Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hospitality questions from a newbie

When it comes to the hospitality industry, I'm about as green as they get. No, not green as in I rollerblade to work and wear dress shirts made of hemp—green as in I'm a newcomer. I just started at our magazine network a little over a month ago, and although I'm learning every day, there is still a ton I do not understand about this industry—and quite frankly, I'm not sure any of you understand some of this stuff either.

Our Hotel & Motel Management staff took a field trip to the Intercontinental Cleveland, and two (well, three) things didn't make sense to me. Now, one (well, two) of these things were little. For example, in the lobby, I noticed that a lamp cord was dressed up with a frilly, beige sleeve, which, I'm assuming, was to disguise the fact that it was a lamp cord. Personally, when I see a lamp on a table, I expect to see a cord going into a wall. I know how a lamp operates. I'm not offended to see electricity at work. Because of this, I found the decorative cord-hider unnecessary and weird. How much did it cost? Were there complaints about seeing lamp cords? Basically, I found the cloth to be more distracting than a simple lamp cord.

Anyway, that's a small personal problem and possibly something designers, luxury hoteliers and people who don't rely solely on Cleveland Browns t-shirts to fill out a wardrobe, feel is a sign of good taste. But I think it makes my other question even more strange: Why don't luxury hotels provide free Internet access for guests?

From what I gather in my short time in the business, a lot of mid-scale and economy hotels provide free Internet access, and high-end, luxury hotels require their guests pay a fee. What? Doesn't this strike everyone as totally counterintuitive? Someone staying at the Michigan suite at the Intercontinental Cleveland will pay somewhere around $2,000 a night, but need to pay extra to check their fantasy baseball team from their laptop.

Maybe it makes sense because the more money someone has, the more likely they are willing to pay for amenities they want. But in my mind, a place that is willing to spring for decorative lamp-cord cover sleeves should also provide its guests the same amenities that an economy hotel would.

(The final thing that I didn't understand was how the movie "Eddie" ended up in the hotel's DVD rental collection. Really? "Eddie"? How many times has that been rented? Is there an underground market for movies where Whoopi Goldberg inexplicably becomes the coach of the Knicks? If you have an answer, please let me know. Like I said, I'm new here.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In regards to your question regarding internet access, I feel that limited service hotels feel the need to offer internet access in order to lure guests to their hotel. Bill Marriott wrote a blog regarding this issue exactly.

Here is the link