In this article, you will learn how to conduct a thorough hotel site inspection even if you have never done one before. All you need is time to research and determine the needs of your group in particular.
Later in the article, you will see that we have already created checklists for the most common hotel site inspections, saving you the trouble of creating your own.
In order to conduct a hotel site inspection, you first have to make sure you have the right hotels in mind. So let’s start by doing the research that goes into selecting the right hotels.
Step 1: Which hotels should be on your inspection list?
Every hotel that can accommodate your group should be on the initial list of hotels under consideration. Rather than call each one to get group rates, have hotels email them to you by filling out this group booking request form (It’s free).
Once you have a list of hotels, narrow it down based on the type of hotel you need
- Full service or limited service etc.
- Group rates offered
- Amenities – What’s important to your group? Free breakfast? Free meeting space?
- Online reviews – How good are the reviews on sites like tripadvisor.com?
- Location – Is the location of the hotel where you need it?
Once you have narrowed down the list of hotels based on the above criteria, it’s time to conduct site tours.
Step 2: But how many hotels should you include in your site tour?
At the very least, you should be conducting a site inspection at three. Call each hotel ahead of time and let them know when you will be stopping by. Set up a time with each giving yourself at least 2 hours per hotel plus transportation time.
In addition, consider staying overnight at the hotel that you feel is the best for your group. Doing so will put you into the shoes of your attendee or guest.
Step 3: Conducting the site tour before the site tour
While your official site tour may not be till the following morning, you should be conducting your own site inspection from the moment you arrive. Don’t let the hotel know that you are going to be staying the night before. Simply check in unannounced so you see the room just like your group members will when they arrive.
Questions you should be asking are:
- Did you feel that the employees are rushed at the front desk?
- Was the front desk well staffed? Were the employees helpful?
- Did you feel like your room was comfortable?
- Was the room clean, and spacious?
- Was the bed comfortable?
- Was the bathroom clean?
- Did you have any problems in the room?
- How strong was the WiFi signal?
In addition to your room, you should also walk around the property. Take notes on any obvious deficiencies in the hallways public restrooms, and any other public areas that you have access to.
Once you have looked at the inside, take a quick walk outside the property to check for overall cleanliness. Look for dirt, trash, dust, and damage and make notes to revisit the areas again after the hotel site inspection to see if they were cleaned.
Step 4: The official hotel site inspection
The site inspection will probably involve you meeting the sales manager. Introduce yourself and let them know what areas of the hotel you’d like to see during the site tour. It makes little sense to see the meeting rooms if all you need are sleeping rooms for your group.
For example, a hotel site inspection for a wedding room block is going to be very different than one for a class reunion. Once your initial conversation has taken place, use one of the hotel inspection checklists below.
Step 5: Compare hotels
After you visit a few hotels, compare each hotel side by side. The checklists above will come in handy so you can take notes as you go along. Look at what each hotel offers from several angles. Don’t just use price to decide. Take into account what amenities are being offered along with location, and fees.
Step 6: Contact hotel for contract
Once you have decided on a hotel, contact them to get a group sales contract. If you need help with the terminology, read our article on conducting a hotel site inspection.
A hotel site inspection is where you should have all your questions answered. By the time you are done with one, you should have a good idea if the hotel is the right fit for your group. If you are inspecting more than one hotel, then take all your notes and do a full comparison between them to decide which hotel earned your business.
What should you do next?
Do you know the one critical aspect of site inspections that most planners miss? Read more.