In the technology era, devices and small appliances are the hotelier’s benchmark of how well they really understand their guests. In the technology era, devices and small appliances are the hotelier’s benchmark of how well they really understand their guests.
“When you buy a device for home, you would probably throw away the instructions, usually written in English, along with the box they came in. Or you’d download them and eventually, by trial and error, fiddle about until you’ve worked out how to use the latest tech bit,” says Robert Weatherdon, Managing Director of R. Weatherdon & Co. suppliers to the hospitality industry for over 40 years.
The hotel guest cannot do any of this. Therein is the challenge, as most appliances are made for the home user.
Guests may only have an hour or two in the room. Arriving tired and setting off early, there is no inclination to learn how to operate a new appliance. That would surely frustrate and knock a few stars of the experience.
Furthermore, with the rise in guest numbers from Asian countries the instruction book would look like Gideon’s.
Devices, clocks and docking stations have to be understood by everyone from the Greek granny to the geeky grandchild.
First and foremost the docking station has to be as small as possible. Considering the cost of each square metre of real estate, space is a premium and that is reflected in the room fit-out.
The issue of the dimmer switch is one of the most fraught. It is more than ON or OFF, it’s not that simple. Too bright and it will drive the guest crazy during the night. Guests have been known to put a blanket over a bright, glaring beam. Nor can it be too dim. It can’t blink or flash either as that would drive the already sleep-deprived to distraction. Nor can it beep or make the tiniest noise as this will be amplified at jet-lag induced four AM insomnia hour.
Colour may seem like a style choice. To the harried or tired guest it’s much more than that.
The reds and greens don’t enhance many decors and they are the starkest and cheapest. Up the value to the blue or the white which is the most flattering due to the diffusing light.
If a lighting dimmer is the difference between a good or bad nights’ sleep it may make or break the hotel experience.
Once guests took comfort in finding a bible in the bedside table but today’s savvy guest wants the same certainty from the bedside clock radio.
Brand is all about tangible touchpoints with the aim of making the perception reality.
Weatherdon’s top three products for techno times:
- Lamp with a USB port
- Nero clock radio ~ blue-tooth and USB port
- Retractable cord hair-dryer
A family-owned and operated business established in 1975, R. Weatherdon & Co is the preferred supplier to over 1,600 hotels in Australia and New Zealand.