Luxury might be an over-used word, what does it conjure up for you? Being met at the airport with a private car? Your own sea view and plunge pool? A chilled bottle of champagne waiting in the room? Conde Nast Traveller published a “10 best and worst hotel amenities/trends from the past 10 years” and dismissed chocolates on the pillow as “So 80s!” but cheered the onset of pillowtop beds, rain showers and celebrity-chef restaurants.
If your holiday property is aiming for the luxury end of the market (celebrity chef or not), then no doubt you’ll have had these conversations and are always thinking of new ways to ensure your investment stays firmly in its top notch spot. As with any improvements or upgrades, there are two stages to this – doing it and then making sure people know about it.
You might even be luxury already but aren’t classing yourself in that way. Do you offer a frequent cleaning/maid service? A concierge service? Are your beds smothered in toppers and egyptian cotton? Do you leave full-on welcome packs (luxury treats for all the family)? Are your furnishings, fixtures and fittings all good quality and in pristine working order? If you’re nodding your head to the majority of these then the chances are you’re pretty much there. If you are fastidious about replacing chipped and broken items, ensuring your guests every need is catered for then no doubt their experience is already reflecting “luxury”.
So, you do have a luxury property – how do you ensure people know that? Here are a few ideas:
1) Show images of luxury touches on your website: high spec kitchen/bathroom/tv/wii, poolside furniture, gardens at their peak, welcome hampers, cosy beds, power showers, roaring fires.
2) Get people to reflect the experience: Ask them after their stay – “did you feel that Casa Mariposa had a touch of luxury?” ” would you describe your experience at Snowdrop Cottage as luxurious?” “What made all the difference at Maison Papillion?” “If it wasn’t luxurious, what would have made the difference?” Then use their comments – paste pictures from your guest book on Facebook, use testimonials on your website, tweet about “luxury” and link back to your website/Facebook page (or act on them if they weren’t what you wanted to hear).
3) Keep telling people: The more you talk about luxury then the more you will attract guests that appreciate your attention to detail. Take pictures of seasonal flowers (use Instagram or similar apps to ‘professionalise’ snaps), catered-for private dinners held at your property, services in action at your property.
4) Keep on top of luxury trends: I mentioned the Conde Nast article as an extreme example, but these sorts of articles help identify the way luxury travel is moving and what we can leave behind (don’t bother with pillow menus!). Additional services seem to be a theme, the wireless concierge (you may not be able to find him but you can text), the paperless check-in (no more waiting around), pool amenities, flat screens…
If you’re looking to whet your luxury appetite, take a look here for some inspiration.
Of course, as with anything – “Luxury” is up for interpretation (my lasting memory of a long-haul business flight was a hot water bottle given to me by an air steward- bliss!) – you may not realise that your spontaneous gift of fresh eggs from your own chickens one morning may just be the icing on the cake for some guests.
If you’d like to talk to someone at Rental Tonic about moving your property into the luxury market, please use the form on the contact page. We’d love to hear from you. And if you do put chocolates on your pillows and it works for your guests, that’s great – mine’s a Lindt dark one please.