May 25, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in guests, hotels, japanese, Latvia, news, travel | 1 Comment

Today Japan`s emperor visits Latvia. It`s only one day visit, but still. If I think about Japanese and hotels, there are few things that come to my mind:

  • hotels need to have bathrooms with BATH to accommodate Japanese guests,
  • Japanese love to take photographs, also about everything that`s in hotel,
  • they are polite and staff must be extra polite,
  • to Latvia they are mostly coming in groups, they watch birds, enjoy the nature and so on.

There is one travel company in Baltics, that specializes on Japanese tourists. I know that they make entertaining programs for them all over the Latvia, but so far they haven`t come to my city.

If You welcome Japanese guests quite often feel free to share your experience here.

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The foreigners hotels can expect as guests in Latvia

May 21, 2007 at 3:34 pm | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, statistics | Leave a comment

Latvian tourism development state agency tells that Latvian hoteliers in year 2007 can expect lots of Lithuanian tourists. Lithuanians were majority in Latvian arrival statistics 2006 and number is supposed to even grow this year. Tourist flow from Russia will grow as well. Because Russians need visa to enter Latvia, they stay longer when here: in average it`s more than 4 nights. Germans will come as well as they always did, but now they can do it for even cheaper price, because Ryanair now flies Riga-Bremen. Then comes Estonians and Finns. Finns used to visit Estonia a lot, but now they go further, so Latvia is their new hot destination. In my opinion this prognosis is little bit late, because Finns come already for two years and soon they will start to go to Lithuania as new destination.

There are some perspective markets: USA – Americans stay there in average 6 nights, France – French people like velo tourism and stays in average 5 nights, Poland – interesting and growing market, many Poles come for business and stays even month or more (at least in my hotel). Last year there were almost 70 thousand Polish tourists in Latvia. Riga and Jurmala`s hotels can expect more Norwegians because of cheap flights operated by Norvegian. Besides Norwegians are in first place by tourist money left: 97 lats in one day per person last year. There might be growing interest from Japan and Netherlands as well.

In general there are more and more tourists coming to Latvia and not only to capital city, but also to regions. Last year we got guests from Germany, Finland, Estonia (lots of them), Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, but also from Mexico, Argentina, Australia, USA, China and other far away places.

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Nasty guests

May 15, 2007 at 3:03 pm | Posted in guests, hotels | 2 Comments

As long as I work in a hotel I can`t understand why guests act so nasty sometimes. What is it that makes people brake things, laugh or scream at employees, disobey any rules, smoke where it`s not allowed and so on?

Today was the worst case. Yesterday receptionist let in normal looking 40 something man. This morning somehow in the room were two men. That `s nothing compared with what maids found out when started cleaning the room. I appologise, but there was shit everywhere: on the floor, in towels, on beds, even one of him had tried to do it in sink…..I simply can`t understand why?….

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Advices for guests

April 26, 2007 at 11:51 am | Posted in employees, guests, hotels, tips | 3 Comments

Crazy Hotel Workers have listed great, funny, interesting, useful and definitely true advices for hotel guests how to handle problems when in hotel:

-Deal with problems as they happen. That’s why there’s usually someone on staff at all times, to deal with things as they occur. If you have a problem with your room at check in, whatever it may be, do NOT wait until checkout the next morning to let us know. It’s quite likely we would’ve been able to fix the issue, whatever it may be. In my opinion, if you take away our chance to fix your problem, why should you be compensated for it?

-Don’t book through internet sites that offer you dirt cheap fares. You really do get what you pay for. If you must book through the internet, use a hotel’s brand website. They are much more reliable. Not all problems with these reservations are the fault of the front desk, believe it or not. The discount websites are very misleading. They would sell you a cot in the basement of the hotel if they could.

-Many hotels strive to be something like your home away from home… but we are still a business. It is our job to sell rooms. You do not get to dictate who goes where, what rooms well sell, etc. If for some reason you have special needs, make them known up front. Perhaps you are a light sleeper? If you let us know in advance, we can try to accommodate you. A room off in the corner somewhere is going to be more quiet than one smack in the middle of the hotel. If you prefer not to be around groups.. make that known as well. I know not all travelers (if any) know when something is going to be going on at the hotel, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. We won’t point and laugh at you, we promise. We really do try to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

For more go here. I wish guests would read and use those advices. Life would be easier both for hotel workers and guests.

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Funny request

April 23, 2007 at 8:08 am | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, personal | 2 Comments

[received by e-mail]


It is with pleasure, I discover your internet site. I have a funny request: I collect the “Do not disturb”, “door knob hangers”, “Privacy Please” sign which hangs on the door handle of the rooms. I do not have from your hotel and I would like to obtain one.

If it is possible, could you send me one and also the description of your beautiful hotel. Thanks a lot by advance and maybe see you.

Best regards,

Madame ….

We`ll send her what she wants. It`s interesting that people collect those signs as well as other things from hotels: keys (we had request for them too), guest cards, registration cards, pens and pencils, towels etc. Almost everything, that fits into suitcase…..

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New rules for check-in in Latvia

April 4, 2007 at 2:15 pm | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, law, news, travel | Leave a comment

Latvia`s government has accepted rules governing the movement of persons across borders: Schengen Borders Code. Rules come in force either on 5th or 11th of April (due to Easter break), but full Schengen rules come in force either in November or December. It means, that till autum hotels have time to adjust their reservation systems and reservation or guest cards, but they aren`t supposed to give over to police the information about foreigners.

So, from now on guests (foreigners, not Latvians) will be asked to give and hotels will need to gather and then give to police such information:

  • guest name, surname
  • date of birth, resident country, citizenship and its kind
  • what kind of travel document guest has, its serial number, issuing country and date, validity date
  • check-in/check-out date

Married couple has to fill only one declaration. Parents or attorneys will fill this declaration  instead of under-aged ones. For tourist groups declaration will fill the guide. To make check-in faster, I suppose, all hotels will strongly ask tourism companies to send in filled declaration upon arrival and then at check-in hotel will just make quick control if information is correct.

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Living lobby trend

March 27, 2007 at 10:04 am | Posted in Europe, guests, hotels, photo, trend | Leave a comment

Hotels have made rooms to become second homes and offices, but now they try to get guests out of their rooms and stay more in lobbies, order drinks, chat with friends and even hold business meetings. Lobbies become high tech living rooms.

In the last one year, several billions of dollars have been sunk by hotels into making over their lobbies to make guests stay there and even conduct their business, even as electronic gadgets that fast-track guests check-in into their rooms. [full article at eHotelier.com]

Hotels are trying to create livelier lobbies, which will give a competitive edge. They hope to generate more food and beverage sales by drawing guests out of their rooms, entertain friends and even hold business meetings.

Starwood Hotels have tagged their lobbies as living rooms, but Marriot International lobbies are now divided among zones that allow guests to work, meet and dine. Some hotels eliminate receptions or merge lobby with bar and restaurant. Free Internet access and beauty of the lobby attract even non-resident guests. With all that hotels try to make lobbies more lively, more like quests` living rooms at home.

Lobbies go from metal and glass modern friend`s hall:


[Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel, Paris]

to grandma`s guest room:

[Academy Town House Hotel, London]

Not sure, which one I like more…

Or maybe relax on one of these soft couches for cosmopolitan girls?

[Hotel Omm, Barcelona]

I think comfortable sofas or chairs, tables and quiet corners are must for lobbies to become live. Then comes appropriate lightning, drinks and snacks, newspapers and books and different high tech features. And don`t forget about good service. It`s still the most important thing in a hotel.

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Easy check-in?

March 22, 2007 at 9:12 am | Posted in guests, hotels, internet, Ireland | Leave a comment

One of The Snug co-authors complains about check-in/check-out in a hotel in Dublin where he is frequent guest.

I logged on tot he hotel’s website and began the registration process. Now, as a guest who has stayed here many times before, I was given no opportunity to log in and retrieve my personal details to save me wasting a few valuable minutes completing all the fields, instead I had to plod through each field, line by line to complete my reservation. Credit card details were entered and authorised and I duly received my confirmation email.

I was presented with a BLANK registration card to fill in all my contact details, home address etc….(bear in mind I had done this a few nights previously online..). As I handed back the completed card with difficulty, I was then asked for my credit card to authorise my stay.

All this might have been overlooked had it not been for the need on checkout to AGAIN produce credit card details from my wallet to pay the final bill, again laden down with bags, this was a visible effort and the staff made no attempt to assist with bags or manually type in the credit card details on file..after all, they had been given them twice already…

Sounds familiar? Hope not. It might be possible, that it`s not secure to keep reservation data in hotel homepage, but guest could be given some sort of client number which he could use on next reservation without a need to fill in all information again. It might ask for more work from hotel side, but guest would be more satisfied. OK, even if my idea is impossible, there is no excuse why to ask the guest to fill in contact details once again upon arrival and ask for credit card 3 times…It`s supposed to be a good practice for hotels NOT to ask contact details from returning guests, isn`t it?

Of, course it`s not possible for receptionist to remember all frequent guests by name or face, but that`s why we have those lovely reservation or client management systems or box with registration cards, where receptionist can look up if the guest has been here already. That`s what we do and it doesn`t take much time.

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Here is your key and here is your painter`s tape…

March 19, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Posted in guests, hotels, tips | Leave a comment

Such sentence you might hear from receptionist in a hotel where little babies aren`t frequent guests. OK, it`s more like joke, but who knows… Might be usefull. Especially if You read post from ParentHacks, which gives advice to parents how to babyproof their hotel room (mentioned in Lifehacker).

[….] we realized too late that our trip to China to pick up our son would have been much less stressful if it had included a roll of blue painter’s tape to childproof hotel electrical outlets and “lock” dresser drawers. It works just like duct tape, but is easy on hotel walls, furniture, and anything else you’d rather not leave permanently sticky.

Should I go and buy couple of blue painter`s tapes?

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Sir, your rat has gnawed 4 upper sheets….

March 19, 2007 at 11:19 am | Posted in guests, hotels, personal | Leave a comment

– Sir, your rat has gnawed 4 upper sheets and one pillowcase. Not even talking about dirty (with rat`s pee…) sheets.

– Yes…

– Do You want to see these items?

– No, I know.

– Do You agree to sign the statement and pay the damage?

– Yes (with smile). No problem.

– Please, look after your rat in future. It`s not pleasant situation.

– I`m used to it. Sheets are her favourite snack (with smile). And You can buy new sheets (meaning the money he`ll pay for the damage).

Gosh! Is he proud of this situation? His rat is big, really big and he feeds her with cornflakes and something yellow. No wonder sheets look like toilet paper after use…. He stays till the end of month I told to check carefully his room every single day.

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