By Chris Jackson
"Sir, this is a 'resort', not a 'hotel'..." Oh, I don't care, answers Chris Jackson.
To slightly mangle the words of Shakespeare's Juliet, what is in a hotel's name? The reason for this question came to a head last month when I was interviewing a spokesman for a large Middle Eastern-based chain of hotels (no, the name will not be revealed).
He was very eager to tell me about two new hotel projects the company was working on, which would be completed in the next couple of years. When we were talking about the properties and I asked him for their name, he stopped in his tracks.
"What do you think sounds better, ‘resort' or ‘hotel'?" he asked.
After explaining that it wasn't a matter of sounding better, but what sort of services and facilities the property had on offer that would determine the most appropriate name, the spokesman decided that ‘resort' sounded better. And so the property was named, ostensibly right before my eyes.
This quick naming made me wonder about the effort that goes into establishing a hotel's identity. For example, type in ‘Grand Hotel' into Google and you will get more than 4 million results; the first few are scattered between Stockholm, Oslo, Michigan, Toronto and Dublin. But while none of them are the same Grand Hotel that I used as a meeting point for my friends before a chilly Friday night football game in Melbourne, all of them are rightly proud of their identity and the services that they offer.
Here then, is the obvious answer for the gentleman who spent less than 15 seconds deciding whether his property should be a resort or a hotel: spend more time on developing services and facilities that will leave a memorable impression on guests, and in time the property will inevitably make its own name for itself.