TripAdvisor ranked the Red Wall Garden Hotel (www.redwallgardenhotel.com) as No. 1 in Beijing out of almost 5000 hotels. The Red Wall Garden Hotel is managed by Epoque Hotels & H Spot Hotels since the beginning of this year.
We will try to give you an insight on how this success story was achieved, the role of the management company and some simple practices that every hotel should be doing to improve their own ranking.
The Red Wall Garden Hotel is a 40-room boutique hotel with a courtyard which is the heart of the hotel and is where everyone and everything get together. The hotel is very traditional with a Chinese design, but still featuring all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. The hotel is especially proud of their luxury beds which happen to be the Swedish imported DUX brand.
The biggest difference in comparison to other big chain hotels is the experience of staying in a historic Chinese neighbourhood known as a “Hutong” and the possibility to experience these old traditional narrow alleys full of life. Although the hotel is very centrally located, within minutes from the main attractions and sights, it feels like entering a different world far away from the bustling city of Beijing.
Epoque Hotels has a decade long experience in the boutique hotels niche and launched H Spot Hotels to offer a full management service for hotels, working on site with a true “Hands On” approach. All the changes that H Spot implemented in the hotel had drastic and immediate results. Be it the daily management of the hotel, be it staff and training related, be it a new sales & marketing plan, a new rate structure or a new website – all of these played a major role in the recent success of the hotel. Not only occupancy and revenue sky-rocketed in a matter of months, but also staff satisfaction improved. This is key in the high ranking on TripAdvisor – happy employees are the best service providers.
First of all, it is worth to mention that the ranking of the hotel on TripAdvisor was already quite good. When Epoque Hotels & H Spot started to manage the Red Wall Garden Hotel it was number 17 in Beijing out of nearly 5000 hotels. In a matter of 3 months the hotel was in the top 10. Another 2 months later the hotel took over the top position in Beijing which is a true achievement as it gets harder to climb up the rankings the higher you are.
The first point to take into consideration is that through the improved sales & marketing plan the occupancy increased significantly. More guests equal more reviews.
The first step in handling these reviews is to respond to both negative and positive ones. This creates a trust with potential clients and shows that the hotel is paying attention to the reviews and what their customers say. Also encouraging previous guests who have had positive experiences to leave a review is a good practice to improve the ranking.
Besides these easy tips that are in line with industry standards and can easily be practiced, it all comes down to guest satisfaction. So the real question here is: how to ensure guest satisfaction? One side of the medal is of course the amenities and luxuries that the hotel has to offer. But more importantly is to create a connection with your clients and to satisfy all their needs with exceptional service. By training and empowering the hotel staff, H Spot achieved a very high level of guest satisfaction and many great reviews.
That an increase in a hotel’s TripAdvisor rating has major impact in occupancy and revenue has been shown in many reports and statistics out there. This impact was also witnessed by the Red Wall Garden Hotel. The number of TripAdvisor page visits per months has tripled to above 10,000 visitors. By offering and advertising incentives or special promotions on direct bookings, the number of these reservations also increased drastically. On the hotel’s booking engine EHBOX, 70% of clients indicated of having found the hotel on TripAdvisor.