Inn focus— Global


It’s called the ‘art of inn-keeping’ for a good reason. If you’re not a natural host/designer/lighting director/logistician all rolled into one then you’ll need to spend years honing the craft of creating an environment where people will want to return again – and again.

Hospitality, Hotel management, Tourism

If I wasn’t orchestrating a team of 40 to produce this magazine, make audio programmes, direct films and run our shops then I’d do my best to get all of them to work with me on the city hotel I’ve been wanting to launch for the past few years. As we had a bit of time over the holidays to think about what does and doesn’t work in the world of inn-keeping, we ­decided to do the next best thing to ­actually opening a property and worked on the planning, brand book and house rules for our fantasy inn.

As the world’s hoteliers spring back to life by re…

The Perfectly Serviced Hotel

Basement level:
01. Good hotels do your laundry in-house.
02. They know how to starch a shirt too.
03. Dogs are welcome in the cosy kennel.
04. The hotel makes its own pastries and has an effective IT room.

Lobby level:
05. Guests are always greeted the moment they arrive.
06. They never have to use the front desk to check in – they’re taken directly to their room.
07. The lobby is discreet and not too public.
08. The lighting is low and welcoming.
09. Staff never have casual conversations with each other in front of guests.
10. There’s plenty of seating in the lobby for meetings and waiting around.
11. There’s a good espresso bar for early morning caffeine hits.
12. There’s a manager around the lobby to deal with problems – he’s not hiding in the back office.
13. Lighting changes according to the time of day.

First and second floor:
14. Room windows can be opened.
15. Doors and walls are soundproofed.
16. Heated floors keep your toes toasty warm.
17. There’s free wi-fi throughout the hotel.
18. There are lots of electrical sockets – at the desk but most importantly beside the bed.
19. An easy to operate TV.
20. An old-school radio.
21. An alarm clock that you can set yourself.
22. The furniture is solid wood – no cheap veneers.
23. Peninsula-style valet cupboards mean laundry and newspapers can be left without knocking.
24. Room service is delivered on trays rather than on big trollies.
25. There are always fresh flowers in fresh water.
26. There’s a Washlet: that warm seat is a winner.
27. Japanese style washing/wet rooms.
28. An iron and ironing board are on hand – why wait 24 hours to have a shirt pressed?
29. Laundry prices are sensible.
30. Floors are wooden
31. The mini-bar is at shoulder height – no crawling on your knees for a cold beer.
32. Windows are clean.
33. Cleaning staff stop vacuuming as you walk by.
34. Elevators are silent.
35. There’s a range of international TV channels
36. Balconies – where possible.

Second floor
Rooms should work as places to relax. There should be an old-school radio to capture the sound of the city, a wide choice of morning newspapers, cosy bathrooms, heated floors and windows that can be opened for a fresh start to the day.

First floor
Some things we can do ourselves: we are happy to quickly iron a shirt (although an in-house laundry is also needed), staff should stop vacuuming as you pass, room service should come on trays not trollies.

You should be greeted on arrival and taken straight to your room and not have to wait at check in. There should also be plenty of space for meetings and just sitting and watching the world go by. When you leave, you’ll be able to grab an espresso for that early morning dash to the airport.

This is the heart of the hotel where everything happens: pastries are baked, the IT team work away, shirts are starched and guests’ dogs are cared for in the kennels.


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