get some clarity on hotels with literal expression, Ariella Keradjian spoke with Eric Jafari, CDO of the Eden Group (real estate development)…
And Jason H. Seidman, founder and marketing partner at Sandstone Hospitality Developments.
Eric said this about being a literalist: “Hotels have evolved into a five-sensory experience. From the kind of food you serve, to the kind of music you listen to. When your guest steps into your hotel, you think of their mind and passion. I don’t know many other immersive art forms.”
Eric and Jason shared these notes:
- Going far from the city center, the market is not saturated
- Some hoteliers have sold to a chain of hotels because they receive offers they cannot refuse. Then chains expand but lose what gives your brand soul as they focus on features
- Successful hotels enjoy a variety of sources of income
- Boutique hotels have contributed to residential neighborhoods becoming more casual. Therefore, the community experiences vitality and resilience because they do not depend on the local core business to survive
- There is room in the market for boutique hotels to complement each other, not compete
This is Jason’s opinion on the literal expression: “The complete lack of character – creating a flexible environment that allows the guest to interpret how they feel. Get 85% of your possessions so they can live and breathe on their own.”
Remember that guests and hoteliers share a lifestyle, so your brand springs from your heart.
How does your relationship with your guests look like?
Do you make your guests wait in line to check in on a busy day? If you do, you may want to rethink that. Ariella Kiradjian spoke with Richard Walter, founder of MEWS – MEWS simplifies and automates operations for modern hoteliers. Now, you might be thinking that automation is not a “boutique” experience.
When you are dedicated, you create time for your team to work with distinction.
Richard commented: “Rename check-in as welcoming someone to your home. Think about how the welcome should go. Think about how you can be proactively there instead of just waiting in line.”
Here are some examples of personal automation:
- If you use booths, set them up for privacy and give them personality in an easily accessible location – don’t let them stray as an afterthought
- Use team members for welcome experiences, even if the booth is used
- Think about the highlights – for example, PMS apps can be used to create handwritten postcards to send to your guests before they arrive to make them feel like they made the right choice.
- Create a checklist to make changes to your hospitality process and commit to small changes to move forward and avoid burnout
- Make sure your USP is unique
So, automation is not impersonal when used wisely.
Luxury hotels staying afloat during pandemic restrictions
When Jennifer Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Hawkins International and Maverick Creative held a thought session with three luxury travel operators, she saw an idea emerge: “I’m starting to see some appearances pop up here like remotely and privately.”
Era Bloom is CEO of ÀNI Private Resorts, which includes four iconic locations. Its resorts feature private villas with all the amenities and services you would find in a 5-star resort. The pandemic has put his business in a better position than ever as travelers don’t want to share spaces.
Ira said this about a new trend in luxury travel: “People travel without kids. Occasions like 40th birthdays and adults come up with an excuse to leave kids at home. We expect this trend to continue to grow.”
David Zipkin is the founder of Tradewind Aviation. His company offers short trips to Nantucket, the Caribbean, and other exotic locations.
The new trend in luxury travel noted by David is: “A lot of people have a new work-life balance and this is here to stay. What is great for us as a small operator is that it puts less pressure on us on peak days. We see more travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which are non-standard days.”
Andy Hogg is the founder of Bushcamp in Zambia. It operates an inn of 18 chalets and a collection of intimate luxury campsites.
Andy gave this about improvements to his property: “It has always been small and remote with activities being a big draw. The quality of the experience will largely be the evidence. We continue to enhance this aspect of our business. We have increased the number of our exclusive use properties and are planning a new project with single family units with small swimming pools and offer Something different from what we have and different in our area.”
All of these luxury hoteliers shared that helping their communities played a huge role in carrying them through the pandemic:
- Ira said sarcastically that he made a selfish business investment with returning guests because he supports his community. For example, he funded the drawing and coloring academies on each site for free to the community
- David offers free delivery trips to natural disaster areas like Puerto Rico where he has a strong presence. Plus free travel for children with cancer. He speaks fondly of the thrill he gives his employees
- Andy feeds 3,500 local children one meal a day and builds classroom blocks and clean water wells
In Andy’s case, to keep his 180 employees because his location has hampered travelers during the pandemic, he ran sweepstakes and sold a cookbook. Also, clients donate money to keep their projects going.
This generosity and community spirit heighten the experiences their guests enjoy.
Does your hotel have a strong purpose?
Nile Tozon, founder and chief creative storyteller at Studio Nilebrand, discussed mission-based branding with two entrepreneurs. They connect their empathy, creative minds, and spirit to touch their guests and their community on an emotional level.
Massimo Iani is the founder and partner of Massimo & Partners. Massimo has taken a traditional hotel training path to master the elements of hospitality. He says this about the local guest experience: “Authenticity and value paint the world the color of adventure.”
Paul Salmon is Chairman of the Board of The Rockhouse Hotel and Rockhouse Foundation. The Rockhouse is listed as one of the 100 Best Hotels in the World. Here’s what Paul says about developing hotels that live in harmony with society: “Hotel ownership is becoming more and more goal-driven. There is opportunity in the market, and that is what the market is asking for. It brings spiritual rewards.”
Paul has also used his success to build local schools, fund breakfast programs, and more.
Here are some tips from Massimo and Paul to help you put purpose into your property:
- Take small, incremental steps, engage with the community and let it grow – sow the seed
- Your gestures don’t have to be big
- Use human communication through storytelling. For example, at the Argentine Massimo site, they offer guests the opportunity to make and mark their own wine. This clicks on their feelings
- Write a novel to promote your brand and tell stories about your impact on the local community
- Stay active in your community
In short, making real connections and sharing your lifestyle with others is good for you and your community.
The best boutique hotels exude passion, passion and passion
There is no doubt that all presenters today share a passion for touching their guests and the community on a deep emotional level.
They seem to place more value on relationships than money that has resulted in spiritual and financial rewards. In addition, it has enabled them to be considered as some of the owners of the best boutique hotels.
So, tap into your passion and watch your hotel and community thrive.