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Introduction: Hotels try to create a guest room that brings a feeling of “home” to the occupant. The lay-out of the bathrooms, beds and other features are carefully planned. The bed room or sleeping area is considered to be the main product for sale at any hotel’s Room Division department; it must be noted that every hotel has a limit on the number of rooms it can sell (space allowing).Therefore hotel owners and Managers continually strive to maintain a high level of quality in each of these bed rooms. Renovations and repairs are done regularly in all hotels to maintain the high standard of rooms, and to keep them in top condition for a long time. Today, modern hotel guest rooms are created to meet the ‘guest’s room-preference’. Guest‘s room preference can be defined as the ‘guest’s choice of room-type, configuration and designation.’
TYPES OF ROOMS:
Front Office staff are the ‘salesmen’ and saleswomen ’of the Hotel. They must therefore have ‘product knowledge’. Similarly, it is very important that all those selling and booking guest rooms have a full knowledge of the product which is ‘rooms’: They must know: 1) The types of rooms available in the hotel. 2) Location of every room 3) Room features 4) Facilities in the room (e.g-TV, DVD, Fridge, Mini-bar, etc). Terminology may differ a bit, but most hotels have the following types of rooms: (1) SINGLE ROOMS:-
This room has a single bed to accommodate one person. The single bed is usually of a standard length of 6 feet by 3 feet wide (6’ X 3’) However, some hotels have two single beds in a room and call them single or double depending on occupancy. (2) DOUBLE ROOM:-
This type of room is one that will provide sleeping comforts for 2 people (pax).It has a double bed measuring 6 feet by 6 feet (6’ X 6’). (3) TWIN ROOM:
Twin bed rooms have two identical single beds measuring 6’ X 3’, separated by a bed-side table. The room provides sleeping accommodation for 2 persons; as mentioned above, if one person uses the room, it may be referred to as a single room. (4) TRIPLE ROOM:-
Three persons may sleep in this type of room. The following combination is possible: (i)One double bed + One extra bed (5) DOUBLR-DOUBLE ROOMS:(ii) Two single beds + an extra bed.
This type of room has two double beds measuring 6’ X 6’ each and provides sleeping comforts for four persons. It is also called a “Family” or TWIN-DOUBLE room” (6) STUDIO:-
These are multi-utility rooms, and have such furniture that can be folded and changed like a sofa-cumbed; closet-bed etc.The room is used for ‘sitting’ purposes during the day and converted to sleeping quarters at night. (7) CABANA:-
This type of room is situated near the swimming pool deck. of a hotel and is normally used by people who use the pool and enjoy water-sports.. The rooms are basic, with a hard bed, 24 hrs hot & cold running water in the bath room and is small in size. (8) LANAI ROOMS:
These types of rooms are usually found in hotels which have a view of a water-body. Location can be at hill stations, in forests near rivers, or beaches. The Lanai rooms or Cottages have lots of green plants and creepers everywhere and are separate from each other. (9) HOSPITALITY ROOM:-
A room meant for entertaining guests that can be also called a function room. Usually not meant for sleeping. (10) INTER-CONNECTING ROOMS:-
Two rooms of standard quality located NEXT to each other, and connected internally an inter-connecting door is called an Interconnecting room. When the door is open, it can be used by families with children; when the door is locked, it can be sold as two separate rooms. (11) ADJOINING ROOMS:-
Two or more room’s located side-by-side without an inter-connecting door is called an Adjoining Room. SUITES: These are superior rooms in any hotel containing specially selected furniture, fixtures and regional themes making them luxurious and unique in every way. Therefore they cost more than the ordinary or standard rooms of a hotel. There can be several kinds of suites, some of which are: (i) (ii) (iii) Junior Suite Executive suite Deluxe suite
(iv) (v) (vi)
Duplex Suite Penthouse Suite Presidential Suite
Junior Suite: This is usually one large room one and half times that of a Standard room with a partition or section that separates the bed room area from the sitting area. It may have a small bar counter with a fridge, extra glasses and a sink. Executive Suite: This is a typical Hotel Suite which consists of two standard room-size accommodation with an Interconnecting door .Called ‘executive’ it is much preferred by traveling executives of Companies who would like to have guests and entertain in one room and sleep in another. Deluxe Suites: The locations of Deluxe Suites in a hotel are usually in the corner of corridors and are perhaps one of the best any hotel can have. They may have more than one bed-room and a separate sitting room. A kitchenette, stocked bar unit with sink and glassware, a dining room, changing room and an office room may be provided within. The best possible decoration, elegant furnishings and fixtures are seen in these Suites. They also are provided with at least 2 bathrooms with the best sanitary fittings. Sometimes hotels give Deluxe Suites themes with the décor and furnishings matching the theme; for example a Rajasthan Suite would have mirror work in the bed-linen & upholstery in all rooms, with actual Rajasthan workmanship in the furniture and materials used. Special ‘Objects of Art’ are provided and ‘Special Valet Service’ is given. Duplex Suites: Another luxurious type of Suite, Duplex Suites are two rooms on one floor and two on the higher floor but connected by an internal staircase. Usually the sitting room, dining room and kitchenette is situated on the lower floor and the bedrooms on the higher floor. It is one of the costliest accommodations in a hotel. Penthouse Suites: A very luxurious Suite, the Penthouse Suite is usually located on the roof-top of hotels and takes a very large area. It also has the best view on all sides. A very expensive suite ,there are security rooms, kitchen, drawing & dining rooms , more than 2 bedrooms and 3 or more bathrooms. Mostly used by film personalities, top executives of companies ,famous writers etc, there is not more than one or two in an entire hotel. Some hotels provide a separate elevator (lift) that takes guests up directly to the Penthouse from the Lobby.
This is a SUPER-DELUXE category of accommodation and Hotels use a lot of space to put in the required facilities to accommodate ‘Heads of State’ when required. It is the most expensive of all suites in a hotel , exclusive and equipped with a mini health club, gymnasium, security rooms, secretarial rooms, communication rooms and a small board room. All other accommodation like a dining room, sitting room and 2-3 bedrooms are provided with exclusive & tasteful furniture. Plenty of expensive paintings and objects of art are placed within.
SERVICED APARTMENTS: An alternative to hotel accommodation, this is a new concept of providing flat-type accommodation to guests who want to stay for longer periods at a lower cost than hotels. A serviced apartment is fully furnished, had one or two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, balcony and equipped with a fridge, washing machine, cooking range, telephone, Air-conditioner etc. Usually they are rented on a weekly or monthly basis. Guests buy their own raw materials and do their own cooking and washing. Housekeeping service is usually provided by the establishment. Some examples of Serviced Apartments are: Lake-side Chalet, Mumbai; Tara Niwas, Jaipur and The Sand Pebbles, Goa.
ROOM RATES or ROOM TARIFF
BASIS FOR CHARGING ROOM RATES:
ROOM RATE, ROOM TARIFF, ROOM CHARGE all means the same thing. It refers to the PRICE at which a hotel sells its rooms. The type of room or accommodation (single, double, triple, suite), is the first basis for determining the charges. Then, the view, size of the room, décor and furnishing, fixtures forms the basis on which hotels charge their room rates. Hotels tariffs fluctuate according to the class of business, time of year (seasons), and services included in the rate. The purpose of room rate variance and price discounting is to tailor the product to the needs of the market.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF RATES:
1. Standard room “rack rate”:It refers to the standard rate for the room with no meals, no discounts and no reductions.
2. Corporate Rate:
This is the standard rate charged for personnel (staff & executives) of Companies, business houses and industrial corporations who do an agreement with the hotel to give a certain amount of business on the basis of which the room rate is reduced.
3. Commercial Rate:
This rate is agreed upon by a Company and the hotel for all individual room reservations made by the particular Company.
4. Airline Rate:
A rate which is negotiated between an airline and a hotel based on the volume of business the hotel is expected to get from the airline. Also applies to ‘layover’s’.
5. Children’s Rate:
Either free of charge if the child is below a certain age limit(normally 12 years) or a nominal extra charge if they share the room with their parents, and not ask for an extra bed and meals(which are charged for).
6. Series Rate:
“BACK TO BACK “is the term used where a Company, Airline or Travel Agent books a series of rooms; in such a case one group checks out and another group checks in as soon as the rooms are cleaned. Especially applicable to airline crew.
7. Seasonal rate:
Rates that are charged where a hotel has a low season for business e.g. - winter or summer in a hill station. Off season rates are lower and more attractive …e.g. - in Simla hotels doing this often.
8. Package Rate:
Package rates are promotional rates used to attract business during low seasons of Occupancy. These packages consist of Room, Breakfast and taxes and are heavily discounted; package rates normally take in the week-end of Sat and Sun nights although some hotels may include Fridays as well. Some hotels offer ‘surprise gifts’, one major meal, 20% to 30% discount of all Food and beverage bills, free use of the gymnasium and swimming pool, on free massage etc to make the guests happy. Honeymoon packages floated by some resorts attract business during the winters,eg-in Mussoorie. Packages are pre-paid usually for the full amount and refunds are not allowed. The families on holiday prefer such packages which range from 2 to 4 nights and can be extended on pro-rata basis.
9. F.I T Rate:
FIT stands for “Free individual traveler” .This rate is usually the Maximum rate or price for a room. FIT rate is also called the “RACK RATE”.
10. G.I T Rate:
“GROUP INCLUSIVE TRAVELLER” travels in groups of 7 and above persons and gets the benefit of a “Group discounted rate’ from hotels. Every group has a Group Leader, and hotels give free accommodation to the Leader if the group is of a minimum number of persons, say 15 persons using 7 Twin rooms and a Single.
11. Crib Rate:
Rates charged for babies and infants when the hotel provides a ‘Baby cot’ or ‘crib’ in the parents room . However, some hotels give it for free.
12. Extra Bed Rate:
Rates charged for a 3rd person who shares a Twin or Double room with 2 other persons.
13. Day Rate:
This arte is charged when a guest arrives at around 9 am and would stay only a few hours till about 3 pm. Hotels only sell nights and hence this special day rate is charged which is sometimes 50% to 60%of the regular rack rate.
14. Half Day Rate:
Rate charged for resident guests who want an extension in their check-out or departure time of 12 noon. For example if a guest wants to keep the room till 6 pm, a half rate is charged which is 50% of the room rate he is already paying. However, at the discretion of the Lobby Manager, such a charge may be waived.
15. Promotional Rate:
When a hotel reduces its rates to promote a specific event for a specific time , for example , a week; like during renovation of the hotel, when a major sporting event takes place in the city or during a festival period.
Front Office & Guest handling (Guest cycle):
As mentioned before, front office is the only department which is concerned with all the four stages of the ‘Guest-cycle’. That is Pre-arrival, Arrival, during stay and Departure.
During this stage, the guest has to make up his mind as to which hotel to patronize Some factors which influence his decision is factors such as ‘location’, accessibility of transport, ambiance and appearance, rate and plan, reputation, facilities, décor, recreation and entertainment facilities, shopping options and food and beverage facilities. The Sales & Marketing departments of hotels make extensive advertising plans to market the hotel, individually as well as a chain. This is where the Reservations dept. has a major role to play. Reservations constitute both legal and moral responsibilities on a hotel; it is therefore important to install an efficient system in a hotel. The staff should be aware of the fact that they represent the Management while dealing with guests during this stage, and their actions, decisions, and conversations with guests are binding on the Management.
This is the second Major Stage of a guest’s contact with the hotel. The main activity at this time is of course ‘guest registration’ and ‘rooming’. By signing on the Registration Card, the guest enters into a form of contract with the hotel, and is willing to pay a certain price for it.
3. During Stay:
This is the third stage. Major activities during this stage include guest accounts keeping, complaint handling and accepting suggestions made.
The fourth stage involves mainly the bills settlement of guests. Their baggage handling and final impression is created by the front office staff.
STAGES OF THE GUEST CYCLE:
1. 2. 3.
Reservations 4. Pre-registration Advance Payment 5. Awaited Mail Guest Account initialisation
DURING STAY 1. 2. 3. complaint Handling Account keeping Receiving suggestions POST SALE Guest Account Settlement Check-out Night Audit 4. Guest History ARRIVAL 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Room Assignment Rate Assignment Registration Information Guest Account Opening
1. 2. 3.
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