WHAT’S NEW IN THE HOSPITALITY WORLD?
The hospitality world is constantly evolving and adapting itself to meet clients’ needs and desires. Some take the lead and set up innovative accommodation concepts. In recent years, some new kinds of accommodation and new hospitality experiences have emerged and are becoming well-known. Some of these innovations are still keeping a low profile but are nonetheless a breath of fresh air for the hospitality industry.
The electronic kiosk: a new receptionist
Recently, some hotel lobbies have been equipped with self-service check-in kiosks. These devices make the intake process much easier, as the clients can check themselves in and out without the need to line up behind the front desk. Thanks to these kiosks, all these operations can happen day and night. Your clients can even retrieve their room keys at these kiosks and pay without any risk.
The kiosks can be connected to your PMS System, which represents the source of information from which the kiosk’s interface retrieves data. Thus, when a client proceeds to check in or out at a kiosk, the information is automatically updated in the PMS System. These kiosks have the potential to rejuvenate your traditional lobby. Additionally, your reception staff will improve customer service without this weight on their shoulders. Indeed, your staff will save time thanks to the implementation of the check-in kiosks and can reinvest this time by answering clients’ needs, either directly or on the phone, and thus improving their overall satisfaction.
Say farewell to room renting and hello to suite buying!
An increasing number of hotels are adopting the concept of condotels. These are suites or condos put together to form a hotel, but they are put on the market in a way in which each suite has its unique owner. Renting is then operated by the hotel manager and the income generated is redistributed among the suite owners, who can also enjoy their own accommodation a few days a year.
The perk for the hotel is to make a minor investment as all the units are sold. However, this model requires a considerable amount of accounting and naturally generates less income for the hotel given that the owners also collect a part of this income. It is key, with these models, to have a PMS System equipped with a co-ownership management module, otherwise you will be stuck with your calculator forever.
The perk for unit owners is that they can benefit from the advantages that come with living in a hotel: no maintenance and access to a range of services (restaurant, spa, pool, gym, etc.). Also, some discounts are often offered and redeemable across the difference services the hotel can provide.
Unit management: the new era of the hospitality industry?
The rental of chalets, houses or condos, as provided by Airbnb, is a relatively recent phenomenon. It works by offering a condo, a chalet or a room to travellers or tourists who can rent your accommodation for the specific amount of nights that you agree upon. As these property owners often have other professional occupations, they can become hosts from time to time. This new activity as a host also comes with logistical issues to manage, such as, materials, maintenance and inspections. These logistical issues are one of the reasons why more and more companies are specializing in managing units to simplify life for owners who may not always have time to properly take care of these operations.
The main goal of these rental unit management companies is to gather a significant amount of units and to manage their rental policy and all the specific duties that come with it, such as handing over the keys during check-in and cleaning up after check-out. The other aspect of managing these units involves closely mimicking a hotel-like service, by means of housekeeping and services, like chefs, and also to provide a wide variety of accommodation styles in many different locations.
Here, technology plays a significant role as renting a unit is a unique offer that you cannot find anywhere else. We thus obtain a new concept of a unique unit. When a client visits your website, they need to be able to see if the unit is available as they might not be interested in renting another one which would be completely different. Putting these units on the online market is often a challenge. Therefore, a connection to the PMS System allows you to manage unique units with a rigorous accounting module and this is crucial to maximizing business efficiency.
Technologically advanced and eco-friendly hotels
As technology is evolving at a very fast pace, many hotels have adopted gadgets and impressive technological features. Some innovations like aromatherapy showers, interactive check-in kiosks or smart lights (which can adjust to the current ambient lighting level) are all intriguing technological features that you can equip your hotel with.
We can also witness greater technological advancement. The Monville Hotel, in Montreal, is a perfect example of technological integration in the hospitality industry. It is the first hotel in Canada to be equipped with a room service robot. This robot is in charge of in-floor service and delivering clients’ orders to their room. Of course not all business can afford such a robot and it is not always necessary to have one. However you need to keep in mind that bringing a touch of modern technology to your hotel will often impress your clients as they are unlikely to forget such a cutting-edge experience.
Other hotels direct themselves towards a more eco-friendly experience. Indeed, eco-friendly hotels are becoming very popular these days. These businesses use renewable sources for water and electricity, such as solar panels, windmills or wastewater recycling systems. Some of these businesses take an extra step towards reducing their impact on the environment by creating an architecture made of recycled materials, such as transport containers for the structure or wood pallets for furniture.
A few other elements have been designed to reduce the ecological footprint of the hotel and its clients, such as biodegradable cleaning products, the use of geothermal energy for heating purposes and locally grown seasonal food for the creation of the restaurant’s menu. These sustainable practises can be adopted and implemented in your hotel to show that you care about the environment and your clients’ beliefs.
Glamping : the glamorous way of camping
Welcome the ready-to-camp tents! These new innovative tents allow you to glamp; a new way of camping which is more comfortable and accommodating. For those who like to be one with nature but cannot compromise not having the comfort of a bed, glamping is the new trend, especially in many national parks.
Electricity and running water are major advantages that give glamping a more luxurious appeal compared to traditional camping. This accommodation is more similar to the comfortable and pleasant experience that a hotel provides but also succeeds in engaging with nature and respecting traditional camping activities.
Accommodation in unusual and unique locations
From igloos to tree houses, these intriguing locations distinguish themselves in terms of extraordinary stays. As many tourists and customers are always looking for new experiences, some businesses offer accommodation in unusual and unique locations.
It is thus possible, for a night or a few days, to sleep in a tipi, a jail, an old train carriage, under the stars in a see-through bubble, a sports stadium or even a submarine. Whether it be in an educative perspective or simply out of curiosity, clients are happy to give it a try. Offering such different and unique experiences can rejuvenate your hotel and attract a new clientele, maybe even groups whom you have never considered. Additionally, this uniqueness will get people talking thus bringing you greater notoriety.
Quebec City’s ice hotel is an excellent example of accommodation in unusual and unique locations. Every winter, a team of local artisans re-build the famous hotel and welcome visitors for some activities or night stays in rooms entirely made of ice. It is definitely a stay they will not forget any time soon!