The warmth of a mid-afternoon sun.
The summer breeze that gently rustles the trees overhead.
The dirty swimming pool that hasn’t been vacuumed in a week.
Sorry to ruin the imagery! If you’re in the hotel business, you’re well aware that someone is footing the bill for paradise. Maintenance and housekeeping tasks aren’t completed without responsible, well-trained staff members who adhere to a strict schedule and prioritize tasks.
Running a hotel is a 24/7 exercise in customer service. Operations are always better as an exercise than as an experiment!
Here are the five areas of hotel operations that need the most attention during the summer months:
1. Swimming Pool and Spa
Families beeline for the swimming pool upon arrival. Who is cleaning the pool and/or whirlpool and when? Maintaining the correct pH level is a matter of safety and sanitation. Unless you have someone on staff experienced in commercial pool maintenance, this task is better left to a professional company.
It’s not just the pool that needs constant upkeep. The surrounding terrace and lounging areas also require maintenance. A sample checklist may include:
- Chairs cleaned
- Patio stones powerwashed
- Pool showers working/water temperature normal (not too hot or cold)
- Drinking water fountains clean and functional
- Restrooms clean and routinely checked
- Trash/recycling collected and removed
- Landscaping properly maintained
Some hotels feature a tiki bar or a small café near the pool area. Of course, the same rules of running a hotel restaurant and upholding the quality of the hotel brand also apply to this area. Temperatures will fluctuate in an outdoor setting. Food safety, proper refrigeration and sanitary surfaces are crucial.
Foodservice tip: Keep in mind that not everyone wants French fries on a hot summer’s day. Offer creative lighter fare such as to-go picnic boxes and fresh-cut fruit. Smoothies and frozen slushies can be a big hit.
4. Beach Access
If the hotel is oceanfront property, be sure to provide adequate passageways for guests coming on and off the beach. Also provide a shower or outdoor faucet so that guests can easily rinse sand from their feet. Sand will inevitably make its way into the lobby, elevators and possibly even first floor restrooms. Beachside hotels have the added challenge of routinely cleaning these areas.
5. Gift Shop/Hotel Convenience Store
When it comes to family vacations, there are two facts of life: 1. People forget things. 2. Kids get bored and parents need ways to entertain them.
Seize the opportunity by carrying the essentials as well as some fun items:
- Sun tan lotions
- SPF lip balm
- Small coolers
- Beach umbrellas
- Shovels and pails
- Beach balls, frisbees, footballs and other games
Create Fond Memories, Get Repeat Customers
Above all, think like a guest. When was the last time you stayed in a hotel while on vacation? What was satisfactory or unsatisfactory? Was there an amenity that could have made your stay more enjoyable?
I’m fond of an oceanfront hotel in Florida that offers cookies in the lobby at night and a free continental breakfast. It’s not a boutique hotel. It’s just a quality hotel that knows the importance of saving families an average of $30 each day. They must be onto something. It’s always booked solid during peak season!