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Hotel and Sheraton Essay

Introduction

One of the most noticed hospitality service providers is known by the name of SHERATON with an absolute commitment to customer satisfaction is one of the hotel’s key distinguish factors and why is a rewarded Hotel since 2008 with the NSW Australian Hotel association Awards for excellence, and here we will evidence Sheraton in the Park in the heart of Sydney , this five star hotel is a great destination as a accommodation service provider, in a very smart style and nice views over the one most stunning cities of the world, guests of the Sheraton can enjoy nearby attractions including Opera house and historic the Rocks area where all shopping and dinning areas are located and also near by the iconic Harbour Bridge.

Sheraton is owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts chain, every guest notice the innovative designs and marketing procedures that Starwood Hotels and Resorts does, but the most important and to complement all others efforts and that customer will not forget is the people, people that take care of the guest with the smile in the face and with the desire to help, and this is applicable in all levels of service, and here Starwood believes that service culture is not just about what you do, but about how you do it, and to have this level of service culture Starwood cares about associates much as about guest , that’s why guests can recognize associates pleasure and proud of working for this organization, and the powerful results living this strong service culture brings benefits not just for guests and associates but also helps to maintain organization goals and objectives.

So with this service culture Sheraton in the Park offers a 557 guests rooms including 48 suites, Sheraton beside accommodation service provider also focus in other kind of services that bring more business to the company and variety for customers, and that services are: * Business centre; Concierge; Elevator; 24 hour reception; Dry Cleaning; Babysitting; Housekeeping; Banquet facilities; Conference room; Currency Exchange; Multilingual staff; Safe deposit box; News stand; Secretarial service; Porters; Wake up service; Meeting rooms; Laundry service; Shops; Computers; Photocopier; Ballroom; Functions room; Audio/visual equipment; Video conferencing; Full-service catering; Exhibit Space; Luggage Storage; Gift Shop; Express check in and check out; shoe shine. And more directed to guest and there stay in the hotel be more enjoyable, Sheraton provides them with: * Room service; Restaurant; Disabled access; Bar/Lounge; Air condition; Non-smoking rooms; Mini bar; Refrigerator; Cable TV; In room Movies; CD player; Spa/jetted tub; coffee shop; Family room.

Also to add to it a lot of activities for guest pleasure and help them to maintain a healthy life Sheraton offer to guests a variety of activities: * Fitness room/Gym, swimming pool; Massage; Beauty Centre; Golf course; Sauna; Excursions.

Starwood Hotels SWOT
Strengths

Starwood Hotel has a strong global presence worldwide. Indeed, during the financial year 2011, the company owned and operated 1,076 hotels (315,300 rooms) around the world. This wide presence in the lodging industry is resulting in diversified sources of revenue for the company. By owning and operating hotels worldwide, Starwood company is reaching more customers. * A strong brand image in the luxury lodging industry is also a real strength for the company. Starwood Hotels and Resorts is seen as a luxury and upscale brand in the lodging industry. The company operates 710 upscale hotels across the world ( 248,500 rooms) including W, Westin, Sheraton and Le Meridiens brands.

This brand recognition helps the company to compete in the luxury lodging industry; clients are attracted by the ambience and quality of service of the brand. * Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program is strength of Starwood Hotels Company. Members of this loyalty program earn points when staying at Starwood Hotels. The points can then be used at any properties/ hotel owned by the company. This loyalty program helps the company retaining customers and creates brand loyalty which gives Starwood Hotels a real competitive advantage in the luxury lodging industry.

Weaknesses

* Although Starwood Hotels has a strong global presence, the company recorded weak performance of its global portfolio. The company owned 565 hotels in the North American and African region and 524 hotels in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East, Latin America and African region. Thus, 48 percent of the company’s properties are located outside North America; however, in the financial year 2011, North America was 63, 3 percent of the company’s revenue while the rest of the world contributed to only 36,7 percent of the revenues. This bad international performance impacts the financial position of the company and has a negative impact on the growth of the company. Another weakness of the company is its debt; in the financial year 2011, Starwood had a long term debt of $2,194 millions. This debt unable the company to obtain financing in the future.

Opportunities
* The lodging industry is growing quickly in emerging market (China, India)

Threats
* Competitive lodging industry
* Political instability in some markets
Key components of the service in Sheraton

Information
Sheraton web site is the main source of reaching Sheraton services, facilities opportunities and reviews from previous customer’s experiences, also agencies.

Consultation
Sheraton Concierge is at your disposal around the clock to assist with information or arrangements, from dinner reservations and tickets for entertainment or sporting events tickets to details on local or regional transport, laundry service, and anything else that you might require Order Taking

Bookings are available on the website and credit card is required, also by phone or Fax and credit card is required as well. Internal you can use the concierge to book your dinners and all activities at concierge desk Hospitality

In front desk starts all relation with customer and customer service, all bookings, guest check-in and check-out and customer direction inside of facilities and to other departments, also food & beverage department for customer assistance either in the hotel restaurant or room service also full-service catering, room service is other hospitality service for customer 24 hours a day.

Safekeeping

Is a supplementary service classified as supporting service. Safekeeping is the action of looking after the customer’s possessions. Sheraton Sydney is offering safe deposit boxes where customers can put their valuables during their stay. Sheraton Sydney also has a 24-hour valet parking service and self-parking facilities. Parking facilities are covered.

Exceptions

Are a supplementary service classified as enhancing service. Exceptions are the service that is superior to normal services. Sheraton Sydney is offering
“special requests” services such as: Babysitting service, multilingual staff, disability accessible facilities, ramp access to buildings, wheelchair accessible. The three restaurants within Sheraton Sydney offer vegetarian as well as healthy options.

Billing

is a supplementary service classified as facilitating service. Sheraton Hotel Sydney billing service includes: Periodic statements of account activity, Invoices for individual transactions and machine display of amount due. A periodic statement of account activity is recording any services used by customers during their stay at Sheraton. For example, if a customer used “Sheraton Fitness” during his stay and had two hours of personal training, $200 will be added to his periodic statements of account activity. At the end of his stay, a customer can access his periodic statement of account activity where the services used are all recorded.

Sheraton Sydney can also use invoices for individual transactions. If customers want to pay every services individually, the Hotel can print invoices for individual transactions. For example if a customer is going to one of the hotel restaurant and ask an individual bill, an invoice will be given to him for this transaction only. During the check-out, Sheraton Sydney displays the amount due on a computer located in the front desk. Customers can then authorize payment by credit card or bank account direct debit and invoices are printed upon requests. An email address is given on Sheraton Sydney Website for any questions or complaints about billing and finance.

Payment

is also a facilitating service. Sheraton Sydney accepts different methods of payment including: hand-to-hand transfers of cash, cheques and credit and debit cards. Rooms can also be paid in advance through Sheraton Sydney website without booking fees. At the end of their stay, every customer pass by the front desk and has to check-out, after handling the keys, they can pay by cash, cheques, credit (1,5% surcharge on credit card) or debit card.

Target market and Sheraton

Segmentation is the base for any company to reach positioning. However a company shouldn’t choose all the segments to be the main objective, the marketer will target a smaller group of people according with the segmentation and the description of product or service. This process is meant to be called targeting and it is choosing the real goal or objective that marketer wants to reach. “The same happen with hotels, it is a highly competitive industry. in most cases is impossible to operate a hotel aimed at satisfying the wants and desires of all potential customers.” Says Clark Wendel in his article Hotels Segmenting Strategies (Clark Wendel, Hotels Segmenting Strategies)

Attempting that, hotels are likely to target a small portion of clients to be satisfied. This is why the hotel industry has become segmented over the years with different hotels targeting different market segments. Targeting a particular segment of society allows a hotel to cater its services to this particular population so that all customers can be satisfied. in hotel industry can be defined four segmentation strategies affirms Wendel in his report Hotel segmenting strategies and those are: luxury, upscale, moderate and budget Luxury segment strategy

Targeting the luxury segment of the hotel industry can be lucrative, but it is also very difficult. Luxury hotels such as Sheraton focus on a guest’s experience, offering virtually everything that the guest could ever want. Luxury hotel guests expect to have top service, Michelin star quality food (the term make reference to fine dining quality) and posh surroundings. The strategy of targeting this segment is not only expensive, but difficult because you must maintain a very high level of satisfaction. This strategy can pay off, however, with premium prices. (Clark Wendel, Hotels Segmenting Strategies)

Upscale segment strategy

The strategy of targeting the upscale segment of the hotel industry is expensive and requires a great deal of effort, but it is more attainable than the luxury segment. Upscale hotel guests expect excellent service, including concierge services and fine dining, but do not have standards that are quite as high as the luxury market. Still, people in this segment are willing to pay a premium for their lodgings and so profits can be made by charging more than lesser-quality hotels. (Clark Wendel, Hotels Segmenting Strategies)

Differing that, and following the description given by Starwood Hotels Group to Sheraton; it is a luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences is also the largest brand (in Starwood hotels group) serving the needs of upscale business and leisure travellers worldwide. The target market of Sheraton is both Leisure and Business travellers. Since Sheraton hotels provide up-scale accommodation and services, the hotels’ room rates are quite high. Therefore, budget travellers are not the target group of customer for this company. With their slogan “bringing people together”, the 5 star hotels seek for delivering people the experience of have a holidays bringing a feeling like they be in their home, and for those business travellers bringing the best and useful service for them to also “relax” in their business trip.

Web site and advertising

Sheraton web site specializes in providing information about all Sheraton hotels worldwide. Also, it specializes in providing online hotel reservation as well as other online services to all Sheraton customers from every part of the world. Sheraton web site is considered as a Supplier Site because the product of this web site is Sheraton hotels all over the world. In another word, this site supplies Sheraton hotels for travellers who are looking for accommodations under Sheraton brand name all over the world. The travellers can look for information of every Sheraton property from this web site. We have compare Sheraton web site with Hilton and Novotel’s websites, having in count that these three hotels are between 4 and 5 star hotels and therefore competitors.

Sheraton Hotel web site

Sheraton web site specializes in providing information about all Sheraton hotels worldwide. Also, it specializes in providing online hotel reservation as well as other online services to all Sheraton customers from every part of the world. The web site hasn’t been created with the purpose of make any profit from online bookings and reservations, but it is created for the purpose of support their business worldwide. Customers can search and get any information about any Sheraton Hotels and Resorts properties worldwide, also costumers can get information about the other hotels in the same chain owned by Starwood hotels Group (the information about Sheraton web site, 2000)

comparing Sheraton web site with Novotel’s and Hilton Hotels, we have found that Sheraton gives a relaxation environment, with brown colours are more mean to express relaxation in a luxurious environment. However Sheraton’s website does not bring an easy access for people to know about prices and rooms photo gallery. Costumers like to know what they are going to buy exactly, certainly they are buying best service but also accommodation and comfort and is important to show what the company exactly offers, looking at the web site we have found that the quick access to see prices and rooms in SYDNEY is harder that the other two.

And it is a disadvantage because people is tend to forget about it or just won’t be interested in researching so much for those prices and go to another hotel’s web site that brings better process. The target market that Sheraton web ste shows is mean to be for business travellers and leisure, it inspires that but in a relax way, where people can go enjoy and have rest even business travellers with all their meeting and work, Sheraton web site shows that they will find also the best atmosphere and service to make their experience the best too even if they are working.

Hilton hotels Group web site

Their colours are more likely to inspire luxury and elegance, the colours that they manage are black mostly and orange and gold. The easy access that Hilton web site brings is quite nice and quick, room’s gallery of Hilton Sydney are pretty easy to find as well as the prices. It is a good advantage because people would like to research more and more, it will probably give to the company opportunities of not selling only the booking, but also an extra service, making the visit of the costumer even more profitable from the first time.

Hilton instead of Sheraton and novotel remarks more their interest in business travellers despite they do as well for leisure, but shows more the environment of having fun in their facilities like the club, meet and do business in their 23 meeting and conference rooms and enjoy their Restaurateur Glass Brasserie service, and physiologically a family (with kids) will see that away from their expectations; however business people, couples and even singles find that pretty interesting.

Novotel’s web site

Novotel’s web site mean to be more clean, despite their brand colours are yellow and blue, their web site is built mostly by white, and according with the four key components of a web site, this is a really advantage for them, for costumers view white colour gives a rest for eyes at the same time they are looking, so people will be navigating for longer time. Quick and easy access is provided for Novotel’s web site. With their familiar atmosphere this 4.5 stars hotel tis hotels shows more interest in attractions like the museum the darling harbour and aquarium, which delivery more interest for those who are traveling for a tourism purpose rather than interest for spas, resorts, clubs or business, however it manage a business travellers target as well.

Conclusions

Sheraton hotels culture is based on quality service, employees are proud to be part of the company and costumers are proud to make business with them. Is a weakness that most of the profit that the company do come from America, as a recommendation they can extend their business more looking at different markets as China and India can be. Features of the hotel (Sheraton on the park) are attractive to people and their price is not so expensive, as a base of their positioning, they manage both segmentation strategies: luxury and upscale and their target leisure and business travellers. As a recommendation Sheraton’s web site should be improved, make it easier to find information for costumers and galleries for Sheraton on the park should be shown and easy to find as well.

References
Sheraton On The Park – Official Site | starwoodhotels.com.www.starwoodhotels.com/Accessed in 27-09-2012

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. SWOT Analysis; Jul2012, p1-8, 8p (company report) Accessed in 28-09-2012 “WELCOME TO NOVOTEL SYDNEY ON DARLING HARBOUR” available at: http://www.novoteldarlingharbour.com.au/ Lincoln, Hermione, 2000 “The information about Sheraton web site”, available
at http://talay.psu.ac.th/classes/etravel/ASS04/042-som/sheraton.htm Henry Jones on Nov 24, 2009 “The Four Key Components of a Great Web Design” Available at: http://webdesignledger.com/tips/the-four-key-components-of-a-great-web-design “Hilton Sydney hotel accommodation and more in the heart of Sydney CBD” available at: http://www.hiltonsydney.com.au/ Clark Wendel, “Hotels Segmenting Strategies” available at: http://www.ehow.com/list_6750502_hotels-segmenting-strategies.html


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