Here’s a wake-up call: The hotel front desk will do one better than ringing your phone in the morning. They’ll send an actual human being to your room.
Don’t worry. They won’t come in and kiss you good morning. But they might bring you coffee.
Never mind that most travelers nowaways have Smartphones with built-in alarm clocks. Hoteliers say the human wake-up call is a way to personalize a guest’s stay.
“The hotel team finds the service to be a bit nostalgic and a romantic throwback to a simpler time,” says Paul McKenzie, general manager of The Wolcott Hotel in New York, which will send an employee to a guest’s door if a wake-up call is unanswered.
•At the Westin Resort and Casino, Aruba, once you respond to the first telephone wake-up call, an employee goes to your room and knocks on your door to make sure you actually get up.
•At Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, a butler shows up at your room to wake you up with complimentary tea, coffee and breakfast breads.
•At the Mandarin Oriental and The Four Seasons, a person rather than an automated system will call to wake you up. If you don’t answer, you’ll get a wake-up knock.
•You don’t want to oversleep at The Adolphus in Dallas. If you miss your wake-up call three times, a security guard will show up at your door.
Hotels have always taken the wake-up call seriously. IHG’s Crowne Plaza, for instance, has a wake-up call guarantee. If you don’t get your call within five minutes of the requested time, you won’t have to pay for your room.
Travelers, too, still want to have an option of a wake-up call. In a study to be released Tuesday of 285 PGA TOUR golfers such as Rickie Fowler, Crowne Plaza found that 53% considered the assurance of a wake-up call a priority.
But the wake-up call became less personal over the years, says Chekitan Dev, an associate professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. It used to be that a person would call you. Then in the late 1980s, hotels turned to automated systems. Then all you’d get was a ring and silence.
In the ever-competitive race for loyal customers, however, many properties, especially luxury and boutique hotels, are now getting creative with the wake-up call, he says. Some boutique hotels even have recordings of celebrity voices.
Personalizing the wake-up call, Dev says, is an “opportunity to make that one additional brand impression.”