What Makes A Great Hotel Experience?
So, having been working in a hotel in Tamarindo for some time now, I have often found myself trying to figure out just why many great hotels receive only mediocre reviews, while small dinky hotels seems to get outstanding ratings. I find that the phenomenon can be attributed to the major difference between a great hotel and great hospitality. To me, a great hotel means that the cement, steel, and paint installations are tastefully assembled into a great physical location. While this is a wonderful, and quite expensive, installation, it serves absolutely no purpose unless you staff it with passionate, and friendly individuals. This is great hospitality! Beautiful hotels are actually not too difficult to find in today’s booming travel market, however, truly spectacular hospitality is rare.
For example, here in Tamarindo we have several large hotels that actually have a lot of great characteristics, coupled with stunning buildings, and just steps away from the surf in Tamarindo, however the actual the hotels’ service levels are outright terrible. If you go onto trip advisor and read their reviews, you can find some truly horrific stories about managerial negligence and employees who simply are not passionate about what they do. Quite obviously, if you were to walk into a hotel bar and ask for a Margarita, then pay and not have your change offered to you, you are experiencing some terrible hospitality. This experience will most certainly change your opinion and your overall feeling in the hotel. Now, the hotel might be beautifully laid out, with exquisite architecture, but what does it all mean if you cannot get over the terrible service?
Contrary to the previous example there are a couple of small and simple hotels in Tamarindo, which have much less of a beautiful campus, but boast a spectacular level of hospitality. A level of hospitality in which each team-member do their absolute best to try and make a guest’s stay unbelievable. This is the difference between a mediocre guest experience and a life-long friendship. The hospitality is actually a factor of managerial philosophy. You see, many hotels do not have a passionate leader in place and focus all too often on the bottom line. In doing so, they overlook the most important asset of any business: its employees. Without a doubt, a hotel with a properly motivated team will always provide a higher quality experience for guests than a hotel with “meat-grinder” human resources strategy in which employees are contracted and liquidated every three months just in order to reinforce the busy season.
So, where does this take us? Well, some of the best operations are ones that establish a clean goal of offering a great guest experience, with equal compromise from the owners down to the housekeeper. When making a decision as to where to stay in Tamarindo, remember to always try and gauge whether you are looking for a great hotel or simply great hospitality.