Do You Have A Suite Tooth?
November 9, 2016 7:48am
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (www.lma.ca)
Over the past year, I’ve stayed in 40 hotels and many fine properties have upgraded me to their suite products. With a nod to all those hoteliers who have graciously provided this bonus, I say thank you. Attempting to learn from these experiences, I ask: what makes a suite special? And, if properly differentiated, how can you fashion your suites as a truly differentiated product set?
First, let’s define a suite. Whereas many hoteliers may consider it as just a larger guestroom, a true suite has a door that physically separates the sleeping quarters from the living/dining area. Note, many hoteliers try to define a larger room as a mini-suite, but without the true separation this does not meet the actual criteria.
In effect, a suite provides the guest with both private and public spaces, making it ideal for many lodging circumstances where a standard room would be awkward, informal or undesirable. Many of the larger suites or multi-bedroom units may also have an additional powder room and mini-kitchen.
Furthermore, some hotels are suite-only such as the Embassy Suites brand. However, for most properties there is usually a mix of these tiers. I have rarely heard of a hotelier who is happy with this ratio, and in my experience the overall demand for suites is outstripping that of regular rooms, although this may differ depending upon local and competitive circumstances.
The reasons why suites are gaining in demand are numerous. Here are a few:
It’s more than just physical size and rate, though. There are many opportunities for you to improve your guests’ suite experience. Setting aside capital cost items such as larger TVs, improved drapes/carpeting, polished floors and enhanced lighting. More are some more ideas for consideration:
Once you have built your suite product, promote its unique points of difference. First, sell your staff, in particular your reservations team. Make mention of your suites in social media. Create a persona to make it special by, for instance, giving each suite a unique name. Ensure the suites lead your accommodations listing on your website to differentiate your property from those who typically start with their ‘basic’ offerings. Extensive use of photography will add to the ‘reasons why’ to buy. Don’t forget to elaborate on the amenity additions within your online booking engine.
Pricing your suites is a matter of market factors. For a start, look at the square footage and proportion of the suite to a standard room. There are no set rules here. Many other factors may indicate even higher premiums, such as oceanfront settings. Simply put: instead of giving away your suites each night as complimentary upgrades, learn how to sell your best product.
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Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or to discuss speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.
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hotel suite products
One of the world’s most published writers in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the owner of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited and founder of LMA Communications Inc., an award-winning marketing agency based in Toronto. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry is also a principal of Cayuga Hospitality Consultants and is on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes three books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013) and “Hotel Llama” (2015).
You can reach Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss hotel business challenges or to book speaking engagements.
Contact: Larry Mogelonsky
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