In the last three months, 76% of travelers have made major changes to plans due to COVID-19. Once appealing quick weekend trips might not seem worth the trouble right now, especially if guests are hesitant to venture out and explore their destinations. But people have been stuck at home for months and are looking for a change of scenery. Can hotels attract travelers by promoting a “home away from home” that guests can be comfortable in for an extended stay?
While this might not work for all hotels, it could be a viable business model for properties who can answer “yes” to these questions:
Can Your Guests Truly “Work Remote”?
Now that companies have realized that remote working is a productive option, guests can truly work from anywhere. Travelers are now free to stay for as long as they like, provided they can easily get work done in the comfort of their rooms. Make sure that your hotel has sufficient and secure guest Wi-Fi (we’ve discussed this in previous blogs) and that there are no dead spots on your property. If you have a business center, let guests know that they can schedule a time to use it and that it will be thoroughly disinfected between uses.
Does Your Hotel Have Space?
For a hotel with rooms that have direct outdoor access, this concept is a great option. Guests would have almost no need to enter shared spaces such as lobbies or elevators, limiting the risk of disease spread. For hotels without outside access, is your lobby spacious enough to promote distancing? Does it make sense to encourage guests to use the stairs instead of the elevator? If not, this may not be an appealing option for your hotel.
Is Your Property Pet Friendly?
If so, great! Guests staying longer than a week or two will most likely prefer not to board pets for that long. Make these guests feel welcome by providing amenities like pet room service and recommending scenic walk routes. Just, be sure to clearly communicate your pet policies and safety practices with guests beforehand.
Can You Offer the Right Amenities?
Providing basic in-room amenities like microwaves, coffee makers, and mini-fridges with freezers can go a long way in making guests comfortable with settling down for a while, since daily room-service may not be an affordable option for many. You could even consider offering free grocery pick-up, or at least accommodate those deliveries from third parties. Can you provide contactless towel services and lounge chair reservations to make your pool safe and enjoyable? Remind guests of your laundry service if you have one. Have a plan in place for if a guest falls ill, and make sure that they are aware of your preparations.
Is Your Staff Flexible?
If you have the right management in place who is willing to take a new direction in operations, your hotel is in good shape. If not, partner with a hotel management recruiter who can find the top hotel leadership to your property. Contact Horizon Hospitality to see how our recruiters can help.