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Hotel excellence: the 5 qualities of great hotels

Hotels that excel in overall service create experiences and are customer-driven.

This article is based on research by Xari Rovira

Have you ever planned a vacation and ended up in a hotel that was not what you expected when you booked it online? It's a fact: choosing the wrong hotel can spoil your vacation.

The Research Group on Judgments & Decisions in the Marketplace and researchers at the Sant Ignasi School of Tourism & Hospitality Management have identified five traits that make a hotel excellent.

The researchers analysed the opinions of experts and senior managers from the hospitality industry in Barcelona, an internationally renowned tourist destination and the third most visited city in Europe after London and Paris.

"Using a technique called concept mapping, we extracted over 100 concepts and ideas from senior managers about what makes a hotel excellent," says Esade Associate Professor Xari Rovira, co-leader of the study. "Our research shows that there are five top concepts that experts agree are the most important ones for defining hotel excellence."

Amazing resort
Excellence-driven hotels provide memorable experiences (Photo: Resort in the Maldives. Saad Khan/Unsplash)

"Understanding what excellence in hospitality means from a cross-cultural perspective provides interesting clues because mobility is a key element of tourism in this century," says Rovira.

The 5 traits that make a hotel excellent

The study found that hotels that excel in overall service and deliver the best guest experience and satisfaction have the following five traits in common:

1. Customer-driven

Great hotels know that one of the secrets of excellence is being customer-driven and understanding and fulfilling clients' needs and expectations. Acknowledging customers upon arrival, speaking their native language and calling them by name are among the traits that characterise excellence in customer service.

2. Creating experiences

Excellence-driven hotels offer unique 5-senses settings, as well as intense, sustainable and eco-friendly experiences. They provide memorable experiences rather than plain service. Excellent hotels incorporate the latest trends in their services and know how to shift from service delivery to creating personalised and unique experiences that customers love.

3. Service quality

Hotels that provide a great customer experience know how to deliver an innovative and excellent service to their customers. Their level of service quality is based on the latest innovations available in the hospitality sector, a successful service performance, and the capacity to adapt to new technologies in order to meet customer expectations.

4. Loyalty

Hotels that provide an excellent experience know how to surprise their customers continuously. They also know how to make customers feel at home and create a long-lasting relationship by exceeding their expectations and making them feel especial.

5. Human resource management

Hotel employees are at the heart of excellent hospitality. Hotels that provide excellence in customer service have a human resource management team that cares about their employees. They have an appropriate employee selection process in place and know how to train their staff to understand the customers' needs.

This article is based on research published in the journal Pattern Recognition Letters. The study was a joint collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and La Salle.

All written content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.