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丝宝日化舒蕾品牌市场策划田刚作客《大酒店》

(2008-12-26 14:49:34)
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杂谈

 

Tian Gang: a Denizen of Luxury Hotels

Brand Planner with Slek Brand, Management Unit of Beiersdorf Guests on Grand Hotels

玩转酒店生活

——丝宝日化舒蕾品牌市场策划田刚作客《大酒店》

Interview: Cherry Li  Chinese Version: Clara  Enghlish Version: Apple

 

丝宝日化舒蕾品牌市场策划田刚作客《大酒店》

 

As they’re mushrooming in this city, 5-star hotels are no longer cold and unattainable. Luxury properties used to be out of reach of the average people are now actively involved in their everyday life, and even become part of the lifestyle of a few, who often choose to enjoy a happy weekend at hotels, though we know not since when they started to do so.

 

We met Mr. Tian Gang, a young and accomplished corporate executive who has paid great attention to 5-star hotels, perhaps out of his personal interest, or due to the nature of his job. The frequent business traveler also vacation a lot with his family, during which period they can relish the hospitality experiences. Yes, hotel stays are a kind of enjoyment to Mr. Tian and his family members.

 

Tian Gang is probably among the few in China who enjoy hotels at their own expenses. People may wonder how he’s able to do so, since luxury hotels are synonymous with high prices. The answer is internet from which he has obtained lots of necessary information. Mr. Tian said, “By staying at a hotel, I get to know the entire group and its culture. It is a process of understanding the hospitality trade, perhaps unknowingly, and collecting hotel promotions, events and other useful information.”

 

Hotel info platforms have enabled him to get acquainted with other platinum members, with whom he shares hospitality experiences and useful information. “I love to share news about discounted room rates or flights with others. It is the discounts that encourage people to travel, sometimes.”

 

Evidently, internet plays a crucial role in Tian Gang’s hotel life, and he would often surf the net for various rewards and bonus points programs. “I often exchange information and share experiences with frequent travelers and platinum card holders outside China who also post their application stories online, and some of them and I have eventually become friends. That’s why I can enjoy the best hospitality experience in the 5-star hotels worldwide.”

 

The fact that Tian Gang is a platinum member of Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, InterContinental and a few other prestigious hotel groups aroused both our interest and admiration. He used to associate 5-star hotels with the well-off until he himself enjoyed the luxury properties at lower costs, and started to appreciate his hotel life as a better lifestyle. A high quality hospitality experience is a reward he would give to himself after five hectic workdays.

 

No sooner had we marveled at his familiarity with hotel promotions than Mr. Tian said, “Starwood has lately launched a promotion plan that MasterCard users who have stayed at any Starwood hotel for three times can enjoy a free 2-night weekend stay at any of its properties in the Asia-Pacific region, including Shanghai and Hong Kong. So I take advantage of the plan this time, and because of my platinum member status, Starwood arranged an Executive Suite for my use. Since I had earlier stopped at Four Points by Sheraton in Changshu three times, I can now book a room in W Hong Kong for two nights during the New Year holiday or the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday – high seasons when a room like that would usually charge around Rmb6000. But actually I had only spent Rmb650, a low cost compared to the market price.”

 

Tian added, before we could recover ourselves, “The InterContinental would at intervals launch an explosive promotion which allows the guests to use as low as 5000 points for an overnight stay at any of its flagship hotels.” Tian Gang is pretty well informed with the hotel trade, without the question.

 

The denizen of luxury hotels is, using his own words, a picky guest. “I would write down the faults I’ve spotted in a hotel – points and aspects that need to be improved – and report them to the management.” We believe that hotels must be happy they can have guests like Tian, whose kind criticisms help them to improve.

 

Mr. Tian Gang used his personal experiences to show that today’s luxury hotels still had many problems. “I was in Beijing earlier, and stayed at JW Marriott Hotel Beijing as a new platinum member; for the first time, in fact. I was rather surprised that they hadn’t prepared anything in particular for platinum members, such as a greeting card or fruit basket until I suggested it to the management. I didn’t think it was consistent with the Marriott Rewards, and was glad that the hotel immediately took my advice. I am under the impression that JW Marriott hotels in Shanghai and Beijing place heavier emphasis on business functions. It would be great for them if the hotels could improve their concepts, standardize their service and treat international travelers and domestic guests with equal attentiveness. Of course, my feeling is very personal.”

 

The essential factors that make a hotel a 5-star property include first-class hardware facilities and, more importantly, great service and warm hospitality. For instance, the hotel staff are supposed to greet guests with a smile, without being prompted. Renaissance has been doing a great job in this respect, according to Tian, who observed, “A real 5-star hotel treats the guests as equals. Platinum member or random guest of a dinner party should be treated by every staff with utmost seriousness. This is what I call a 5-star hotel.”

 

Despite the many problems and defects, Mr. Tian has never failed to be impressed by hotels, and sometimes touched by the smallest details. “Dolton Hotel Changsha is a local 5-star property in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, which naturally can’t rival many international branded hotels. Once I asked for a baby crib. Most hotels, under normal conditions, would merely move in a bed with pillow, quilt and so forth. Dolton Hotel Changsha did better than that. The server even gave me a baby bowl and spoon with lovely patterns, which pleased me not a little. This far exceeded my expectation, because she had thought of it before the parents. This kind of service must be available in boutique hotels, and I never expected it in a local hotel like Dolton Hotel Changsha.”

 

He had similar experiences in JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, where the staff are generally senior in age than their mainland counterparts, and some waiters are forty or even older. Age turns out to be an advantage of awakening the awareness to serve. These people who grow with the hotel in the past decade or dozen years have a real service spirit. Their long-time experience with the same hotel enables them to better understand Marriott’s “if you take care of your associates, they will take care of the customer…” A single meal will show you their attentiveness and concern about the customer’s needs, Tian Gang concluded.

 

He seemed unable to stop talking about China’s hospitality industry, and we knew he was qualified to speak on this topic. “China has too many 5-star hotels which, strictly speaking, can barely reach the standards. I think there should be a platform where customers can freely exchange ideas and post online reviews. This kind of websites is important to hotels hungry for feedbacks and customers who are eager to share their hospitality experiences. Unfortunately we don’t have many such websites. I hope in the future Grand Hotels could fill the void.” If China’s luxury properties can be improved to the extent that guests would be impressed by the quality service rather than the showy décor and exterior, we believe more people will choose to enjoy themselves in a hotel.

 

Mr. Tian surprised us by sending an email after the interview, in which he expressed ideas on hotel staff: “I hope the waiting staff of hotels can be reported someday like a super star. They must understand that they represent not only themselves, but the quality of the hotel brand. Especially the top brands. Only those who care for the customer would be cared for by the customer. Interaction and mutual respect are essential.”

 

Though hotels are apparently not our entire life, their attractive appearance and quality service do add spice to our everyday life. We can do what Mr. Tian Gang has been doing all along, taking advantage of all the useful resources to make our life fuller and more colorful. However time and money are limited, happiness has no end.

 

 

Tian Gang’s Favorite Hotel Company:  Marriott, Starwood.

His favorite Hotel Brand:  Renaissance, InterContinental, JW Marriott.

His Most Loved Hotel:  Renaissance Wuhan Hotel, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing.

Best Service Hotel in His Mind:  Renaissance Wuhan Hotel, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, InterContinental Financial Street Beijing.

His Touching Hospitality Experience:  Dolton Hotel Changsha

 

 

  当我们的周遭开始出现越来越多的五星级酒店的身影时,她们给人们的印象不再像从前那样冰冷且拒人于千里之外。相反地,她们开始频繁地在人们的生活中出镜,并成为某些人生活的一部分。于是,这个城市开始悄悄出现了一个人群,他们常常会选择在酒店度过一个愉悦的周末。

 

  田刚先生是一位年轻有为的公司白领,也许是出于个人爱好,他在平时的工作生活中总是非常关注五星级酒店。除了由于工作需要而出差,在休假的时候,他经常和家人一起外出旅游,并在此过程中体验酒店高品质的服务。对他们来说,这是一种享受。

 

  田刚可能是中国为数不多的用自己的钱来享受五星级酒店的白领,也许人们会对此感到奇怪,因为五星级酒店总是与价格不菲联系在一起的。而这其中的秘诀就在于网络,田刚的很多信息资源来源于网络。他说:“我觉得在接触一家酒店的同时,会逐渐对于她所属的酒店集团有所了解,接着你就会对其企业文化产生兴趣。在此过程中,不经意地就在累积你对这个行业的了解和认知,并轻松捕捉到一种轻松有效的促销方式和活动方案。”在享受酒店生活的同时,他也结识了很多酒店的白金会员,通过彼此之间的信息平台,他们互相交流住店经验、分享各自的信息。“对我来说,当我一旦得知酒店或是机票的优惠活动时,我都非常乐意与他人共享。有的时候,人们可能会因为这样令人激动的优惠信息而激发了自己想要旅游的冲动。”

 

  可见,网络在田刚的酒店生活中扮演了重要的角色,因此,他平常经常在网络上去了解酒店的推广或是积分活动。他向我们介绍说:“国外的一些酒店常住客人和白金会员也常常在网上分享自己的经验,一些酒店的白金会员在和我成为了朋友以后,一起分享了申请获得白金会员的经验,这使得我在世界各地的五星级酒店都能享受最高的待遇。”事实上,田刚在各个酒店集团的客户计划中都是白金会员,如凯悦、万豪、喜达屋、洲际等等,这一点让我们感到十分奇特却也相当佩服。田刚也曾觉得五星酒店的目标群是面向于那些收入较高的人群而言的,但当他自己以较低的价格在享受酒店的时候,却赫然发现这种生活方式真的很不错。在辛苦工作了一个星期以后,能够去酒店体验一下高品质的服务和生活品质,也算是对自己的犒劳。

 

  就在我们对于田刚能够对酒店的推广活动如此了如指掌感到有些不可思议的时候,他却以实际行动向我们证明了这一点。他说:“我这次来上海的同时,也顺便参加了喜达屋酒店集团的一个推广活动。只要用MasterCard在其旗下任何一家酒店入住消费满三次,就可享受两晚周末免费入住亚太区任何一家酒店,包括上海和香港的酒店,而且因为我是白金会员,他们还可以为我安排行政套房。之前,我在常熟的福朋喜来登酒店住了三次,因此接下来我可以在元旦或是大年夜到香港的w酒店住两晚。这相当于我用650元订了两晚的房间,要知道那可是一个高峰段,并且价格相当昂贵,市场价是6000元。而我为这样的一趟行程所支付的费用却是非常低廉的。”在我们听得瞠目结舌的时候,他继续介绍说:“洲际酒店集团每隔一段时间,就会推出一个非常爆炸性的推广活动,只要付出5000点的积分,就能享受以超低的积分在其旗下旗舰品牌酒店住一晚。”毫无疑问,田刚就是一个玩转酒店生活的达人。

 

  如今,作为一个老道的酒店常客,用田刚自己的话来说,他也是一个挑剔的人。“我每一次入住酒店都会找到酒店的瑕疵,包括酒店做得不够完善的地方,我会用文字将它记录下来,并告知酒店的管理层。”对于这样的客人,相信酒店是相当欢迎的,正是因为有了他们,酒店的品质才能无止尽的提升。

 

  说到这里,田刚向我们讲述了他的亲身经历,从中可以看出如今的酒店依然存在不少问题。他说:“前阵子我来到北京的JW万豪酒店,那是我第一次以白金会员的身份入住这家酒店。令我感到奇怪的是,酒店并没有为白金会员准备些特别的东西,比如欢迎卡片、水果篮之类的欢迎礼品。这与万豪礼赏的集团标准不符,当我向酒店管理层提出后,马上得到了解决。上海和北京的JW万豪比较注重商务方面,如果在服务理念上更加规范化,服务员在对待中国客人和外国客人的态度上更加统一的话,就完美了,当然,这是我的个人感受。”

 

  一家酒店之所以能够被评为五星级酒店,其硬件必须是数一数二的,但最为重要的还是她的服务,她的待客之道。员工在遇到客人的时候都应该主动打招呼或是给予一个微笑。在这方面,田刚认为万丽做得比较好,更具有亲和力。他说:“一家真正的五星级酒店是不管客人的所谓的尊卑高低的,不论你是白金会员,还是只是前来赴宴的客人,每一位员工都应用同样的最为重视的态度来对待你,我觉得这样的酒店才是五星级酒店。”

 

  尽管田刚对于酒店还有很多需要改善的地方,但在其下榻酒店中,让他感到感动的事情也不少,而这样的惊喜有时往往来自于一些微小的细节。“我曾经下榻过湖南通程大酒店,这是当地的一家五星级酒店,尽管她无法同其他一些国际品牌的酒店相媲美。那一次我向酒店要求多加一张婴儿床。相信大多数酒店都会推进一张床,还有枕头、被子之类的,但是湖南通程大酒店的服务员不仅给我们加了婴儿床,还非常出乎我意料地给了一个印有可爱图案的婴儿碗还有勺子,这着实让我感到惊喜。因为这完全超出了我原先加床的要求,她想到了客人的所有需求。这样的服务可能应该出现在精品酒店,但在一家本地的酒店里同样能够享受这样周到的服务,让我感触颇深。”除此以外,田刚认为香港的JW 万豪同样拥有真正为客人服务的员工,他们普遍都是比内地的酒店员工年长,甚至有四十岁或者更长的侍者。但年长只会增长他们为客人服务的意识,他们在长期的工作中,更能与万豪的服务客人的精神相契合,他们应该是伴随酒店一路十年或者更长时间走来的人。他说只是在香港JW万豪用餐,就已然感受到他们对客人的细微需求的重视和专注。

 

  对于如今中国的酒店业,田刚似乎有很多话要讲,当然,这也是因为他非常具有发言权。“中国有太多五星级的酒店,但她们的品质并没有真正达到五星级。我觉得酒店需要一个平台,能够让酒店的客人随时进行交流他们的酒店体验。那些侧重于文字点评的网站无论对酒店还是对客人而言,都是一个非常重要的交流平台。作为酒店,应该会非常希望得到客人的反馈,可惜的是,如今酒店在这方面的渠道并不多,希望《大酒店》能达到这个目的。” 如果中国内地的高星级酒店能够撇开华丽的硬件外衣,在服务上实现更上一层楼,那将使更多人在酒店中享受生活的愉悦。

 

  令我们颇感意外的是,在采访结束后,田刚先生发来了一封邮件,在信中他向那些在酒店工作的员工提出了自己的一些看法:“希望那些可以坚守梦想的服务人员,也可以在某个时刻被杂志关注,并且成为SUPER STAR。他们应该明白,自己的一切,不仅是在代表自己,更代表了自己所在的酒店品牌的品质,尤其是顶级品牌。因为把客人放在心上的服务员,自己也会被客人放在心上。宾客的互动和彼此的尊重,是可以实现的。”

 

  酒店虽然不是我们生活的全部,但她美丽的外表、和高品质的服务却足以点缀我们的生活。我们也可以像田刚先生一样,利用一切可以利用的资源,用有限的金钱和时间来为自己创造无限的快乐。

 

 

 

 

田刚最喜欢的酒店集团:   万豪、喜达屋
田刚最喜欢的酒店品牌:  万丽、洲际、JW万豪
田刚最喜欢的酒店:       武汉光明万丽酒店、北京JW万豪酒店
田刚个人认为服务品质不错的酒店:  武汉光明万丽酒店、香港JW万豪酒店、北京金融街洲际酒店

一次感动的入住经历:湖南通程国际大酒店

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