Are you aiming for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel charm but fear you might be more of a Bates Motel? It’s Halloween: a time for Hollywood dress-up, tackiness, gaudiness, fake blood and pretending to care about Halloween.
It’s also Thursday! Let’s have a bit of fun and talk about some of the most HORRIFYING situations accommodation providers should avoid.
Rumour has it this blanket has never been washed
There’s nothing that will keep you awake on a freezing cold night quite like trying to figure out whether it’s worth grabbing the extra blanket from the wardrobe when you’ve no idea where it’s been.
Most people have been told, at one time or another, never to use thick blankets or throws in an accom property because those things supposedly never see the inside of a washer. At least, they might not be washed daily or even between guests. There are a bunch of other ‘old wives’ tales’ regarding accom hygiene that would send a chill down any spine. The famous ones are TV remotes and light switches; items that housekeeping might overlook on a day-to-day basis but are likely teeming with germs.
There’s not a lot you can do about some things… Even if you clean and replace carpets regularly and thoroughly, they’re still bound to be pretty filthy with hundreds of people passing through every year. Lord knows what people get up to.
But there are some neat little tricks you can implement to ease guests’ minds, like providing complimentary disposable slippers they can walk around and shower in, and some anti-bac wipes or spray in a cupboard or sidetable that they can use if they want. The anxiety might be baseless but you can settle it pretty easily. Letting guests know what time their fresh laundry was brought up is another nice idea because it gets them excited about the lush comfort you’re providing and immediately tells them you care about hygiene.
Kids, don’t trust ’em
Haven’t you heard? They’re the worst. Not to say that all kids are creepy… Just all the kids in horror movies and any TV/Film/Book that’s set in a hotel.
Maybe it’s because they have a habit of sneaking away from their parents and shooting around hallways, lobbies, floors, grounds… Maybe it’s because they can already operate a smartphone better than we ever will. Either way, when kids are bored or families are cramped in too-small rooms, it’s a recipe for terror and complaints. When it comes to kids, avoid the ruckus by planning, as best you can, which rooms you book families into.
If you primarily cater to couples or corporate groups, you probably aren’t going to be set up well for families with young children. If that’s the case, you’d best keep an ear out to make sure your regular guests aren’t being annoyed by shrieking youngsters in the spa pool, or pre-teens hogging all the ‘free’ bandwidth.
Don’t be afraid to confront parents but you can also suggest lots of local kid-friendly activities to get them offsite and allocate ‘special’ pool/spa/gym/restaurant times for them to minimise disruptions to your other guests.
Creepy crawlies, mice and fleas
Unless they go by the name of Dr Doolittle, and/or happen to be a disney princess, your average guest probably won’t much enjoy the company of animals in their guestroom. Not to be outdone, the lobby, elevator, gym, and other parts of your property should probably also be kept clear of any little visitors. This can be easier said than done, especially if your property happens to have many outdoor components (a camping ground, perhaps). In this case especially, it’s best to chat to your local pest control expert to make sure you’re able to keep on top of the critters.
When it comes to guests and their sensitive little selves, it’s also a good idea to warn them about how seasonal changes might affect the creatures they come into contact with. If you’re lakeside, for instance, it’d be nice to warn guests about mozzies or midges. Offer some bug spray and let them know if there are times of day they might want to avoid going for a paddle or strolling through the bush.
Just kidding. Pennywise prefers sewers to guestrooms. Besides, not much will get past a good quality security system, just ask your preferred supplier. Happy Halloween!