I am currently living in a ’boutique hotel’ (in transition before moving to Thailand with my soulmate). You know the kind of place, it’s all feather pillows, monsoon showers, fancy bedding and organic breakfasts. But even with all that laid on, the real sense of ‘premium’ comes not from the grand gestures (hello funky LED spotlights) but from the almost OCD attention to detail.
Genuine high-end hotels sweat the small stuff, because when you’re sleeping in a strange place away from the comforts of home, it will be those tiny details that you notice. The devil, as they say, is in the detail. Am not to fond of quasi-religious metaphors but it is true that the pesky details, the small things that are often overlooked, are the key to giving your client a high-end experience or not.
My current hotel has gone all in with the grand gestures then bailed on the small stuff altogether. Those nuances of care that make a mediocre hotel experience into an EPIC one. Without trying to come off as a whinging Brit (fuck off already!) here’s what I perceive as massive lack of attention to detail and why this hotel has been forced to bring it’s prices down recently (and why it’s still only abut 30% full).
6 ways this wannabe boutique hotel has failed at providing ATD (attention to detail)
ATD Fail 1. The bathroom is gorgeous with large walk-in monsoon-shower wet room. But, they forget to replenish the toilet roll and the shower leaks really badly all over the rest of the space.
ATD Fail 2. There is a lovely tea set, complete with cafetiere and proper sugar lumps, in the room but zero milk. No milk ever. So you can never make a tea or coffee at all unless you take it black. I may be a goth but I don’t take my tea like I take my eyeliner.
ATD Fail 3. The big flatscreen TV has not worked since we got here (we’ve been here about 12 days). This isn’t an issue for me as I don’t watch TV but it could infuriate someone else.
ATD Fail 4. The wifi doesn’t reach the top floor so essentially I am without internet connection (as promised on the hotel website). This is a boutique hotel aimed at corporate guests so good wifi should be a big investment and not an after thought.
ATD Fail 5. Sometimes the cleaner doesn’t come at all. Right now I have a very full bin – not a premium feeling!
ATD Fail 6. For some unknown reason we have a double duvet housed inside a kingsize duvet cover so there is a load of baggy excess material that we get tangled up in.
There is more but I will stop here as I don’t want to be accused of being a whinging Brit. This is merely to illustrate where the attention should’ve been when this hotel pitched itself as being premium.
Whatever business you have, if you go high-end you must deliver the FULL premium experience. Give your clients such an epic experience that they’ll be raving about you for years to come. Get OCD about the detail, go epic with it.
How to give epic value
When I was launching my bespoke facial studio, this is how I planned to deliver a premium experience to my clients. They were paying over £100 for a facial after all:
Kick-ass premium detail #1 Seating area for consultation was plush with fresh flowers and a tray of boutique chocolates and fresh fruit for them to enjoy.
Kick-ass premium detail #2 They were handed a luxurious menu to choose a fresh juice and/or organic herbal tea.
Kick-ass premium detail #3 The facial was truly bespoke and I hand mixed the masks and serums just for them. Everything used was certified organic even the cotton pads etc
Kick-ass premium detail #4 They also took home a goodie bag of bespoke facial products to use at home, ‘beauty detox’ herbal teas and boutique handmade chocolates.
I always come from the perspective of “How can I add even more value, How can I give this person a truly epic experience”. That is the key to going premium, you really have to WANT to give someone an awesome life-changing experience with you.
YOUR TURN: What is the ONE step you could take TODAY to make a more premium experience for your customers – post up your actions below
ps. This hotel obvs has nice qualities too, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. The Manager is lovely and really in the zone of ‘being of service’, it’s just that she’s new at managing, the owners have left her on her own to run the place while loads of staff are on holiday. The hotel has free parking (a good premium plus) and they do awesome breakfasts!