Quality in hotel rooms

The most important things that a hotel can offer its guests are quality, comfort, security and happiness. Since this is what this is what clients are looking for when staying in the establishment, whether its for leisure or business. Any hotel technique or strategy have this as the fundamental base for the success of the hotel, maintaining its clientele and providing a high level of service, without this nobody would want to stay in the accommodation.

The hotel sector and tourism in general have developed a lot and have gained much relevance in recent years, becoming important sources of income for many countries. Forcing them to be more and more meticulous and retailers to be the best before the competition.

One of the most important points that define the quality of hotels is the following:

– The services provided – With this I mean the ‘extras’ offered by the hotel to please the client and create a pleasant atmosphere for him, among these can be found: swimming pools, spas, restaurants, good cleaning …

7373426086_8d0e8cd4a5_z (1)Within this most important thing is undoubtedly the room and the state in which the hotel presents it, since it is where the guest will spend the most time and what will mark him the most whether its positive or negative. They must be designed and furnished so that they can reflect the harmony in the facilities, they must be clean, have good lighting and use good quality products.

There are also many types of rooms, which are made to fit the different needs and circumstances of each one; single, double, business, for families with babies, etc.

As I mentioned before, the cleanliness of the hotel is essentialdue to the fact that guests come to spend a pleasant time, and should not be let down. They define their needs and suppliers work to achieve those objectives; hotels need to adapt to it and be in a constant development of services and / or products that help to improve the quality.

A great innovation in the industry is our disposable bedding that is being widely used in European countries. This bed linen ensures an ideal hygiene, that the client feels more secure since he is and will be the only one to use them and it’s less expensive since you will not have to be spending neither laundry products, the manual labor nor in the washes themselves. You can’t go wrong with them!

You can go to our website clicking HERE to discover all our products.

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An essential item in every hotel room…

The Hotel industry is becoming more and more important every day, it’s expanding due to the large bloom in tourism and leisure.
With so many hotels, every little detail can be a deciding factor in whether the guest stays at one over the competition; this means the hotel has to offer the best quality products they can and also amenities for the guest to feel comfortable and at-home.
Depending on the class and type of hotel, the products they offer vary. 4/5 star hotels can offer bathing suits, luxury slippers or even electronical devices to their client. On the otherhand, hotels with 3 stars or less might not even offer an item as important and essential as slippers.

While it may seem like a trivial item, most hotel guests agree that it provides a very gratifying feeling to arrive to your new room and see a pair of slippers waiting for you to wear them.
Now, while there are still some (fewer and fewer as times passes, thankfully) hotels that continue using plastic slippers so that they don’t have to provide new ones for each customer, this has proven to be very unsanitary as it can provide a great deal of diseases.

WIth a disposable slipper you can avoid these problems, and provide the guest with a pair never worn before ones. Another great reason is because no matter how clean your hotel floor is, guests will never be comfortable to walk around barefoot, and to avoid them from slipping by just wearing socks, it’s great to be able to provide non-skid sole slippers. They’ll feel warm, soft and comfortable! And because they’re disposable you don’t have to worry about cleaning them afterwards, they can be offered to the guests as a gift (even though mosts guests take them anyway).

 

In Caractere we have many different types to offer, according to our clients needs.
From our STANDARD slippers, which is very affordable for any and every hotel, and while it’s our simplest slipper, it’s very high quality and will be liked by anyone who visits the hotel; to our PRESTIGE slippers which are the most high quality of the bunch, they have a velvet-like touch and a thicker sole than the others, they´re truly made for luxury hotels and have guests raving about them.The majority of our slippers are customizable; we give the client the chance to pick what colors they want (from the ones we carry, otherwise we can make slippers of a specific color if the client is willing to order our standard minimum quantity for special orders), the piping colors, the thickness of the sole, logo, etc.

chausson_hotel-slipper_prestige_taupe_pantofflen

 

We offer samples and free quotations, so if you’re interested don’t hesitate to call (+44 (0) 20 3608 1542) and/or e-mail us (info@caractere-paris.com) and we’ll get back to you asap!

 

Disposable mattress protectors for hotels, hostels, B & Bs…

Get less complaints and more satisfaction – Helps combat hair that can become embedded in bed sheets or mattress, stains, dust and dirt and to ease the daily care of the rooms in hotel establishments.

“I found pubic hair on the mattress of my room” (from a review on TripAdvisor).

How many times have you seen negative reviews on trip advisor? Too many! And, often they involve only the bed. Travelers from all over the world have had unpleasant experiences in their accommodations, including luxury establishments! Travel blogs offer advice on hygiene and tell their experiences with filth and disorganization.

Our mattress protectors are placed on the mattress and you can put a sheet over them for maximum protection, this forms a layer that protects the mattress. They are also a great help to reduce costs and time, since traditional sheets and mattress protectors are expensive to wash. When using our mattress protectors, you will not risk your guests finding hairs, dust, or stains.

l_drap-housse-nuitranquille-3

 

  • Protects the mattress from signs of wear
  • Mites under control – The use of the mattress protector eliminates the presence of mites in the bed.
  • Lower risk of allergies – Reducing the presence of mites also reduces the risk of an allergic reaction to those who are sensitive to dust.
  • Less risk of receiving customer complaints and negative reviews online.
  • They help reduce the time and costs of cleaning and maintaining the laundry service.
  • They can also be used to deal with incontinence problems of the elderly and the children.
  • Semi-durable. They can last up to six weeks. After its use, you can place it in the plastic recycling container.
  • 100% recyclable
  • Mattress protectors offer excellent customer service while helping to reduce costs and time of room maintenance.

 

TYPES OF MATTRESS PROTECTORS

For hotels and B & B

The basic model – 100% water resistant. A subtle but effective protection.

NUIT TRANQUILLE model – semi-waterproof and breathable.

NUIT Ideal model 100% waterproof, breathable and silent. High technology.

Most economical models:

Plate model with elastic – 100% water resistant – not adjustable to mattress, this item includes two rubber bands that allow you to place it on mattresses or stretchers of different sizes.

Leader in the production and distribution of disposable linen in Europe, Caractere Paris offers a wide variety of models and sizes, having to adapt to the different types of mattresses found in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

Inspired by our experience with international clients, the next article will be about the different ways of calling bed linen and will be titled: “Linen in Five Languages. Five Different Ways to Sleep” Till next time!

AirBnB in the UK: Trend or Necessity for BnB Owners?

Logo of Airbnb

Airbnb’s logo


 

Originally a relatively small website created to connect hosts and travellers, Airbnb expanded at an astronomical pace over the past few years. Today, the site offers its services to more than three million people per year around the globe. Some consider the growth a result of the injection of more than $120 million in venture capital a few years ago. Others consider it a product of word of mouth advertising among satisfied users. Either way, the spike in popularity means property owners have added an abundance of new listings, which now total more than 300,000 options in 192 countries. Despite recent  reporting of scandals (discussed below), Airbnb opens a world of opportunity for inn and Bed and Breakfast owners who want more exposure and clients.

A shining example of a new movement termed the “sharing economy,” AirBnb provides a direct link between the guest and the host without the need to go through an intermediary. Of course, the site takes a small commission on each transaction, a fee added in to the booking price. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia spoke as a headliner of this year’s LeWeb conference in London, which focused on the sharing economy as its theme. In his own words, “the story of Airbnb is really the underdog story.” It all started when he and his flatmates decided to rent out airbeds in their living room (hence the origin of the name) to business travellers who had come to San Francisco to attend conferences. From its humble beginnings, Gebbia says he “wanted to create an experience for our guests: more than just a place to sleep. We wanted to cook breakfast in the morning, we wanted to provide a subway map for our guests, pick them up from the airport…”

In effect, the roommates formed an improvised Bed and Breakfast in their own apartment. Surprisingly, Gebbia and his other co-founder Brian Chesky managed to rake in $1,000 rather quickly. A third co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, joined the team and helped create the first proper website for the service, originally known as Airbedandbreakfast. To gain better name recognition, the group chose to shorten their name to Airbnb in 2009.

Worth a look: This Airbnb infographic “10 Million Guest Nights Booked” by Kelli Anderson

Once on the road to success, it was only a matter of time until Airbnb ascended the ranks of travel websites. Gebbia revealed some of the keys to his business advancing in this difficult economy: hire staff in the other countries, expand the community of hosts and plan meetups for users. For example, the site announced one such occasion in London the day before the LeWeb conference. Gebbia explained, “Entrepreneurship is about connecting two dots in a new and different way… My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs out there is to marry the problem. Find a problem that you’re so close to that you can empathise with it in a way that others can’t… You can see it so closely, that it gives you that ability to connect the two dots together” (1).

According to Dennis Jones, the CEO of the mobile phone and card transaction specialist Judo Payments, one cannot deny the role of mobile phones in people’s daily lives today. The shift from shopping in retail stores to internet-based vendors, and also from using computers to mobile phones and tablets, also coincides with a revolution in the hospitality industry. As far as parallels, Jones identifies companies like Airbnb, “driven by the sharing economy… are cutting into hotels, car sharing services, even plane sharing services” (2).

Now, a word of warning. Some bad always seems to accompany the good, right? With every decision comes the consequences. While registering for the site of course increases visibility, this practice can also incite the wrath of legal experts, especially in regions where one must license or register rooms for rent. Perhaps the most well-known episode of this sort of drama occurred this spring, when a prosecutor in the Big Apple brought apartment owner Nigel Warren before a judge for conducting unlicensed short-term room rentals. To defend their user (and in another sense, the site’s platform as a whole), Airbnb provided its own lawyers to help Warren out. Unfortunately, they lost the case, and the judge ordered the defendant to pay some $2,400 (£1,600) in fines (3).

Gebbia retorts to critiques about the site’s ambiguous legal status, “When the car was introduced in 1908, people could experience a brand new way to travel that was more efficient than a horse and buggy. Can you believe that cities tried to outlaw cars in the United States? Can you imagine driving a car for a year then having to go back to a horse and buggy? The policy-makers adjusted to meet the demands of the people. We believe it’s time for our invention, and it appears the world agrees” (1).

Founders of Airbnb

Airbnb’s founders

After the news broke of Warren’s plight, similar efforts arose in Amsterdam and Quebec to limit Airbnb’s ability to conduct business. Montreal hotel industry officials estimate that sites like Airbnb cause traditional accommodations to lose a massive amount of revenue through the diversion of reservations to property owners. Daniel Weinstock, Professor of Ethics at McGill University, brings up the memory of Napster, one of the earliest sites to pioneer sharing music online. Although authorities shut down Napster a decade ago, ultimately they made their efforts in vain, as music downloads (legal and otherwise) have never been more popular (4).

To respond to concerns about whether Airbnb’s growth necessarily means bad news for the traditional hotel industry, Gebbia stuck by the potential of his website for all sorts of rental locations, from small to large format. He continued with an illustration of this concept: “If you have a pie-chart of all the available combinations in a city, it’s not like we’re taking a slice out of the pie. We’re taking the pie and making it bigger” (1). Debatable? Perhaps, but as the age-old phrase says, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”

In fact, when one thinks about it, professional guesthouses and Bed and Breakfasts on AirBnb can take advantage of the best of both worlds. They can access the site’s click traffic without having to worry about the potential for legal concerns because they’ve already registered their properties. Plus, with an established reputation, these owners will rise above the rest when it comes to quality ratings on the site. At the very least, from the perspective of the traveller,  professional offerings usually guarantee privacy and cleanliness. Anyone who backpacked around Europe as a youth and stayed in hostels knows that these details count among the most important aspects of a comfortable night’s sleep, something shared rentals popular on Airbnb can’t always offer.

Finally, the company made great strides in its attempts to reassure users on both sides of the transactions. For example, they created a 24-hour crisis management hotline, added section of safety tips to the website, and “a link to contact the CEO.” In August, 2011, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote in a blog post that the site’s “trust and safety center has ‘tips’ for choosing guests and putting up the right postings.” The company also claims a $1 million (£600,000) “host guarantee,” a form of insurance to cover property damage and theft.

Airbnb homepage

The homepage of Airbnb’s website

So, should you list your property on Airbnb or not? Peter Tompkins, who started subletting his London flat one year ago, felt that overall it has proven a positive experience. The worst case scenario in his words happens when “a book goes missing or some cutlery goes out on a picnic and doesn’t return.” On the flip side, he states, “I have not yet had a visitor I actually disliked. And they are gone after a few days – unlike a flat sharer” (5). After a few simple clicks of the mouse, your property can join the online rental frenzy that has become Airbnb. With some luck and internet-savvy skills, soon the online traffic will translate into foot traffic for your business.

Whether you decide to list your guesthouses or bed and breakfasts on Airbnb or otherwise, don’t forget to check out Caractère’s lines of disposable towels, linens, bathrobes, spa wear and much, much more on our site specialized to cater to customers in the UK, Disposable Linen!

1. Dredge, Stuart. “Airbnb co-founder: ‘We believe it’s time for our invention, and it appears the world agrees.'” The Guardian, June 5, 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2013/jun/05/airbnb-leweb-london-joe-gebbia

2. Zainzinger, Vanessa. “Three thought-leaders on thinking big with mobile.” RealBusiness, May 28, 2013. http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/20058-three-thought-leaders-on-thinking-big-with-mobile

3. Stevenson, David. “City Insider: Growth – it’s back and it’s online.” Travel Weekly, June 06, 2013. http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2013/06/06/44288/city+insider+growth+-+its+back+and+its+online.html

4. “Airbnb : une concurrence déloyale?” Radio Canada, June 4, 2013. http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/medium_large/2012-2013/chronique.asp?idChronique=296110

5. Heyden, Tom. “Airbnb battles: Would you stay with strangers?” BBC News Magazine, February 6, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21339891

Recycling and Respect for the Environment Surge in the Hotel Industry: Three Simple Ways to Save Money and Earn the Respect of Guests

In the cutthroat hotel industry, price and the bottom line often trump other concerns, especially those for the environment. However, must it be this way? With three innovative and brilliant ideas, industry leaders such as Travelodge, the Crown Spa Hotel and the Accor Group are showing how changes from the smallest detail (light bulbs) to more major ones (construction materials) can both make a world of difference and save unbelievable amounts of money. Now, both Mother Nature and your bank account can smile at the same time!

Starting from Scratch with Recycled Building Materials

 

from Caractère

Uxbridge Container Hotel

First, the hotel’s construction can be rethought of as a method of recycling. Sushil Cheema of The Wall Street Journal reported at the end of 2008 about a new innovation in hotel building design: the first hotel ever built in the UK entirely out of former shipping containers. While most people cannot imagine spending a night inside of an empty tin box, Travelodge found a method to renovate the containers in Shenzen, China (their place of origin), ship them halfway around the world and assemble them together in a solid structure in Uxbridge, a suburb of London. Instead of the roughly fifteen month to two year construction period that a traditional hotel of this size would take, the company managed to finish the project in a matter of four months, including the time it took to pour the foundation. Once the site was ready, it only took 20 days to piece together the 86 containers into a coherent design. A spokesman for Travelodge, Greg Dawson, commented that this new method eases concerns about disturbing the surrounding area during construction. With pre-fabricated units, the contractor, Verbus Systems, just snapped them together “like giant Lego blocks,” without interrupting shoppers at the nearby high street.

 

from Caractère

Interior of the Container Hotel

Despite the fact that the company accomplished major savings by choosing this unconventional building method, they can charge the same prices for rooms as at any other location, and eco-friendly or design engaged tourists may flock to the site just to learn more about how it was built. For Travelodge, which plans to open a new hotel in the UK once a week for the next ten years, the shipping container idea will help the chain achieve its growth targets without worry. Uxbridge’s location was nothing more than a test site: the company completed a similar project at Heathrow Airport later that year.

Read more about the “Hotel Made of Shipping Containers Opens in England,” at http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2008/08/27/hotel-made-of-shipping-containers-opens-in-england/
For an interesting collection of pictures of container re-use, see http://xhadong.wordpress.com/

Together, Several Small Changes Can Go Quite a Long Way

Second, if your establishlment is already built, don’t fret, because it’s not too late! Adapting exisiting buildings and their infrastructure to new developments in the energy and appliance industries can lead to profound changes in the site’s energy use – and deep savings for your pocketbook! Managers have found that many guests tend to leave the lights or a TV on when they leave the room in order to feel more welcomed when they return. Even more guests forget to turn off the heat or air conditioning when they check out, augmenting energy bills to acclimate an empty room. EnjoyEngland.com, in partnership with The Telegraph, points out that Scarborough’s Crown Spa Hotel has retrofitted its 116 rooms and suites with an automatic switch that turns off non-essential lights and appliances the moment one leaves the room. Of course this change took some initial investment, but even simple changes at the four star establishment — like replacing conventional light bulbs with LED lights in parts of the building — have provided incredible energy savings. In fact, starting in 2011, the hotel will see a quarter of a million pound (£250,000) reduction per year on its annual energy bill.

 

from Caractère

Crown Spa Hotel

Aside from energy savings, the hotel also started collecting rain water from the roof to wash its linens and flush toilets, began composting kitchen waste and switched to a wood-burning stove to heat the lobby. The staff has been told to turn off computers and lights while on break or lunch, and the caretakers added a special, non-toxic, heat-insulating chemical to the pool to reduce overnight cooling. After this series of little changes, the hotel has already seen dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, and aims to halve its emissions by 2015. The hotel’s administrative director, David Frank, commented he’s an “evangelical ‘greenie’ and [that he’s] proud to be one… We don’t ram our message down people’s throats but sustainability is efficiency and it makes good economic and business sense to think about sustainability.”

Read more about “The Crown Spa Hotel’s green credentials impressed the Enjoy England judges enough to pick up the Sustainable Tourism Award,” at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/enjoy_england_trips/7658371/Enjoy-England-The-Crown-Spa-Hotel.html

Special Events to Transform Consumer Consciousness, Brand Perception and the World’s Quality of Life

Starting this Friday, the Accor Group of hotels will innaugurate the fifth edition of its annual Earth Guest Day. David Woods of HR Magazine writes that the holiday was created in 2006 with eight guiding principles:

  • Contributing to local development
  • Fighting against epidemics
  • Promoting balanced food
  • Managing energy consumption
  • Conserving water
  • Producing less waste
  • Protecting biodiversity

Locations and staff across the 90 countries with Accor locations, including the 160 hotels in the UK, will celebrate the occassion with a series of events, such as tree plantings in parks, gardens, schools and other public areas across the country to bring attention to its Fruits for the Children campaign, a partnership between the charity Plan UK and Accor’s Plant for the Planet foundation. The goals of this particular campaign include the following:

Fruits for Children is a project to improve the nutrition of 4,000 school children from 8 schools in the Machakos district of Kenya through planting fruit trees to provide a steady year-round supply of nutritious fruits to improve their diet. The project also aims to develop children’s knowledge of their environment, and their skills and techniques in fruit production, improving their standards of living as the acquired skills are transferred to their families and communities. The trees also help to reduce the problem of soil erosion and the fruits produced provide a source of income for the participating schools.

 

from Caractère

An Accor Ibis Hotel

Through the previous years’ efforts, Accor already raised more than £100,000 in the UK for Fruits for the Children. Plant for the Planet dates from 2009, a program instituted by the chain’s headquarters to finance the replanting of depleted forests worldwide. Thus far, over 1.7 million trees have been planted, with the UK Accor locations financing the planting of 30,000 trees in 2010 alone. The system is rather simple, but will leave a lasting impression on the plant, animal species and families who call these forests home, in addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Every five times guests reuse a bath towel without requiring its wash, the company vows to plant a tree. The goal for 2011 in the UK is an astounding 50,000 trees, nearly twice as many as last year.

Read more about “Accor Hotel Group employees gear up for global environmental initiative,” at http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1019312/accor-hotel-group-employees-gear-global-environmental-initiative

Lessons Learned

As you can see, everything from minute changes in supplies or practices to ways to rethink construction methods can reduce a hotel’s environmental impact, in addition to the charges it must pay. At Caractère, we celebrate the efforts of the hotel industry to reduce its environmental impact by guaranteeing that all of our products, such as the famous bed mattress covers, sanitary headphone covers, and salon products like sandals; are reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. We design our products with ecological pricipals in mind so they are manufactured out of mostly plant-based materials with a minimal amount of chemical treatments and dyes.

In addition, over the coming months, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by relocating our offices to a location much closer to our shipping providers, and also easier for our staff to make the commute via mass transit. The world is constantly evolving, and just like you, we care about the envionment too!