Hotels in a time of recession are always looking for ways to generate new channels of revenue, they have to open their doors to different markets and new ones. They would have never considered before working more locally – “owning your own backyard” which hoteliers do forget and always look at the bigger picture rather than see what is right in front of them. Why do we do this? Hotels are always so focused on the corporate world which are naturally the revenue generators but when you come in to a recessions with redundancies and cut backs the cycle is disturbed and new strategies need to be put in to place to make sure that every piece of revenue is well and truly exhausted. You need to work more smartly, relationship build and word of mouth marketing becomes more crucial to any business, and what better way to get people in to your hotel than when someone recommends it to you?
My experience of this is having decided to go for afternoon tea. I had trawled through endless amounts of hotels in London looking for a place to go. Having raised questions to myself like which would be the best hotel for afternoon tea, whom had the best offer, should I go for one of the traditional hotels known for afternoon tea, would I get a table at only one weeks notice? Shall I try some where different that is not known for their afternoon tea? Simple questions that people outside the industry would also be asking.
Having searched all over the internet asking myself which venue would be the best place, and yes, also getting totally confused by all the offers out there, it was a hard decision. So many offers trying to entice the public to come in to their hotel and to encourage us to part with our money, and with each website telling me that that they have the best afternoon tea made this a harder decision that I had imagined!
In the end we ended up at The Hempel on their 2 for £20.00 deal. So why The Hempel you may ask? Well, I had found the hotel trawling through endless amounts of hotel brochures as a student. The Hempel is a “design hotel” and I have always wanted to experience what this boutique hotel would be like and of course, what better way to visit than by having afternoon tea. The hotel is set in a beautiful building in a residential area close to Hyde Park.
I was not sure what to expect when I arrived; a moment of intimidation because you are walking in to a trendy boutique hotel? Actually no. On approach the concierge were fantastic, as you walk towards the entrance it isn’t clear you are walking in to a hotel or spa, it could well be someone’s home from the outside! The feeling of relaxation enters you as you walk in to the building not your usual, maybe because it’s not your quintessential“English Country House Hotel” for afternoon tea that the words conjure.
The hotels interior has been designed by Anouska Hempel, no words can really explain the sumptuous sunken sofas, with relaxing candles , the white clean crisp reception area. As you walk through you instantly feel like you have been transported in to a different location. Welcoming people helped our lost souls, as we looked around the hotel lobby looking for the Bar No 31. We were then given our location choice for afternoon tea – the garden or the bar? After deliberating about how cold the wind was and sun, we then chose indoor afternoon tea (yes, London’s getting pretty chilly now!)
Everything was so easy and we both sank in to a nice sofa, we were well looked after and presented with a range of tea options by Jing Tea. I opted for Rosebud; I have never seen how unique and different a tea experience can be. Can you describe tea as pretty? Well you can now! Presented in a glass tea-pot, tea-cup and saucer the tea looked too good to drink it was a nice floral display of roses floating in my tea-pot.
The afternoon tea itself was presented in a very smartly to excite the palate, presented in a small petite way and so delicate that you would not want to eat them. The sandwiches cut in to small dainty squares, along with all the home-made cakes and scones made a perfect afternoon. Everything you’d expect.
So The Hempel afternoon tea: an experience and something I’d definitely recommend. The beauty of the experience is that I would have never considered staying at the hotel if I hadn’t seen the afternoon tea offer; it isn’t somewhere that hits your mind. Excuse the pun, but the proofs in the pudding – this is a way for revenue building.
Hotels are becoming more aware of new revenue channels and they’re certainly wanting more people in their bar, especially at the traditionally quiet times of day. An afternoon tea is the perfect way to not only gain extra revenues, but to promote your hotel to a wider audience. Not everyone is looking at staying in a hotel – but they maybe looking for a special treat or something on a smaller budget. Give them a slice of what you offer, and not only will they come back, but they will tell their friends. And there we have that balance sheet looking healthier.