Choosing A Hotel To Meet Associates' Travel Needs

China Hospitality News reader Amanda Huang is the administrative assistant of Bayer Company GZ Liaison Office. She is responsible for the office's daily administration affairs, arranging business trips and booking air tickets and hotels for her associates, and selecting and arranging venues for meetings and banquets.

China Hospitality News is committed to offering the most comprehensive reports on China's tourism industry with the object of providing the latest industry news to buyers both at home and abroad. What do you think of our products? Which columns interest you most and why?
We are at an information age when information is updated so rapidly that bookers need to keep abreast of all the latest industry news all the time. China Hospitality News delivers quality industry news to professional buyers in a timely and accurate manner. It is a very good product.

I am concerned with "Travel Booker", "Hotel News"and "Promotions". In addition, I will also keep an eye on "Travel News". We choose a hotel according to the objectives of each event. First, we will check the general information of the hotel, such as its location, transportation, food, diner arrangement, room orientation and accommodation. "Travel Booker" offers useful information on a hotel's service, their responsiveness to emergencies, and their food sanitation. More importantly, problems encountered by other bookers may also be encountered by me. Therefore, I will record the problems and the opinions of the bookers in my memorandum. I also get lots of information on the preferential deals offered in the Promotions column. If our events happened to occur during the preferential period, this will help us make great cost savings. In addition, the Travel news is useful to us when we need to hold a meeting or travel.

We have launched a China MICE and hotel meetings facilities search website, www.51mice.com, for meeting organizers. What do you think of this website? Do you have any suggestions to make? Would you consider using this product when choosing a meeting venue for your company?
I will consider using the service, as it can help me quickly identify and find the necessary information. It would be great if the website could provide some articles with analysis and recommendation information, making the quotes and recommendations available within 48 hours of a reader submitting a request.

What are your criteria for choosing a hotel or meeting venue? Which elements do you think are the most important?
First, is the location of the venue. I will consider whether the place can meet the requirements of the event or meeting. For example, whether it has a lobby for receiving guests; whether a noticeboard can be placed there; whether a stage can be setup as we request; how good is the sound-proof system when the smaller meeting rooms are split from a bigger room. Second, is the price of the venue. Third, is the hotel staff who are going to participate in the event: Whether they have a strong sense of responsibility; whether they are detail-oriented and understand the clients' requirements well. The fourth is the location of the hotel: Whether it is conveniently located and can help save time in reaching there and reduce the strain on the attendees.

Which domestic hotels do you most often choose for your events?
We will choose a hotel with a tranquil environment when taking our divisional holiday, while we will select a hotel with convenient location for business meetings.

First, we will choose a hotel based on the location of the associates who are on the business trip. Considering that our colleagues are already very tired on the trip we will choose a hotel that is close to the business sites they are heading for. Second, we will choose a hotel that has been our long-time partner and is cost effective, a hotel that offers a high level of safety, because our corporate culture determines that we care about safety, particularly the safety of the lives and property of all our employees. Third, the hotel staff should have a strong sense of service awareness. They should have good attitude and good service quality. In addition, the hotel should provide complete hardware and software facilities and pay attention to details. And last but not least, is the responsiveness of the staff on duty. Whether they can be highly responsive to guests' complaints and provide them with a satisfactory solution.

The hotels we have cooperated with include: The Garden Hotel Guangzhou, Grand Hyatt Guangzhou, Marriot China Hotel Guangzhou, Metropark Hotel Shenzhen, The Harbour View Hotel & Resort Zhuhai, and The Venetian Resort Hotel Macau.

Which hotels have impressed you most and why?
The Garden Hotel Guangzhou:The unique Lingnan culture can be sensed in many corners of the hotel. Besides, the huge gilded murals in the hotel's lobby present an image of a platinum five-star hotel's luxury.

Grand Hyatt Guangzhou: The hotel has an in-air lobby on the 22th floor, which is the only of its kind in Guangzhou. It is special, but it is not easy to find. The island type open toilet in the hotel rooms and the cafeteria with open kitchen are also very good. The kitchen makes people feel confident as they can see the whole process of cooking.

Metropark Hotel Shenzhen: The hotel is located in the busting business area of Shenzhen and features mature facilities. The hotel offers large and comfortable rooms. All of them are suites and personalized. The bedroom in the suites is separated by a screen that can be moved easily. This helps avoid the embarrassment of exposing the bed directly to the visitor's eyes. The tips offered in the hotel room give a feeling of warmth but without losing elegance.

The Venetian Resort Hotel Macau: This is without doubt a super luxury hotel. European culture can be sensed from the moment you step into the hotel to the last minute when you check out. The wonderful performances played at different times even bring a feeling of living in Venice. The hotel staff are kind. They will offer a hand to guests regardless of the distance and always do this in a professional manner.

What problems have you encountered in using hotel products and service? What suggestions do you have for hotels?
1. The confirmation letter faxed by the hotel is unclear. There is small box before the "Breakfast included"and "Breakfast excluded" to click to make a choice, but the position of the frame is so unapparent it's difficult for guests to know whether the breakfast is indeed offered or not. In this case, if the guest believed that the breakfast is included while the hotel insists that the guest is wrong and does not do any remedial work, the hotel may lose this guest.

2. During the check in, a guest may ask the hotel staff about the general situation of the hotel (for example, whether there is any entertainment or fine dining nearby). So the hotel staff should have a good understanding of their hotel and the surrounding area so they can give advice to guests when necessary.

Have you had any unpleasant experiences when cooperating with hotels? How did it make you feel unpleasant?
1. Once when I called the sales office of an international five-star hotel. The attitude of the sales assistant was very bad. When the person picked up the phone, he spoke in an impolite manner "Hello, what? Yes. Not in the office. What" It is very unprofessional for a hotel staff to act like this. I will not reveal the name of the hotel here.

2. I booked a room. But when I went to check in at the reception desk with the confirmation letter I was told the room was already occupied, so I need to pay extra money to stay in another room on a different floor. In my opinion, the hotel should offer a free upgrade or take other measures to solve the problem instead of altering the reservation without informing the guest.

Through which channels do you select hotels or venues for your company events?
1. Feedback from guests. Magazines' evaluation of the reputation, service and location of the hotel.
2. The requirements of our associates.
3. On-site inspection.
4. Counterparts' recommendation.

What do you think of the relationship between travel and fashion? Which domestic hotels have impressed you for being fashionable?
Generally a fashionable hotel offers various styles of well-decorated rooms. It makes the guest feel comfortable and adds much freshness to their trip. Interlaken OCT Hotel Shenzhen features unique rooms and lobby. It is comfortable and complements the OCT well.

Can you please recommend some travel destinations to our readers?
China: grass skiing in Jilin in summer where you can also experience the real pasture.
Overseas: Fukuoka is a beautiful port city with a strong traditional Japanese atmosphere. Here you can taste delicious tuna.

(This article expresses the views of the interviewee and does not necessarily reflect the views of the company mentioned above.)