Updated: Dec 20, 2021
There’s heightened stress around Christmas at the best of times, but this year more than ever. These are our tips for delivering an outstanding guest experience in uncertain times as well as 10 simple ways to surprise and delight your boutique hotel guests
Organisers of families are fraught with worry at possibility of their Christmas plans derailing at the last minute - should any member of their party get struck with the COVID or if any last-minute government announcements change things.
It’s also the first Christmas back for most hospitality workers. Christmas 2020 was spent in a lockdown, giving some the first taste of Christmas freedom in years – it’s not going to be as easy this year.
Here are some ways to make things easier for your Christmas guests and to keep your colleagues full of festive cheer.
Send a note a few days prior to their arrival
Just a little reassuring email to say that you are there, looking forward to welcoming them and are happy to assist with any last-minute plans that need to be made in the event of COVID striking. Just the thought of knowing that somebody is there can make guests feel much more at ease about their upcoming plans.
Are you prepared to accommodate any last-minute changes – should there be a case of COVID for an in-house guest? Can you prepare and deliver Christmas dinners to guests in their rooms if they suddenly have to isolate?
If you have to close your hotel at the last minute, are you prepared and ready to help guests rebook elsewhere, or look at sending them a home delivered Christmas dinner? Depending on how large the property is, it’s important to consider that this is a room night for the hotel, but an entire Christmas for families who this year of all years really deserve a nice time.
Make it special for staff
It’s a good idea to make sure that they are treated too. A Christmas meal, perhaps a bucks fizz and secret Santa etc. They are at work, but it’s nice to acknowledge that it is their Christmas too.
A low-cost way to ensure that your guests feel special (and to encourage social media sharing) is to provide your guests with little in-room amenities for Christmas Eve or during their Christmas Day room service. A card, some chocolate or something imaginative like hot chocolate and cinnamon spoons. Why not jingle some bells down the corridor in the evening to delight the children and remind them that Santa does come to hotel rooms.
Invite your guests back next year
If they have an incredible time with you, jump on their excitement and send them an invite to book and pay a deposit for next year (with an xyz added value benefit). This taps into the guest journey early and they feel a sense of long-term anticipation at the thought of having their Christmas plans in place.
10 simple ways to surprise and delight your boutique hotel guests this Christmas
Jingle some bells along the corridor at night - reassure kids that Santa does visit hotel rooms
Leave personalised amenities in the room. For example. mince pies on a plate with ‘Merry Christmas family name’ in chocolate sauce.
Put a stocking or hamper in the room with little Christmas goodies in it
Take everybody a glass of buck’s fizz in the morning.
Leave Christmas paper and a pen in the room for kids to write a wish to Santa. Leave instructions of where to deliver them – reception perhaps.
Leave a plain bauble and colouring pen set for kids to colour their own decoration. Ask them to put it on the dedicated tree in the lobby on Christmas morning.
Offer a Santa delivery service to guests and get the big man to bring the present bags in the morning.
On Christmas Eve, offer the kids a plate of carrots and a mince pie to take to their room for Santa and the reindeers.
Get Santa to call the rooms of all the guests with children to say Merry Christmas on Christmas eve.
Put a Boxing Day hangover kit in the room.
About London Rock Partners
Born in a post-pandemic hospitality landscape, London Rock Partners is a new approach to hotel management. They go beyond the tried and tested to deliver a standard of innovation to which the industry aspires.
Guided by their innate understanding of hospitality, they draw inspiration from the prospect of ‘what if?’ and 'what next?' to ensure consistent over delivery to clients.
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