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- Producer11/10/2016How Luxury Hotels Should Connect To Their CustomersIn travelers' world, the expectations are changing from the luxury room to high standard services, developed lifestyles and unique experiences. For managers, this means that more attention must be paid to feed guests' relationship, while excelling...
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- Producer05/10/2016Sub-Standard Hotel Room- Should Hotels Hire Under Cover "Guests"?*MY UPDATE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION- RECENT*We just returned from Ironman Augusta Georgia last week which my son competed in. I want to use my bragging rights first and say, he rocked the race. My son placed in the top 13% overall. Now onto our hotel...
Comments13/10/2016 #61 Stephane Fenner#59 Good point @Lisa Gallagher .
Despite TripAdvisor is a good way to collect different points of view, I am personally very careful: some hotel / restaurants pay to have good reviews. Also bad reviews can be posted by competition. I always look at the contributor's profile before taking his comment into consideration. A user with only 2 or 3 reviews : warning...13/10/2016 #59 Lisa Gallagher#58 Couldn't agree more, great point about their ROI @Stephane Fenner. And now with hotels publishing their reviews and Tripadvisor, people are paying attention to negative remarks, specifically the most recent, even if there's only one or two. I wrote the manager again at the Hampton Inn, Augusta because I haven't received the gift certificate for one free night's stay yet, even though I told her it would be nice to at least receive 2 nights & I shared that Hilton Headquarters asked if their hotel told me about Hampton Inn's 100% money back guarantee policy. This was the third email I sent the manager at that hotel and she only responded to my first email. Another telling sign: Watch if the hotel responds to their customer's personal ratings and what the response is. The managers response will also help me to make my decision.12/10/2016 #58 Stephane Fenner#57 That's exactly the point : loosing trust. Such a big hotel chain should care for customers' satisfaction (and retention) and not only for cost cutting or ROI. At the end they loose tons of money with this strategy.
It is impressive that in 2016 companies have not yet understood that acquiring new clients costs much more than holding existing customers...12/10/2016 #57 Lisa Gallagher#56 No, they didnt mention the property at all, which was disappointing @Stephane Fenner. It leaves me with a lack of trust if they are not holding each property they own to the same standard. I was asked if The Hampton Inn told me about their 100% money back guarantee, and I told Hilton no. That question was asked when I called to document my complaint.11/10/2016 #55 Lisa GallagherI received an email back from Hilton Corporate Guest Relations, they came through. Here is part of the email, "Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Maria. It will be my pleasure to assist with your maintenance issue at the Hampton Inn Augusta I-520 / Gordon Highway.
In an effort to make amends for your experience, a total of 25,000 points will be posted to your Hilton HHonors account. Kindly allow 24 hours for the points to be reflected in your account. The Voice of our Customers is critical to ensuring our guests receive a rewarding experience when staying at the Hilton Portfolio of Brands. Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention."
I've yet to see the free one night Certificate for any Hampton Inn of my choice from the Hampton Inn Augusta which the manager said she would send me.
Kudo's to Hilton themselves.07/10/2016 #53 Dean OwenRemind me if I ever open that restaurant I've been dreaming of not to invite you to review it! All kidding aside, Hampton Inns are pretty bad and will get worse as disrupters like Airbnb gain further traction since they will deal with it, not by improving service, but by cutting costs. I think Airbnb is the answer to your next trip.07/10/2016 #51 Lisa Gallagher#49 @Wayne Yoshida Thank YOU SO much for sharing your story!! I would love to see other travelers share their hotel stories because maybe if enough people do, it might hold them to a higher standard nationally one day.
Bed bugs, oh my!! I have to be completely honest, I always check for bedbugs, even in the cleanest of rooms because bedbugs don't discriminate, they travel. After finding so many gross aspects to the room in Augusta, I decided I can't even look under the sheets or mattress cover because I probably would have slept in my car 😂 . So, my husband was unknowingly my guinea pig- he slept for over 4 hours before I hit the bed and he wasn't scratching or itching. My cue to get in bed LOL. Oops, that wasn't nice of me.
I'm not sure which hotel had the bedbug problem you stayed at, would love to know because it seems they went above and beyond the call of duty by giving you gold status, a week's worth of hotel points for anywhere (with that hotel), paid for new clothing etc.. that's amazing.
Your tips are spot on! I won't use the coffee maker unless it's in a private area with the pods they have now. Coffee makers in bathrooms, that's just disgusting and I've never used them. I prefer house blended coffee from the lobby anyhow.
I also check under the toilet seat to make sure it's been cleaned. I have found a few that weren't in the past and requested a new room. My theory, if they didn't take the time to clean under the toilet seat, what else did they miss?
I also ask for a room on a different floor because I was told that some of the staff differs from one floor to another. That shouldn't be the case if they have a supervisor checking the rooms after they are cleaned to make sure the room is up to par!07/10/2016 #49 Wayne YoshidaEwwww. Very bad place to stay. After staying at a very nice, 5-star hotel in FL (I can't remember the exact location and name) a few years back infested with bed bugs - I do these things as soon as I enter a hotel room assigned to me:
1) Pull back the blankets and sheets and move the mattress to see if there are any stains or moving critters/insects.
2) Test the water in the shower and sink. (just make sure the pressure is good and the hot water gets hot.)
3) Make sure the self-service items - like bottled water, junk foods and beverages - are all factory-sealed. look carefully, some seals look intact even if they are not!
4) Never use the coffee pot in the hotel room!
On the bed bug hotel - they moved me into another room. It was OK..... they also confiscated all of my clothes and my brand-new Red Oxx travel bag. They had the hotel shuttle take me to the local mall to shop for new clothes, and I got reimbursed for the stuff I bought as well as my new bag. They paid me for other clothes I lost but did not buy for the trip - they took my bag, so how could I take clothes home, right?
And - they gave me hotel points for a week's stay anywhere in the world. (I was not a member of their loyalty program, so they gave me instant gold status). However, I never went to their hotel again. I don't know if my points are still good.
Dry cleaning would have killed the bed bugs, but - oh well.
The hotel also vacated 3 rooms to the left and the right and the floors above and below my room for de-bugging by an exterminator.
I must say I have had the best luck with Marriott properties, including the Courtyard and the others. I have silver (platinum?) status with Marriott. . . .07/10/2016 #48 Lisa Gallagher#47 You made some great points. I think management is a big problem at this particular Hampton Inn after finding out they have no managers on staff from Friday-Sunday. People don't seem motivated and don't seem to be overly concerned at all about issues their customers may run into. I still blame that on management since most of the employee's seemed to have this blase` attitude.
As for being a property that wasn't an original Hampton Inn, you may be correct @Charles David Upchurch, because the outside looks brand new. Inside, NO. Even the lobby is very different than the Hampton Inn's I've stayed at before. You are probably onto something with that.
I've stayed at many without any issues. I will say, I'm beginning by far to prefer Marriott brand hotels over Hilton because they seem to be increasing their standards with all the renovations they've been doing. That's my experience at at least.06/10/2016 #47 Charles David Upchurch#44 On the subject of Lisa's post, here, it sounds to me like that particular Hampton Inn is suffering from having the wrong people in the wrong jobs, especially at the management and supervisory levels. Good workers often do a bad job when they are given a job assignment that they did not want, or one that they were expecting to do for only a short time (leading to unmotivating feelings of being "stuck" in "dead end" jobs).
I've stayed in several Hampton Inns since the brand was established. I'm always pleased with those that were built originally as Hampton Inns. Sometimes I am less impressed with those which were previously lower-grade hotel brands and got "renovated" and "rebranded" so that they look like Hampton Inns on the outside. Keep in mind that the least confident and least ambitious staff of the lower-branded hotel are the most likely to stay on during and after the renovation and rebranding.06/10/2016 #45 Charles David UpchurchRegarding the separate conversation below in #15 #17 #36 #42 #43 ... I totally understand how an individual establishment could be confused about their job terminology.
In my 10 years working on a research project on occupational information (used by thousands of employers to develop or improve their job descriptions), I often found companies where they had people doing a job that was one thing, and when they gave that job a job title, the title was something else, entirely. I suspect that in the case of the ad you saw, they were having trouble recruiting Loss Prevention Specialists because the title is unfamiliar to a lot of job applicants for that entry-level work. The term "loss prevention" is from accounting and insurance, so it's something that people with an AA/AS or BA/BS degree might be familiar with, but the minimum education requirement for Loss Prevention Specialists is probably a GED certificate or a high school diploma. So the employer calls the job something else to get applicants' attention.
SHAMELESS PLUG: If a company wants to hire people or improve the job assignments based on its workers knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests; I am available to write or re-write job descriptions!06/10/2016 #44 Lisa Gallagher#37 Thanks @David B. Grinberg. We are still thrilled about my son's race. He placed in the top 11-13% over all out of almost 3K competitors. I believe there were almost 500 or more that were not able to complete the race that day ;(( His team became division one Champions in Augusta Ga and he just found out they are #2 internationally now!! That made the trip worth it and watching him along with all of them of course.
As for the hotel, I fear they'd have to A. Retrain with a regional manager on site and possibly give the hotel manager a 2nd chance- I don't want to see someone lose their job but if the person isn't up to the task or doesn't care about the property, they don't belong there. B. They would have to hire new management with excellent training and ALSO revitalize this hotel, it's old.. broken and needs updated on top of needing a deep cleaning. Appreciate your comment!06/10/2016 #43 Lisa Gallagher#36 Thanks for the clarification @Charles David Upchurch. Years ago I saw an add for secret shoppers but they were specifically asking for people to pretend to be shoppers while watching for anyone who may be shoplifting so they could alert the proper personnel. I guess they don't practice in this manner anymore.
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Comments15/09/2016 #18 Wayne YoshidaNice place to spend a vacation! Seems a lot like the care going on at Disneyland. I worked a graveyard custodial shift there many years ago. Lots of hard work. There were varying degrees of - pride - in some of those folks. But we did some amazing cleaning details on the property. Like polishing the brass handrails on Main Street. Nevermind it was raining and fingerprints will destroy the polish with the first person who touched it.
And, yes, we also hosed down every street and walkway, even in the rain. And we dried the surfaces with mops and (the fun part) little gas-powered Cushman scooters dragging mop heads.
Those scooters have three-speed manual transmissions. Those sure were fun to race - er drive - around the park when the graveyard shift workers were out there.
I must add Riu palace in Cancun to my list!14/05/2016 #16 Lisa Gallagher@Paul "Pablo" Croubalian, you never cease to.captive me with your stories. Of course some would call me a hotel snob but when i take my time to read reviews and pay to stay somewhere i expect to feel clean, safe and comfortable. Its always refreshing to read positive stories like this. I agree wholeheartedly, it takes the entire team to make one's stay a lovely, relaxing experience. Kudos to those you mentioned and to others who take their jobs seriously and with pride. By the way, do you have a hard time sleeping or have you always been an early riser? Im not a morning person and used to put a lot of guilt on myself because of it. Ive come to accept and realize that our internal body clocks all differ. Thanks for sharing!04/05/2016 #4 Ali AnaniGreat and moving experience that would make any one wish to go to the same place. Yes, business needs to delight the customer even if the customer doesn't realize the effort behind the scene. It is like a cooked meal the guest want quality meal served in a friendly manner and he/she could care less for the effort cooking demanded. Customer pay to get delighted. Excellent buzz @Paul "Pablo" Croubalian
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