Fresh ideas for hotel management
This summer, I had a business internship in the United States of America. I worked for three weeks at the Marriott Residence Inn, Avon, Connecticut in conjunction with the Summer Business Internship Program 2007 affiliated with the Kazak-American Free University.
Thanks to the Summer Business Internship Program I learned the system of organizing hotel business in the developed countries, the methods of working hotel business, the ways of attracting clients, and in the future I plan to use the gained knowledge for developing this sphere of economy in my country.
The Residence Inn is Marriott’s first extended-stay hotel brand and the leader in Extended Stay Lodging. Marriott pioneered the “Extended Stay” category in 1975 and has led it ever since.
In 1987, Marriott bought the Residence Inn in order to enter the extended-stay market. The acquisition of the Residence Inn chain provided Marriott with an immediate leadership position in the extended-stay segment. Today there are over 500 Residence Inn locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Most hotels are situated in business centers, near airports, some high-rise hotels are located in urban and leisure areas.
In the quality-tier segment, the Residence Inn by Marriott competes with similar competitors to Marriott Hotels such as Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites (by Hilton), and Staybridge Suites.
The Marriott Residence Inn is built and designed to meet the needs of extended-stay business travelers who need to be away from home for more than a few days. This product is designed to be comfortable, productive, and relaxing. The average price range at the Residence Inn by Marriott is $109-$239.
The Residence Inn vision: Where We Want to Be As a Brand
Residence Inn will be number one in Extended Stay Lodging. We will provide great hotels where talented people deliver Service So Memorable.
The Residence Inn mission: What We Promise the Guest
We are the leading Extended Stay hotel, where people away from home feel they are among friends. We will do whatever it takes to satisfy every guest, every day, and every stay.
Values define Residence Inn’s unique culture. They are the glue for associates and the driving force for the service experience that hotel delivers to the guests. Yet these are also philosophies that resonate with hotel’s guests and what’s important to them, their jobs, their travel, the way they live their lives. There are four values:
· Performance: we have high expectations of ourselves, and guests have high expectations of us;
· Passion: believing strongly in what you do; energy; enthusiasm; having fun;
· Relationships: making guests feel they are among friends; working as a team; getting to know people on a human level;
· Culture: an environment so unique for guests…they can’t imagine staying anywhere else; a brand to love; pride.
The Residence Inn developed theory which is called “Service So Memorable”. This theory is based on three foundations:
1. G.U.E.S.T. “Service Basics” means,
Greet each guest with a smile before he/she speaks to you
Use each guest’s name
Establish each guest’s needs and determine best way to respond
Show sincere interest in each guest’s experience
Thank each guest and extend a Residence Inn farewell
2. Quality Service Behaviors
3. Pleasant Surprises:
· are unexpected – not asked for
· make guests feel special
· exceed guests’ expectations
· inspire guests to tell stories
The hotel benefits and features:
Helps maintain your life while you are away from home
· Spacious, residential suites with high quality furnishings
· Separate areas for eating, working, relaxing, and sleeping
· Modern, residential bedding experience
· Fireplace (in many suites)
· Remote-controlled TV with cable
· Whirlpool, swimming pool, sport court
· Guest laundry
· Weekday evening hospitality hour plus weekly BBQ
· The market (24/7 food pantry)
· Grocery shopping service
· Iron/ironing board
· Pets welcome
· Plenty of workspace
· Two telephones with voice mail and data port
· Free high speed Internet Access
· Small meeting room
· Business Center – faxes, copying, printing, etc.
· Express check out
· 50% larger than traditional hotel rooms for about the same price
· Studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites available
· Better rates for longer stays
· Complimentary HomeTouch breakfast – full hot buffet
· Daily Housekeeping
· Same day valet and dry cleaning service
· Complimentary newspaper
· Marriott Rewards program
During three weeks that I spent at the Marriott Residence Inn, I was involved in all aspects of hotel business through working with a Director of Sales to understand the extended stay hotel product, hotel’s customers and pricing strategies; with an Assistant General Manager to understand the philosophy of “service so memorable” and direct billing procedures; with a Sales Coordinator to create a Marriott web page for upcoming social groups; with the front desk staff to understand a reservation system and to make reservations; with the housekeeping staff to understand detailed room inspection practices. Moreover, the Director of Sales organized a tour of the Farmington Courtyard Hotel by Marriott, the Hartford Marriott Farmington hotel, and the Renaissance Hotels & Resorts. Due to this tour, I met the sales managers from who I got to know a lot of interesting information about these hotels, and I took many nice pictures of hotels.
After three weeks, I got a recommendation letter from the General Manager Mr. Adame and the Director of Sales Ms. England. I hope that the recommendation letter will help me to get work at one of the Marriott hotels in Kazakhstan: the Renaissance Aktay Hotel or the Renaissance Atyrau Hotel.
Due to this program I got a great work experience at the Residence Inn by Marriott. I got concrete idea of organizing hotel business in developed countries and determined a series of differences between American and Kazakhstan hotel business: the differences in the organizational structure, in the traditions and norms of working with clients, in the price formation, and in design.
The internship also gave me opportunity to practice and improve my knowledge of the English language, and it was really helpful for me because I will uphold my degree work in English. It was also a great chance to visit the USA, to learn the American culture and to get acquainted with the work of American companies. Moreover, this internship was a unique opportunity for me to present Kazakhstan abroad.