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While recently staying at an hotel in Thailand, having stayed in a few that week, I began to ponder what the hotel industry is all about and what is an hotel exactly?

Some amazing hotels are now available to stay in the world over. Some are famed for one feature or another (E.G. Song Saa private island off Cambodia’s coast is a luxury eco project fairly unrivalled anywhere else, and Cambodia’s first luxury private island retreat).

On arrival at this particular hotel in Bangkok, I was struck by the efficiency of the staff and their welcoming smile. Not unusual in Asia by any means, but in this case it was the GM himself doing the welcoming, the smiles were uber genuine and they were really were efficient. Room keys ready, we were whisked to our room immediately, leaving all luggage behind. Before we got to the room, the bell boy had arrived with the luggage. That’s a first! Although, at the top end. it should be normal…

A proper demonstration of the room amenities was gratefully received by the technophobe writing this. How many times have you been left stranded in the room, trying to work the lights, TV remote or air-conditioning! It once took me 10 minutes to find the loo flush which was cunningly placed above the foot end of the bath about 5 feet away.

Room service next. After a long flight, we need more cold towels (in addition to the ones handed to us on arrival), and a nice cold fruit cocktail. The moment of truth came, when I dialed the room service number (on the clearly displayed options menu) and I waited…. for 1 and a half rings… “Yes Mister Hoff, right away. Have a good evening”, and the items were duly delivered within 5 minutes.

Of course, at many places we feature, you’d have your own butler so no need to call down to room service, but the speed of service was welcome.

After a sumptuous dinner in the hotel’s own Chinese restaurant, we returned to our room and hit the hay in our jet-lagged state. Now, hitting the hay is a common phrase, but I think it basically means sleeping on some soft bedding, rather than the floor in the days of old. It is at this point, or rather on waking up the next day, that I had my eureka moment.

That’s it – an hotel is a place to sleep! And a good night’s sleep is a sign of a decent hotel. What else makes it a success? Well, good old fashioned service and the word that encapsulates it all, HOSPITALITY. A smile costs nothing.

Without these elements, an hotel is nothing, and it is these key features we look at firstly before deciding which hotels to partner with, before going into detail on general room quality (aside to the comfort of the mattress which is paramount!) other facilities such as the spa, the food quality and every other aspect

Feel Good? You will do.

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