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.)

More:

London hotel rates highest in Europe

8 of the best... London hotel openings in 2014

• For more blogs and features as well as breaking news, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

License to chill: Follow in Bond's footsteps

With new details about the latest filming locations in Jamaica released, we look at some of 007's previous business trips.

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

There is an industry expectation for people to 'work for free' to get experience

A-List 2019: AOK Events' senior account manager Louise O'Keeffe.

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Top 6 incentive travel destinations named by CR Worldwide

Game of Thrones location, an island dubbed the new Ibiza and a landlocked land of gorillas have all been tipped by incentive experts.

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

'A lot of clients use agencies as bait to get cross quotes, which isn't a fair way of working'

A-List 2019: Stephen McIntosh, head of experiential at Audience.

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

How to use influencer marketing for B2B events

There are five key things to consider if you want to use the medium to its full potential, says Mariska Kesteloo from Word of MICE.

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Study reveals the top UK and European cities for those wanting to eat and drink their way round a destination.

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

Last chance for early-bird entries to C&IT Awards

The deadline to enter the C&IT Awards at the early-bird entry price is Thursday 13 June.

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

'I don't think event management degrees know enough about real-life events'

A-List 2019: Fiona Kelly, senior project manager, The Turner Agency.

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Experience12 hires three new staff in account management

Agency brings in two new account managers and an executive to boost the London-based team.

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Voice-activated entertainment systems and first-class cabins with three beds

Case study: Hamburg hosted 20th edition of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April, full of the latest aviation innovations.

LATEST JOBS