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  1. #16

    • GM at a Hotel near DL
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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Goin2DL View Post
    Comfortable mattresses are most important. It is the the one thing that almost every reasonably priced hotel near DL lacks.
    Clean rooms and a friendly staff are also very important.
    We have pillow top mattresses we just installed a couple months ago, but I can totally understand what you mean. . .

    The moderate hotels around DL won't change out their mattresses until absolutely necessary because they can't afford to like those higher chains.

    Personally, I sleep on a Cheapur-pedic (like a tempur-pedic but home made ), and it's hard for me to comfortably sleep on ANY mattress because I'm so used to my home made one.

    I would switch out all mattresses with the foam type, but the problem with that is that foam isn't very conducive to all the wear and tear.

  2. #17

    • Pin Trading Tenderfoot
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    Thumbs up Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    My husband told me you posted here!

    I have the honor of being one of the recent guests at your hotel. My mother, aunt, son and I were staying in 104 around Thanksgiving! Everything was wonderful. The beds and pillows were comfortable, the water strong and hot, the heat/ac fine-tuned to frosty or sweltering, depending on where we dialed in, and the channels clear. Breakfast was great. The staff (day and night) were very polite and quick with anything we needed more of. I can understand why some people would think that the shuttle delay was your hotel's fault, but having been a frequent sleeper at the Motel 6 down the street, I know it's not about the hotels, it's about the transports. My mother booked through a travel agency and got a cheaper per-person/per-day rate than my trio gets booking at Motel 6, I think.

    My suggestions (if they're workable) would be to offer free or discounted shuttle passes for the amount of people/day, having the pool open past park hours with a notation that members CAN be asked to vacate the area if they're being too loud, and more waffle batter & juice towards the end of the breakfast run. Oh, and do you have firmer pillows/extra blankets available?

    • +Since you can't run your own shuttle (sucks, I know) maybe you could make a deal like a free one-day shuttle pass per person on ART for those staying two days, a free three-day for those staying three or more. If they don't want the passes, they don't have to take them, but any time you say "stay here and get _____ FREE!" people are going to take a second look at your location. In the case of my recent visit, we had three people that took the shuttle one day on a six(?) day stay. We would have used the shuttle more, since my mother is not in the best health and rarely makes it to the park till after six, while my son, my aunt and myself were generally eager to get up and go.
    • +Having the pool & hot tub open after Disneyland has closed would be a godsend for sore feet and aching muscles. I was excited to hear that your pool is heated in the colder months, but I never got a chance to use it because we tended to stick around the park till closing. Believe me, by the time we got back to the room, I would have liked nothing more than to take a few slow laps through the pool or soak in the hot tub.
    • +Several times, we'd get to the breakfast room just as it was nearing the last hour or two and find that the apple & orange juice were set to "refill" and the waffle batter (LOVE that waffle maker!) had to be requested, as the tray was empty. I know the staff is eager to set things to right for the next morning, but the second to the last day I was there, the breakfast room was packed and I had to request that the lady behind the counter bring up a couple of waffle batter cups. I saw more people coming to make waffles line up behind me, but the batter was used up again. Oh, and do you have a choice of fruit for your deliveries? I heard a few guests wishing there were bananas available.

    Other than that, the place is definitely worth the visit and I'm hoping to be staying there again!

  3. #18

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    I love that you put in hot chocolate. It always bothers me that hotels have coffee pots and coffee packets - but, what about those of us that want a hot drink and can't stand coffee!! I mean, the hot water's there, why not just add a hot chocolate packet. That's awesome.

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  4. #19

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BFJen View Post
    I love that you put in hot chocolate. It always bothers me that hotels have coffee pots and coffee packets - but, what about those of us that want a hot drink and can't stand coffee!! I mean, the hot water's there, why not just add a hot chocolate packet. That's awesome.
    Actually the hot chocolate idea came from DISBoards when I asked for their opinions I'm glad you liked it.

  5. #20

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Strangel View Post
    • +Several times, we'd get to the breakfast room just as it was nearing the last hour or two and find that the apple & orange juice were set to "refill" and the waffle batter (LOVE that waffle maker!) had to be requested, as the tray was empty. I know the staff is eager to set things to right for the next morning, but the second to the last day I was there, the breakfast room was packed and I had to request that the lady behind the counter bring up a couple of waffle batter cups. I saw more people coming to make waffles line up behind me, but the batter was used up again. Oh, and do you have a choice of fruit for your deliveries? I heard a few guests wishing there were bananas available.
    Other than that, the place is definitely worth the visit and I'm hoping to be staying there again!
    I'm glad you found me Would you be able to PM me your stay and your last name?

    I want to know what day you stayed so I can figure out why there were issues with the breakfast attendant.

    I'm not usually there that early in the morning, so I can't always oversee the quality control during that time.

  6. #21

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    - free internet? CHECK
    - free parking? CHECK

    Those are the important easy to apply uniform items. The ones that are more service oriented

    - pleasant staff at the front desk - these are typically the only people many people interact with. Helpful, show me the map and where the room is, suggest best parking spot, offer help for bags if needed, ask if I want to know the food, pool or shuttle times. Don't act like I dragged you away from your favorite TV show to check me in.

    - clean common areas (no trash or worn out carpets) and no funk in the elevator/hallway. If you have a pool, keep the deck and pool free of trash/debris

    In the room
    - ensure iron+board is functional and maintained
    - TV picture is clear - premiums aren't really required as long as you have equivalent expanded basic cable (espn, tlc, tbs, tnt, etc)
    - clean shower! If it looks leftover from the 60s.. rebuild it
    - 4 pillows on the bed and a decent mattress

    That would be my criteria. Breakfast stuff is nice, but not required. I find the continental most places is so limited its not worth bothering. Maybe offer drinks (coffee/tea/soda/water)

    Some perks you could consider
    - pool hours as someone mentioned - given your focus on Disney.. keep later hours on the pool if insurance allows
    - free bottled water in the hotel rooms

    I've never had a problem with a Choice hotel in the past, so I'm sure your baseline is pretty good already. Increasing your exposure and PARTICIPATION on sites like these can go a long way to getting referral business and getting direct bookings rather then hoping for floating to the top in a hotels/expedia/travelocity search.

    Good luck with it!
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  7. #22

    • Pin Trading Tenderfoot
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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    OH! And microwaves. lol
    Our room didn't have one, but my mother thought it might be something that came with a more expensive room.

    She also suggested (I told her about this thread over the phone) that you might look into making MORE of the bunkbed suites. We would have been happy to book one and let the monster have his own TV to watch cartoons all night, but they were all booked.

  8. #23

    • GM at a Hotel near DL
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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Strangel View Post
    OH! And microwaves. lol
    Our room didn't have one, but my mother thought it might be something that came with a more expensive room.

    She also suggested (I told her about this thread over the phone) that you might look into making MORE of the bunkbed suites. We would have been happy to book one and let the monster have his own TV to watch cartoons all night, but they were all booked.
    Yeah, I noticed how popular our bunk bed suites are. That's something we'll keep in mind (as funds allow )

  9. #24

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Same with the microwaves. We're actually renovating all the rooms in January adding in new sofas, night stands, head boards, curtains, and the works Once I get that thing settled, I'll be looking into the microwaves in each room.

    The Suites have Microwaves in them, but when microwaves are about $50/each, I don't see why we can't have microwaves in the rest of the rooms.

    Right now we allow guests to use the microwave in the breakfast room 24/7.

  10. #25

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Some perks you could consider
    - pool hours as someone mentioned - given your focus on Disney.. keep later hours on the pool if insurance allows
    - free bottled water in the hotel rooms

    I'm looking into the city code for outdoor pools and keeping them open. I must agree that being able to hang out in the jacuzzi late at night would feel sooooo good.

    I'll be juggling the idea about the water bottle. Maybe instead of having water bottles in each room, maybe have them at the front desk?

  11. #26

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffersonKim View Post
    I'll be juggling the idea about the water bottle. Maybe instead of having water bottles in each room, maybe have them at the front desk?
    Usually the one bottle in the room restocked by housekeeping is nice enough. That way guests will not 'rip through' a 6 pack, but its still convenient enough.

    This is coming from a business traveler though - if the main demographic is families I can see how this one may be harder to pull off. But 1-2 bottles may be a middle ground.

    I know many would wish we'd all buy the $2 sodas in the vending machines where they are making like 90% profit - but it just gets so absurd its starts to anger you when that's all a property offers.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  12. #27

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    I like the free water bottle but for ease of the hotel staff I think if it is kept on ice near the front desk is great, possibly with a selection of fruit. I know the Hilton Suites had this last time we stayed there and it was nice to come back in the afternoon to take a nap and grab an ice cold bottle of water and an apple to snack on in the room before falling asleep.

  13. #28

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    I applaude the OP for caring enough to come ask these questions

  14. #29

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    Same here, lovewdw.. It's rare that you find this kind of concern for quality and I'm betting the discussion gets him a few referrals & bookings.

    JeffersonKim, I have another one for you, although this one is more of a question than advice.. lol
    I was reading a thread on another site today (sims 2 site "MATY" or moreawesomethanyou) called "Truth Behind Hotel Drinking Glasses".. It shared one of those typical "scare-tactic media" exposés with hidden camera footage of sloppy maids, blah blah blah. It sparked a lot of discussion and more than a few people talking of demanding a fresh set of everything when they arrive at a hotel/motel. That got me thinking.. would it be feasible to advertise such a thing? One person's example was that she strips the bed/s completely and calls for "fresh everything" including the bedspread and towels, not because she doesn't trust the hotel but because she wants to know without a doubt that she's in a completely turned room. Someone also mentioned spraying the bare mattress with Lysol (possibly the same person, I can't remember at the moment). I realize the cost of the extra work and laundering could get exorbitant, but I'm pretty sure most people aren't going to ask for the service.

    Something else my mother and I were talking about was the possibility of having the maids "turn down" one side of the bed when they're finished making them. It's a little thing, but advertised "turn down service" and seeing the bedding set up like an invitation to take a nap makes me feel like I'm in a ritzy place that treasures it's patrons.

    Since you're a Good Neighbor hotel, I'd try and feature that prominently on the site. Have you considered setting up a Disney-themed set of rooms for a higher price, with a little welcome gift, like Disney stationery, keychains, maybe a small stuffed Mickey for each child, etc? I'm not sure if that's something you'd have to work out with the Disney company or not, but again there's a big draw on the "free gift" factor. Makes us feel like we're getting something even better, raising the perceived value of our stay.


  15. #30

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    Re: New Hotel Manager Seeks Advice

    I suggest (if possible) that there be plungers available in each bathroom. And not those wimpy "suction cup" plungers. Without saying too much, this is a common concern for me. It's embarrasing having to call, or go to, the front desk and request a plunger, when needed.

    (Kinda gross talking about this, I know, but this is something I feel the entire hotel industry could work on, and needs to be brought to the public's attention to request said convenience )

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