This is a guest blog by Melisa Marzett.
Melisa reached out to me via email wanting to contribute to the Boostly Blog. She is working for online cv helper at the moment and is looking to expand her portfolio.
I asked her to put together something for the Boostly Community and she did not disappoint.
Tourism plays an increasingly important role in the British national economy. Now about six million foreign tourists come to England every year, and by 1975, this figure is expected to increase to ten million. This implies the need for the rapid construction of hotels and the development of hotel buildings of a new type. “I feel more like a host, receiving guests, than a manager of a commercial enterprise.” In these words, the director of a hotel expressed the main thing that distinguishes a good hotel from a bad one, in whatever country it is located. Besides comfort and hospitality, every visitor must first be sure that he will find where to stay.
Only in the 1960s in England began to accelerate the construction of new hotels. Previously, they were built a little, and probably the total number of hotel rooms was reduced gradually as the old hotels were demolished or converted into furnished apartments. By 1967, however, new hotels began to appear in most major provincial cities, and such luxurious giants as Hilton, Royal Garden and Royal Lancaster had already been built in London.
Since then, several dozens of new hotels and motels in different parts of the country have been built or started. Among them are very impressive buildings, for example, the 23-storey building on the English Channel in Dover and the Glasgow Airport Hotel – the first British hotel directly connected to the air terminal, so that passengers are under the roof from the moment they enter the building airport terminal. Nearly 300 hotels are planned to be built by 1975.
These figures do not include London, where the construction of hotels is now being conducted more intensively than in any period in the last hundred years. It is estimated that approximately 80% of all visitors from abroad spend some time in the capital, and in the next four years, at least 20,000 more hotel rooms will be required in central London. Among the fifteen hotels built, here in 1970 are the luxurious new Barkley on Knightsbridge (the old hotel of the same name was on Piccadilly) and Sherlock Holmes, located, as one would expect, on Baker Street. Another 140 hotels are in the design or construction stage.
In other parts of the UK, the construction of hotels is concentrated mainly in large shopping and business centers. In resort areas, for example, in Cornwall, Devon, Lake District and other places on the seashore, the existing hotel chain is still able to cope with the influx of tourists during vacation periods.
The striking difference between traditional resort hotels and new hotels in large cities reflects modern requirements for the growth of international tourism and business travel, as every year more and more people employed in commerce and industry visit other cities, countries and even continents. Certain minimum amenities, which not so long ago could only be found in the best hotels, are now considered necessary. These include a private bathroom, in-room telephone, central heating and soundproof windows.
It is characteristic that the two British organizations of motorists. The Automobile Association and the Royal Automobile Club have announced that, starting in 1976, they will assign “five stars” (the highest category of hotels) only to those hotels in which each room has a separate bathroom, except in those rare cases where structural considerations, it is impossible. For hotels approved by these two organizations are classified by the “star” system. Classification from one to five “stars” – depends not on how the administration copes with its task, but on the category of the hotel – from simple hotels to the luxury category. All hotels are required: a good kitchen, a restaurant, staff and prices that strictly correspond to the proposed facilities. The number of “stars” determine the quality of individual rooms, the variety of amenities and the hours at which you can use them, the choice of dishes, and the level of personal service. Staying overnight in a one-star hotel costs about GBP 2 and in a five-star hotel there are more than GBP 10.
No less significant is the fact that only such 5-star hotels will be required to have a common living room, designed exclusively for people living in a hotel. There is a tendency to reduce the space allotted for public premises (this, of course, does not apply to hotels specially built for business conferences, meetings, etc.), to standardize rooms, furniture and design and to rationalize personal service in order to minimize costs.
Such an approach, although at first glance it may seem utilitarian, in fact allows you to pay more attention to individual needs. Business people expect that even in a very small room there is a table on which you can put a typewriter. Women want a satisfactory source of lighting and a place to put bottles and jars of cosmetics over the vanity table. Prudent administration of the hotel will ensure that the surfaces of the dressing tables have a coating resistant to contamination. A hotel designed for meetings and important conferences should have attractive rooms and facilities for meetings, banquets, etc. Traveling parents will be happy if the hotel also has a playroom for children.
Oddly enough, the more impersonal and monotonous the overall organization of the hotel, the more attention is paid to the personal needs and amenities of guests. For example, the Humber Royal Hotel in Grimsby, in addition to standard amenities such as radio and central heating, has electric blankets in each room. The hotel Holiday Inn in Liverpool will have a number of rooms specially adapted for people with disabilities. (However, there are other hotels that are designed to meet specific needs, for example for the elderly, people with poor health and disabled people; there are also hotels for children, etc.)
Well, how about getting a quick number when you need one? Although some large hotel associations have a centralized room reservation system, the quickest and unmistakable solution to the problem is the use of electronic computing technology. It is enough to call and tell where, when and what number you need. In a few minutes they will call, you with an answer and either confirm the order of the room or offer you an alternative opportunity. Moreover, such an order is completely reliable and you can order a number for any time in advance. From the point of view of the hotel administration, such a system is also advantageous, since it eliminates the possibility of clerical errors and, thanks to the computer’s efficiency, it is possible to use more efficiently the places unexpectedly vacated by the cancellation of orders. The company International Reserve Limited, established by the State Administration of the Coal Industry, uses the computers of this management for its own purposes at low costs, because the machines are not loaded to the limit of their computing power. Ultimately, it is planned to form a national room reservation system, which covers about 3,500 of the largest hotels in the UK.
Planning and construction of new hotels have not yet been fully developed. For example, is it not advisable to place the kitchen on the top floor? After all, it would prevent the spread of odors from the kitchen on the floors with rooms and where better to place a restaurant – under the kitchen or above it? Planners still have not agreed on this.
The same goes for the interior decoration and interior layout. Soon after the war, the so-called Scandinavian design style, often incorporating works of modern art, became very popular. The style was designed for a highly aesthetic effect, practicality and elegance, but for some it seemed too “hospital” – cold and uncomfortable. Sometimes the armchairs in the hotel’s living room seemed simply uncomfortable to a person who does not understand the aesthetic qualities of the furniture.
Now the approach is changing. This does not mean a return to the overly lush furniture of the beginning of this century, and an attempt is being made to find a good compromise between clear lines and comfort. Some hotels deliberately use a combination of modern and traditional furniture, with great attention being paid to the color scheme.
In order to save land and reduce construction costs, designers try to spend as little space as possible on unnecessary corridors and stairs. However, the savings on materials may be too conspicuous. The railing of cast iron rods, even if they are masked with plastic, will be strange and unnatural in appearance and touch. In such cases, new materials are not able to compete with old ones, which are now becoming popular again. The exception is stainless steel, combining decorative with functionality. The architect of the Royal Trafalgar Hotel in London used these qualities in the design of the lobby.
Fiberglass is an extremely valuable material; whole bathrooms are made of it, which arrive at the construction site in a completely finished set. Standard bathrooms weigh less than 500 kg and cost about GBP 300 each. Since many short-term hotel visitors tend not to unpack their bags completely, the need for bulky closets and dressers gradually disappears. New built-in furniture is made of white wood or laminate, supplied with recessed handles, interior decoration of laminates and adjustable shelves. Elements of built-in furniture are available in a very large assortment; they are supplied unassembled and can be easily assembled by service personnel; when required, new elements are added to existing elements.
Most of the new hotels are equipped with air conditioning systems with individual temperature controllers in each room. (The same applies to public premises.) In all rooms, besides the telephone, televisions are often installed, sometimes colored, and loudspeakers connected to the hotel’s internal network, through which light music is transmitted. Any hotel service employee can be quickly called using a system consisting of an induction loop that covers the entire building and individual pocket-sized radios. Important instructions are broadcast and recorded on the main service points.
A good example of a new type of hotel is London International, located opposite the Kensington airport terminal. It is a complex of four interconnected buildings (the last one will be completed this year). The buildings rest on a huge reinforced concrete foundation, which, in turn, was erected on stilts 21 meters high above several subway lines extending into a groove. The complex has 430 rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a cafe, a conference room.
The furniture is very effective – orange leather armchairs with black decoration, black dressers with brass corners, similar to hiking military chests. Each room has its own bathroom with bathtub, TV and double-glazed windows for better sound insulation. The radio is built into the head panel of the bed, where the wake-up device is also located, which is set at the right time and which acts much better than an ordinary alarm clock. On the same panel is placed an electronic alarm device, which allows the house cleaner to simultaneously notify the administrator and the housekeeper. On each floor, there is a special kitchen for instant cooking and serving morning breakfasts to the rooms.
Now about the hotels intended for motorists. Just ten years ago, there was almost no motel in England. Today there are about 150 of them and it was expected that by 1976 their number will at least triple. Trust House, the largest privately owned hotel owner, occupies the leading place in the construction of the motels. The Trust House has begun to build motels in 1962, and now it has about ten functioning “post-houses” (“inns” – so it was decided to christen the motels belonging to the union, according to the old name). The union plans to bring the total figure to fifty over the next 5 years.
The Automobile Association gives the following definition of the term “motel”: “Hotels on highways, designed for motorists. The basic features correspond to the general classification of hotels, but are intended mainly for an overnight stay. Following the American pattern, a typical motel consists of a central administrative building with bars, restaurants, etc. and from separate residential buildings located around the central building, with a parking space for each individual room. ”
It is clear that the construction of the motels was associated with the rapid growth of private ownership of cars. When the first motel opened in Kent in 1952, there were only two and a half million-passenger cars in England. By 1960, there were already five and a half million, and at the end of last year their number was about thirteen million. According to the calculations of the Road Research Laboratory, by 1975 there will be about 17 million cars on the roads of England.
According to the owners of the motels, all these millions of citizens who have won freedom of movement need not so much the traditional forms of hotel service, as in the rooms with an increased level of equipment and comfort. In the ideal case, each double room, worth four with a small money. For the night, must have a separate bathroom, radio, TV, telephone, device for intercom and auditory monitoring of infants, an electric coffee pot.
Founded three years ago, the British Motels Federation first developed quite modest minimum regulatory requirements, including asphalt access roads and parking, and some means for preparing hot drinks at any time of the day (hence, tea machines and electric coffee in all rooms). Now – not for the first time – these requirements are rising. “Our goal for the next ten years is to have a restaurant or cafe open from seven in the morning to eleven in the evening. We believe that everyone who comes to the motel during these hours should be able to get a hot meal or snack. ”
Hotels and catering services are collectively one of the largest employers in the UK, and labor is the most expensive item in each hotel’s expenses. As a result, some forms of service had to be simply abolished or mechanized – for example, shoes are cleaned now very often with a machine, and not a person. Another very valuable technical tool is the new cash desk, which registers all bills under eight different headings, such as room charges, food at a restaurant, telephone charges, etc.
However, the biggest downsizing is in the kitchen. Many hotels have switched to pre-cooked food. The advantages are obvious: you do not need to allocate a significant area for cooking, do not need many machines and appliances; you can reduce the number of employees in the kitchen. Another way to save is a limited choice of dishes. The shorter the menu, the less food is wasted, and if most of the dishes are fried on the grill, then you can do without particularly numerous or highly qualified staff. The volume of work on the preliminary preparation of meat and vegetables can also be reduced by buying meat prepacked for the required portions, and vegetables pre-peeled. Thus, the calculator more accurately calculates the cost of a meat dish, since it does not need to reckon with the possibility of excessively fat half-carcasses or their improper cutting.
Today’s restaurant director must re-examine and revise the entire process of cooking. Over the next ten years, he may refuse an ordinary kitchen and replace it with a small-sized installation for heating ready meals just before their release in convection ovens with a stream of hot air. He has to keep up with the automation innovations – a potato fryer recently appeared which automatically removes potatoes from the oil when it is ready. The oven with automatic switching off (or on), which is set by a clockwork, has already become firmly established; it, however, cannot be said of an automatic coffee making machine.
However, without which we cannot do – so it is without a refrigerator. Now there is one model on sale, which occupies only 0.6 m2 of floor, with a height of about 2.25 l /, but this refrigerator holds 350 kg of products. Another essential device is a garbage and waste chopper; one new model copes with garbage of any kind, including even metal.
At the service of the visitor at any time, a bar-machine lets out twelve different drinks, as well as ice cream and snacks with a simple button press. Each item released electronically is registered in the hotel office. Fifty such machines are installed in one motel. Little by little, the storerooms of bedclothes disappear in hotels. Many administrators now prefer to rent towels, table and bed linen for hire from special companies; this saves on washing and mending. Not so long ago, in England, the first down comforters, long common in continental Europe, were released, with a special tongue that is fastened under the mattress at the feet of the sleeper. At least one hotel immediately replaced the usual woolen ones with such blankets, hoping to save money and time on bed refueling, washing and mending. Another tempting new idea is to clean carpets and curtains in place. The administrator calls specialists who work carpets and curtains with foam and subject them to antistatic finishing, and they dry out completely after a few hours.
The problem of during the decession periods and empty rooms in the winter season can in many cases be solved by a resourceful administration. Hotels that are full on weekdays but empty on weekends offer special reduced rates to anyone staying at the weekend. An example is the Hotel Swallow in Newcastle upon Tyne, offering a discount of more than 50% per room.
Another technique is to attract international conferences; these prospect English hotels became seriously interested only five years ago. Probably about 200 thousand foreign visitors come to the country every year to participate in various conferences. The British Tourism Authority has released a handbook that lists 57 English cities that are suitable for conferences and provides information about hotels and other facilities in these cities. The directory also contains a list of 1,400 English organizations that organize conferences.
If the hotel knows how to deal with its guests, then the person who came to the conference from Southampton, Soissons, or São Paulo, the next year can return to it by their own choice.