Basics for Hotel Owners and Investors when building and/or operating a hotel or resort

We have seen many hotels and resorts which look good, but
still receive many negative comments from guests since important basics have
been overlooked.

Never forget the fact that some of the best architects do
not have any hotel or service industry experience, so they don’t know how to
design back-of-house areas, rooms and public areas for comfort and convenience!
For most architects, the most important thing is to create a good looking hotel
or resort to add to their portfolio. They will not care anymore ones the place
is ready!

Today I like to give my comments and recommendations for certain
basics to keep in mind when building a hotel or resort.

Your hotel or resort must be feasible

You must ensure that you did study the market well and that
you have a proper 10 year cash flow forecast and a solid 1st year

The hotel or resort must be practical

Never assume that your guest will appreciate and like what
you think is nice and fancy! Ensure
to hire a professional hotel consultant or expert to guide and advice you with
all room layouts, from electric plug to table and wardrobe location. You will
save a lot of money in the end!

The hotel must work ‘smooth’

Ensure you hire a resort consultant to work with you and the
architect at all back of house areas, the service work flow and all layout.

The hotel or resort must be ‘safe’

It is utmost important that you follow the building code
of your individual country TOGETHER with Tour operator and agent minimum
standards. I just consulted one resort here in Thailand where the owners did
follow local building codes as per law, but did not follow the Tour Operator
and Agent minimum standards which resulted to be a disaster as those operators
and agents do refuse to accept this resort in their portfolio. (Especially if
the business caters for families and kids as well)

The hotel or resort must be ‘employee friendly’.

Your employees will spend more time at work than at home.
Give them some quality and comfort as
well! We have seen employee restaurants where waste-water pipes run through the
roof of the dining area and one could hear guest flushing the toilet! We also
have seen offices without windows and ventilation and smelly employee lockers.
Staff dormitories without proper restrooms and showers where 5 and more people stay
in one rooms is very common … and shocking! Owners and managers of such places never stop
wondering why all their quality staff resigns. Maybe they should visit and stay
one night at the staff house with full board (in the staff canteen) to understand
their employees better!

The hotel or resort must be ‘green’.

If you build your hotel, design it to be ‘green’! Environmental
friendly hotels do not only separate garbage and use biological-safe chemicals!
Your business must be designed to be ‘green’ to ensure you will accumulate less
waste, have saving, get a good reputation and show your responsibility.

Your hotel or resort must stand for ‘future’;
‘education’; and ‘job security’.

Fact is that your hotel or resort will most properly
still exist when you left this world already! Your employees must all
understand that it might well be that their kids will ones have employment, development
and future in your hotel or resort. You must provide good learning and development
through a flawless Human Resource system.

Your hotel or resort must stand for “ethics;
‘values’ and ‘professionalism’.

It starts with the Manager AND owner! Constantly
show and enforce your commitment to professionalism, solid values and ethics.
Do NOT accept politics, gossip, favoritism and un-ethical behavior from
your staff just because you like particular staff since they are kind, sweet
talking and know how you like your coffee!

(I worked ones in a 5-star hotel where 30% of
employees had the private mobile phone number of the owners!! … what a
political nightmare

I have also seen a
resort where the owners accepts a certain level of corruption from some people
as those favorite people of the owners have been long time serving employees,
relatives of senior managers or simply just ‘well liked’ and ‘preferred’ staff!
The owner – although a very kind person – did and does not realize that most
unethical practices are never a secret in a hotel. Since the management or owners
accept this behavior, they are actually creating a culture of unethical
employees and lose control of their business and income.

Your hotel or resort must operate with a solid
‘vision’ and ‘mission’

As a wise person said: Vision without action is a
day-dream, – Action without Vision is a nightmare

Write it down and think about it! ALWAYS refer and mentioned
your vision and mission (or part of it) whenever you communicate or have any
meeting with your managers and employees! Never stop communicating!

I know hotels and resorts here in Thailand where the
Vision and Mission is nicely framed on the walls, but never communicated and
implemented. Everyone just follows the habits of the managers or owners.

Your hotel or resort must be ‘unique’.

Don’t copy anything! But look everywhere for inspiration! Do
not copy hotel manuals, standards, Job Descriptions etc. from other hotels and
resort or you will end up being just like “another basic hotel” Follow your
vision and mission in the hotel and create standards and material based on that
vision and mission. Trust me, this will reward you!

© Klaus R. Rauter

Posted in Uncategorized

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