Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul and Burj Al Arab in Dubai exemplify parent company Jumeirah's focus on creating one-of-a-kind luxury experiences that let a visitor "travel back in time," says Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah General Manager Pinar Timer. Burj Al Arab's offers such experiences as a "wedding in the skies" package in which guests can get married on its helipad 695 feet in the air while Pera Palace offers a historic location which has housed royalty and celebrities alike.
Hotels should actively seek guest feedback in order to resolve issues before they make it into the social media space, writes Caroline Cooper, founder of Naturally Loyal. "Guests will be flattered if you ask for their opinions. Don't be afraid to ask for their feedback on how things can be improved and their recommendations and new ideas," Cooper writes.
Speakers at last week's second annual Hotel Forecast and Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego said that hotels need to create useful, functional websites and mobile applications because travelers are using these tools to book rooms -- and leaving reviews based on their experiences with them. "You’ve got to have a major presence in all facets of digital marketing, as the digital tsunami era is here," said Robert A. Rauch of R.A. Rauch & Associates. "If you don’t have a major presence in transformational patterns like cloud-based marketing, mobile and social, you are losing leverage in wooing guests to book direct."
What keeps meeting planners coming back to luxury hotels to hold their events? The food and beverage offerings must be top-notch in quality and presentation, and communications during the sales process must be fluent.