Saturday, January 15, 2011

State of the Hawthorne Hotel

While many of the "end of year" wrap-up kinds of articles are written at the end of the year, I never wrote one before, on this blog, but thought I would today.

I had the opportunity to stay in the Hawthorne Hotel during the most recent blizzard, and that made me think about all that we had accomplished in 2010.  I thought you might like to hear about things from that perspective -- that of a hotel manager staying in the hotel she manages:

During 2010 we were able to put all new beds, and new bed frames in all of the rooms.  In addition to new mattresses and box springs, we put mattress encasements on all of these new bedding pieces.  These encasements will keep the mattresses and box springs from ever being a harboring place for dust mites and other critters. 

Before we did this project, we brought in one set of the proposed mattress/box springs in order to try them out.  We put that set in one of our most highly-occupied rooms, and then after a couple of months I called each guest who had stayed there to inquire about their sleeping comfort. 

The feedback was all positive, remarkably so, and therefore we went with the local mattress company, Gardner Mattress, to provide all of the new beds.  It was great to be able to take this time to test these out, but even more pleasing to us to be able to use and support a local (Salem, MA) manufacturer this way. 

Many people espouse the idea of supporting the local economy, but sometimes when it gets right down to spending a lot of money for something, there is often the need to take the cheaper route.  However, we were also working from the experience of having used Gardner Mattresses in our rooms for the past dozen years, with great outcomes.  Now I may have to buy a new set for my own bedroom, because sleeping on that new set was so very comfortable, it made me realize perhaps it was time for a change in my own home.

Now that I have also had a chance to spend the night on one of our new beds, I can personally assure you that you will probably never have a more comfortable nights sleep than you will here at the historic Hawthorne Hotel.

In addition, when I travel I usually always bring my own pillow, and the night I stayed in one of our rooms I realized that I never need to that again when staying at the Hawthorne, as our pillows are perfect -- they are a synthetic down-substitute that really acts like a down pillow.  I could not have been more comfortable.

As I put my iPhone in the AM/FM clock radio with docking station to charge, and to play my own music for the evening, and plugged my laptop into the handy outlets in the base of the desk lamp, I realized these are all things that we have done to improve our guests' experience in our rooms.  Those new lamps with the easy to use plugs are perfect!

In the morning I had a quick look at the news on our new flat-panel TVs, and have to say that having them  wall-mounted made for more space in a cozy room.

While reflecting on our hotel operations for 2010, I remembered that this was the year we upgraded and improved our property management system.  This new system, called RoomMaster by InnQuest, allows us a much easier way to take and handle reservations, making our desk staff more efficient, and giving them more time to be friendly to our guests.  This "upgraded friendliness" factor has come through loud and clear in how our guests perceive us, and our TripAdvisor reviews have been greatly improved because our clerks can now focus more on our guests, and less on an antiquated computer system.

This list is hardly complete -- many of the capital upgrades we do in the hotel each year are things that just have to be done, such as reupholstering furniture, replacing boilers, replacing the sheers on all of the windows in the hotel (there are a LOT of windows), and even changing out the chandeliers in the Grand Ballroom and Sophia's.

We are currently in the planning stages of MANY more upgrades to the Hawthorne Hotel.  These additional improvements are very exciting, and I cannot wait to write about them as they happen, right here on our Daily Diary.

I hope you enjoy following our progress.


1 comment:

  1. I can most definitely vouch for the comfort of the beds, too! I slept so well that if there were ghostly visitors who stopped by the room, I missed them completely!

    In all honesty, though, I have back issues and it's sometimes hard for me to get a good night's sleep on a hotel mattress but I slept wonderfully when I was there in December nor did I wake up stiff and sore in the least. It's something that most definitely makes one vacation - whether it be a short or a long one - that much better!