How do you make a hotel stay memorable for your guests? Joaquín Egea, Sales Deputy Manager at Pullman Barcelona Skipper Hotel, sums up his answer in two words: flexibility and storytelling.
During TBS Barcelona Master students’ visit to the hotel, Egea explained to them how Pullman Barcelona guests are half leisure-oriented and half business-oriented. Offering such variety of services requires catering for many different needs with the available resources.
“We strive to offer the best location, the best services and the best business facilities”, says Joaquín Egea. Because of this, the hotel needs spaces that can seamlessly change shapes and functions on short notice.
This is why the Pullman in Barcelona has four large business conference rooms that can merge into one, rooms where the bedroom and the bathroom can be separated or a premium room and a junior suite that can be joined together to form a senior suite.
Moreover, living rooms can become offices and large dining zones can be turned into an intimate, secluded breakfast area. All this with a quick change of the positioning of the walls and furniture.
“Without storytelling, a hotel is just a room and a breakfast. It’s the small details that make a difference”. Joaquín explained to TBS students that numbers don’t mean much and are very easily forgotten.
However, when Joaquín told them about the problem the hotel used to have with ducks, everyone was listening closely. “A few years ago, ducks used to come to the rooftop terrace and used our swimming pool as a toilet. We had to clean the pool every other day, and it was very expensive. We tried chemicals, we even brought a cat. But nothing worked”.
Joaquin continues his story: “one day, we spoke to an expert and she told us to place a very realistic, life-sized figure of an owl. Suddenly, they were gone”. Joaquín tells stories like these to clients all the time. According to him, this is the way the hotel can go from being just another hotel to being “that hotel with the owl next to the swimming pool”.
These small details are also present in the hotel services and staff: “We don’t have receptionists, we have welcomers. A receptionist sits and waits for guests, a welcomer is proactive and walks towards clients to greet them”.
Providing the best possible service to guests means adapting to them as much as possible. Making sure they remember you is not about big talk but the smallest details.