Monday, May 01, 2006

Lost in hotels.

Sort-of following on from what I said yesterday, have you tried to find your way around a hotel by looking at signs? Forget it. If you can locate the sign it's stainless steel with the words engraved and light shining on it, or something similarly impossible to read.

I know the cause of the problem, I was in the business for years. The designers insist on coming up with signs that blend in with the d├ęcor, that are unobtrusive. They think they’re stylish, chic, trendy, understated.

No they’re not, they’re bloody invisible! What is the point of a sign no-one can see? As the old advertising saying goes, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark.

In Dubai many hotels take it one step further. There are no signs at all.

Instead, when you park in the wrong place, like the taxi rank, or wander around the lobby searching in vain, people descend on you from every point of the compass. It happened to me the other evening, when I was trying to check out the restaurants at Grosvenor House and Ritz Carlton.

They smile, they say something or other, they’re very pleasant…but they’re all over you like a rash, in your face, invading your personal space, a foot away from you, which is not only very, very annoying it’s also unnecessary and inefficient.

Just put up signs, clear and visible, so that your guests can find their way around in peace.


nzm said...

That's the way that the staff can tell if you're new to the place.

Anyone seen standing in the middle of the lobby and turning in circles has never been there before!

Look at it in terms of the start of a sales cycle. They're qualifying their leads. Your answer to them is the filter - it determines whether you should be allowed to stay because you will be spending money with them, or told (politely) to leave because you're wasting their time.

Of course, signs would help you to also spend money there if you could easily find where to spend it! :-)

Seabee said...

Yep, back to the old 'making it hard for you to give them your money syndrome' :-)