What influences your hotel choice?

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  JohnHarper 1 Feb 2017
at 13:06
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

  • Mitchell
    Participant

    Aside from the price and location (as they’re the top things you look for) what can a hotel offer which will influence your choice? Any particular features or service gestures which will make it stand out from the crowd? (I found one hotel which offers personalised pack lunches for customers heading off to meetings in the morning).

    I’m working on a project for the Crowne Plaza who may be undergoing a complete reposition of their brand, so they’re looking at ways that they can improve the entire customer journey, from the initial booking on their website, to staying in the hotel. For anyone who has experienced a Crowne Plaza hotel, is there anything you would’ve changed?


    MrMichael
    Participant

    Free WiFi in the room at all times, and not one that drops out or is so weak as to be unusable. Black out curtains also an absolute must.


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Not everyone will just look at price and location, but may well factor in hotel brand / loyalty programme.

    I put most my business with Hyatt, so when booking at a hotel will look to see if there is a Hyatt, then what the price point and location are.

    I like Hyatt as they don’t feel as ‘chain’ like as the other major hotel brands, and also that I feel looked after and rewarded via their loyalty programme. It provides me with items I value such as: late check out to 4pm, breakfast, decent wifi, club lounge access (good for informal meetings), upgraded rooms and points I can then use in different ways for future business or leisure travel.

    Crowne Plaza I struggle to get as in many cities their offering is distinctly mid tier / average, yet in cities like Hong Kong it’s a 5* hotel with solid club lounge.
    If IHG could position them as a *consistent* upper mid tier brand, below Intercontinental and noticeably above Holiday Inn, this would be no bad thing, IMHO.
    While not exclusively related to Crowne Plaza, I personally don’t think IHG Rewards Club is that great.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Aside from the price and location

    That’s all I look at, especially location.

    Crowne Plaza is a boring and outdated brand, but I’d stay there if it was convenient for my needs.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I am a very loyal SPG traveller and will firstly look at the SPG website, when booking a hotel, especially in a new location.

    The brand rewards loyalty with benefits, even when staying at a hotel for the first time. Yes location is a priority, but with price, I calculate value to the benefits.

    One example is with Leading Hotels of the World. Yes they are generally a lot more than a Sheraton/Westin – but every 5th stay, earns a free stay (if you are a member of their club), so if I am on 4 stays, I will try to get that extra stay..


    Mitchell
    Participant

    MrMichael I agree with you on this, solid wifi is a must and black out curtains are a nice add. Are there any other features you can think of that would make your stay more enjoyable? Just as an example, would shoe-shining and ironing services be a useful addition?

    AlanOrton1 So a good reward scheme is quite a key thing which makes complete sense. Are there any other rewards you’d like to see in Hyatt’s scheme? or maybe some other features Hyatt could introduce to make your stay more flexible and enjoyable? Also by saying that Hyatt feels less like a ‘chain’, does that mean that they give you a more individual experience when you stay compared to others? I was unaware of the difference in hotel quality in Hong Kong so that was a helpful point. There should definitely be a consistent quality throughout the brand, and in regards to IHG’s reward scheme, were there any aspects you liked? or is the whole reward scheme quite bad?

    FDOS_UK that is a really interesting point, what specifically of Crowne Plaza do you find boring and outdated? What would you like to see change?

    MartynSinclair So you’re on a similar mark to what AlanOrton1 said – a good reward scheme is key to customer loyalty. Like what I asked above, are there any aspects of the SPG reward scheme you’d like changed? is there anything you’d like the hotel to do differently?

    Thank you everyone for their input!


    MrMichael
    Participant

    @mitchell. Shoe shine and ironing service would not make me stay anywhere. I do however require iron/ironing board. I think as has been said price and location are most critical. Other things I consider are a pool if staying more than a day or two, reviews on trip advisor, included breakfast & choice of dining venues within the hotel. Hilton is my default as I am in their loyalty scheme. Have used Crowne Plaza, rather indifferent to them to be honest, they are ok. For leisure the view from the room becomes important, but for business frankly the bin store is fine!


    Stowage222
    Participant

    As a HHonors Gold Card holder I will firstly check their website to see if the price/location suits. I often get lounge access with a Gold card so for me this is a big benefit which keeps me loyal. I also own SPG / Marriott / IHG / Hyatt / Best Western (good spread of locations States-side) but have lower status.

    I do stay in Crowne Plaza, mainly in the US. The first word I think of when I arrive is ‘Motel’. The properties are just so ‘last-century’ and, whilst the staff are usually friendly, staying there doesn’t make me feel like I’m staying in nice mid-range accommodation.
    To be frank, even the décor in Holiday Inn Express rooms are fresher and more in tune with modern day travellers.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    duplicated post


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    FDOS_UK that is a really interesting point, what specifically of Crowne Plaza do you find boring and outdated? What would you like to see change?

    I’d start with the name – it sounds like a low rent shopping centre in the USA.

    Then freshen the place up – it is soooooo 1980s in the properties I’ve stayed in over the past few years. Get some nice lighter wood into the bedrooms, instead of the dark stuff and choose some carpets that come from the 2010s and don’t look like an advert for Cyril Lord circa 1969.

    http://www.thenostalgiashop.co.uk/photos/1.025769IMG_7072.jpg

    http://www.cporlando.com/resourcefiles/roomssmallimages/crowne-plaza-orlando-universal-queen-bed-junior-suite-executive-level-nonsmoking-th.jpg


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    There are 2 things I would like SPG to do differently..

    1. If a guest chooses to adopt a “green policy” in hotels (i.e. reduce towels, use electricity efficiently etc etc), I think there should be an incentivised reward scheme – after all, the hotel benefits from a “green policy”.

    2. For members of the loyalty scheme or where guests are known to the hotel, an opportunity for guests to dine together or meet for a drink. Nothing worse than sometimes being solo in a strange town / hotel.

    This could be achieved by having a “dine together table” or an area of the lounge/bar for people to meet. It could easily be put together in a discreet non advertised manner by the hotel management team knowing their guests…

    Often thought of net working opportunities in hotel lounges. I met one of my most high profile clients, by asking him quieten down in a hotel exec lounge…


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    Loyalty programme.
    Price.
    Location.
    In that order.

    Early check in and late check out are desirable.
    Decent Wifi and cleanliness are a given and I like to have plug sockets at the bedside.


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    @Mitchell – I’m quite happy with the way the Hyatt loyalty programme works, I think they have the balance about right. Unlike many of the FlyerTalk crowd who are up in arms about the forthcoming changes, I’m more sanguine. It is their programme to do as they wish with. I’ll possibly lose out come the end of 2017, but it is only a hotel programme, not a matter of life and death.

    I find Hyatt hotels can feel more individual and being a smaller operator (679 worldwide I think versus 5,700 at Marriott) gives them the ability to do this. For example in Manhattan, they have 8 hotels, each one of them quite different from the other. If you look at Marriott or IHG, the choices are almost endless, with many different hotels within any given sub brand. For some of the cities I tend to travel to (NY, HK, Shanghai, Tampa) I think Hyatt have a strong offering. In other cities, being a smaller operator the choice is more limited (Singapore & Ft. Lauderdale). Ultimately if I didn’t like their offering in the main cities I travel to, I wouldn’t stay there.

    In terms of the IHG Rewards Programme, I was top tier in it for a few years and the main benefit was the easy accumulation of points. However, there was no guaranteed late check out, very few hotels with lounges, essentially I felt it wasn’t very competitive with other chain’s offerings. Plus they don’t really have many upper-mid tier hotels, they play much more within the lower-mid to mid tier, which when meeting clients etc doesn’t always work so well.


    JohnHarper
    Participant

    I tend to stick to three brands and they satisfy my wants world wide – or as much as I need of it. Sofitel, Shangri-La and Swissotel. I find that there is consistency within each brand at a standard I’m happy with. Consistency is important to me, while hotels can be individual a feeling of familiarity when traveling on business and sometimes for leisure is important. When I’m busy and under pressure I don’t want a extra helping of unfamiliar from the hotel.

    Absolute musts are excellent wi-fi included in the price, a comprehensive breakfast option, a room that is quiet and can be blacked out if I need to, a bathroom with a power shower and strong lighting, a comfortable arm chair and a decent sized desk with room to spread things out. Room service staff who respect that the room is mine for the moment and who don’t ‘tidy’ my belongings into neat piles particularly papers causing me disorder by their obsession for neatness.

    I’m with Martyn on green issues, the current way of managing it is to attempt to guilt trip guests into re-using towels and bed linen while the hotel makes signifcant savings. I don’t buy into it and will place the towels in the bath and the card on the bed wanting it changed as the whole thing lacks any sort of credibility beyond hotel profits. Offer an incentive and share the benefits the savings bring, but be realistic about it – many of us are long in the tooth around here and we see through enhancements quicker than you can say scam.

    I’m not particularly familiar with the IHC group hotels and haven’t stayed in one for years. My impression of the Crowne Plaza brand is of something that is a tired three star property that has not seen any investment for many a year.

    It’s always good to see a phoenix rise from the ashes so I look forward to what comes next and please Mitchell keep us updated as you go and good luck with the project.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Room service staff who respect that the room is mine for the moment and who don’t ‘tidy’ my belongings into neat piles particularly papers causing me disorder by their obsession for neatness.

    Or who turn the air con down to 16 degrees, even though I’ve left it at 23!

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