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Make a Big Splash with Your Guests

Monday, April 20, 2015
Cherryl Marie
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Spring has sprung! Warmer temperatures are on the horizon, which opens doors of opportunity for the hospitality sector and their pool facilities. With the first quarter of the calendar year behind us, it’s time to identify new ways to bring your pool amenities to the forefront and ensure smooth sailing to your revenue goals. Here are some tricks on firing up your strategy and bolstering your bottom line in your pool area.

While it may still be too cold for your region, start promoting your pool amenities in advance. In fact, why not keep these amenities alive year-round, even when the pool is not open for business?

At Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, D.C., the property’s marketing team never turns their pool messaging off, because the attraction is such a popular one for guests.

“We constantly reference The Rooftop Pool, even after it’s closed,” said Sarah Vining, Director of Marketing & Communications. “In December, we were promoting rooftop membership on social media for summer 2015, before prices increased.”

The thought of better weather is a warm invitation for guests to explore unique pool offerings, which becomes a stronger deciding factor when booking their summer vacations. Vining explained that in December, when Mother Nature unleashes her most frigid conditions, people often dream and scout out their next vacation hot spot. This is also a great way to secure reservations in advanced, giving guests the chance to save some money by booking months ahead of their trip.

For Pelican Hill California, pool season is not just a season – it’s year-round. With that in mind, management constantly checks in with its pool staff to make sure they are equipped with the training needed to deliver the best customer service.

“We continuously train and review staff on services, amenities and safety protocol related to the Resort’s three pools,” said Giuseppe Lama, Managing Director at Pelican Hill California.

Lama shares that communication is delivered through internal daily employee newsletters as well as pre-shift line-up meetings. Most hotels conduct reoccurring department meetings, so take this time to insert and share appropriate updates about your pool. Post news on back-of-house boards and hallways. Direct concerns to the proper manager(s) so that you may clarify employees’ questions properly and in a timely fashion.

Stock up your retail outlets and get more spend by offering necessities that many might have forgotten or are traveling without.

Lama said that the property’s Coliseum Pool includes a fully armed retail stand. “It offers sunscreen, hats, towels, goggles,” amongst others.

Guests who are on the go and in their vacation mentality are more apt to spend on things like sunscreen when their focus is on having a good time. For hoteliers, it’s yet another avenue to earn revenue; but moreover, it’s a nice convenience for your guests.

“Pelican Hill’s four boutiques and online store offer pool-related merchandise,” said Lama. “Our boutique offers designer swimwear and apparel, while the Newsstand retails reading materials.”

When your retail shops are located in high-traffic areas, guests are more prone to stop in, with or without the intention of making a purchase. Guests enjoy branded items as a token of their time spent away from home. Work with your best retail partners to create unique glassware, towels and more.

Being outside and in the heat can work up your guests’ appetites. Peak their palates by creating a delicious food and beverage menu, fit for the pool environment. Offer a wide variety and be mindful of how your dishes will weather with the outdoor elements.

Austin Price is the Director of Recreation for the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, who explains the destination’s tropical-inspired F&B menu.

“You can’t sit by the pool in Hawaii and not enjoy a Mai Tai or a cocktail in a pineapple – so we certainly make those vacation dreams a reality,” said Price.

Ice-cold and ice-blended adult beverages can hike up your pool revenue. Meet your liquor sale goals by offering traditional poolside concoctions including Pina Coladas and Sangria (with your beverage team’s personal twist, of course). Name the cocktails after specific and popular landmarks on your property, allowing them to resonate with return customers.

“Poolside lunching (includes) sushi to salads to handmade pizzas (and) incorporate fresh island flavors,” said Price.

Make sure that your food is fresh and served immediately after plating. Train your staff to take extra care with dishes, especially if your pool features sandy surfaces. Ensure that your accommodations include ample shade so that the quality of your dishes shine through.

Welcome families and those traveling with kids by providing kid-specific attractions and amenities.

At Pelican Hill, kids can enjoy the year-round children’s retreat, Camp Pelican, which caters to those ages 4 to 12. Lama explained that the attraction features “a weekly schedule of theme days, an ocean view pool, mini chaise loungers (as well as) pool floats and children’s swim accessories.”

When parents know their youngsters are welcome poolside, and moreover, can enjoy their time with the safety of swim accessories free-of-charge, they are more open to spending a few hours outside rather than traveling off property to catch some rays and enjoy some water recreation. Keep them on your grounds by covering all grounds, including poolside activities fit for all ages. Pay attention to all details, from kid-friendly furniture and children’s menus.

What better way to promote your pool than by enabling your guests to promote it for you? Go through your social media outlets and ensure that you’re following (and are being followed) by the right people, and that your social team engages in conversations relevant to your brand’s offerings.

At Eden Roc Beachfront Resort in Miami Beach, guests are encouraged to be part of the social conversation.

“In an effort to showcase the true Eden Roc guest experience, (our) daily Instagram and Twitter strategy involves engaging current guests who are active on social media during their stay,” said Laura Heathcott, Manager, Digital Marketing & Social Media for Destination Hotel Group.

Your messaging and communication will be most effective following some proper research. Go through your followers and send them shout-outs. This step will encourage them to engage with your social streams and share their pool experiences with their own followers.

Laura shared, “by searching brand mentions, tags and check-ins, (the property) can manage their online reputation, seek out customer service (and stay enhancing) opportunities, plus gather authentic, user generated content.”

Photos speak a thousand words. The only thing more valuable than sending out a picture of your pool is having highly influential social media contributors share their own personal testimonials to their followers.

Take it one step further and encourage your team members to share their work experiences on their personal social feeds.

“At Destination Hotels, we encourage our team members to provide ‘service with a story.’ We want the unique personalities, histories, and points of view of our people and properties to shine through both in person and on social media,” said Heathcott.

Are you ready? Are you set? Well, let’s go and take a deep dive into your most successful pool season yet. Immerse your guests with unprecedented customer service and all the amenities to make their experience one to remember – from food, to drinks and beach-themed entertainment. Take all the right steps to victory and soon, your revenue and outpouring of positive guest reviews will overflow to your heart’s content.
Cherryl Marie
Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division
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