Comment: An open letter to London's five-star hotels

AddingValue CEO and founder Randle Stonier urges London's top hotels to respect buyers by using technology to give them the full picture of what's on offer.

London skyline
London skyline

The buyer only comes once, if you’re lucky! Last week I had the pleasure to site inspect a number of London’s finest hotels, to name but a few…

Ok, I will name them: Corinthia, Haymarket, Rosewood, Four Seasons Park Lane, Dorchester, 45 Park Lane, Langham, Cafe Royal Hotel, Ham Yard, Chiltern Firehouse, London Edition, One Aldwych and the Beaumont.

A couple of things stood out, one good and one very poor:

Creating emotional advantages

It is great to see how passionately most properties really are striving to be very different – I don’t mean from a purely physical or facilities sense but how each is grappling with issues as diverse as signature scents, concierge apps, fresh cut flowers or no fresh cut flowers, ballroom carpets, staff uniforms – formal versus country tweeds, bulletproof glass, the adoption of technology, event planning studios, viewing rooms, visual settings – all of it designed to provide an emotional and sensory resonance, a point of connection and differentiation with their audience.

Missed opportunity by some 5 star hotels

But I was surprised, no, I was shocked. Shocked that some of the hosts who kindly showed me around all too often left me short-changed. Most frustratingly…why oh why in this age of tablet enablement, do some of you let me leave without a comprehensive picture of your key facilities?

If I am there, it’s because I am interested. If I have made the effort via an appointment to visit, and if sometimes you can’t physically show me bedroom inventory, meeting or banqueting space – show me it on a bleeding iPad. Photos, CAD drawings, video – of your core facilities and illustrating how spaces can be imaginatively transformed – they matter, that’s why I am there. To state the obvious, these tools all exist in 2015. Properly used they are very powerful assets in your sales toolbox.

In my professional opinion, a 5 star hotel’s sales executive without a tablet in hand shouldn’t be employed. Failure to adopt this most fundamental of best practice also suggests you do not respect my time investment and potential commitment.

Ensure I leave with as complete a picture as possible of your brand’s assets.

Make it easy for me to buy or recommend.

(NB Photographs of some of the hotels I visited and their position within my article, is NOT meant to infer anything specifically about the property in question.)

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