What makes a hotel more than just a room?

What’s you favorite brand of hotels?
I don’t have one. Why do I feel zero loyalty to any hotel brand?

Why is that when I travel, I seek out the comfort and calming environment of my favorite brand of coffee shops, but not a hotel brand? The short answer is: I am not sure. Is it because I feel that most of them employ the same interior designer? Or is it because most of them still charge me extra for local phone calls? (Just plain silly, isn’t it?) What I know for sure is that I spend more money in one day at any of the above hotels than I do on my coffee habit in an entire year.

And just when I thought that, for now, I’ll have to be content with the status quo, something happened during my last stay in Banff that made me rethink the whole favorite-hotel thing. It was sudden and it took me by complete surprise. I was walking toward my car in the underground parkade of the hotel I was staying in the early morning, when I noticed a small and unfamiliar object on our windshield. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was a small piece of paper, casually resting on the backdrop of a super clean piece of glass – aka my windshield. On that piece of paper was a short, simple message. And it was the thought and intent behind this message that just might put the Delta brand of hotels on my very short list of places in which, from now on, I seek comfort when I am away from home.

Intrigued? Click here to see what made me rethink the whole favorite-hotel thing. I know that it’s a small thing. But it feels human and it shows a great deal of commitment—a commitment to engage people in a manner that reveals to them two things: Yes, we care; and yes, we get it. If you can deliver that in your line of work, consistently, you won’t have to search for customers. They’ll search for you.

Feb 12, 2012