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  1. Yes, I agree that safety must be a top priority.
  2. I fully understand that many visitors who come for extended periods of time would be looking for more economical accommodation and different facilities.
  3. Points taken thank you. No, it is not a college project and we have experience but this venture is a lot of money and we'd rather take some time and get less things wrong. Or at least not as wrong. My time on the ground looking at Pattaya based businesses (as well as those in other areas - there is really no discernible difference) has shown me time and time again that many businesses are poorly managed and what scant resources they have are underutilised. This surfaces as waste and often the owners or managers are too busy keeping the wolf from the door. As our proposed business will have significant competition, if we are able to reduce waste and more fully utilise our resources, then we hope to gain a competitive advantage. One way we thought could assist was in the booking process. In the end, the winner is the customer who hopefully gets a better product at a better price. I guess I didn't consider that Pattaya was so unique a destination that potential customers might not be interested in availing themselves of cheaper accommodation rates by forgoing some degree of flexibility in their booking. I find it quite common when booking hotels all over the world and as long as it is easy to understand, such as the Ibis / Accor + and - symbols, then I do not see where the issue lies. The choice would always remain with the customer. Reading this forum and indeed others, it seems some people want to have ultimate flexibility and in fact book rooms in multiple hotels and guest houses and simply do not cancel. They do not appear to think that is unfair or wrong and yet I bet they are the same people who complain when asked for deposits or to pay in advance for the peak season. If rooms are left unoccupied because someone just cancels and has no financial penalty, then the loss to the business is recouped through higher room rates all round. Flexibility can be offered whenever possible and as in hotel reward programmes, those who are regular patrons can be awarded greater flexibility as a reward for their past patronage. Mr Tom, I take your point that there would be no historical data for this business but that does not mean a yield management system could not be implemented. It would develop over time for sure but the objective is quite simple, to have a full house at prices which guests are happy paying and offering services which will have them booking again in the future. Thanks again for all the comments. Now back to school !
  4. One point which came up in discussions last week was how we price the rooms. I guess all the options are already familiar to most people what with various low, shoulder, high and peak seasons etc. and I'm taking it that everyone understands the economics of supply and demand. What I want you to think about is the use of yield management for room pricing. If you've used a budget airline such as Air Asia, then you know that many people pay different prices for the same flight on the same day. Outside of Bt1 offers etc. they have a cap and collar policy where fares cannot fall below a certain level and also cannot rise above a certain maximum. That is one model. Other models shift the parameters according to season and some have tight variations and others quite large differences between the top and bottom price. We would like your comments on using yield management to price the rooms. One problem with yield management is that you have to pay in advance and terms and conditions of the cheapest rooms are stricter the cheaper the rate. A reasonable example of this in practice is the Ibis or Accor hotel website and their plus or minus terms. Yield management also means that you would be faced with potential price changes for each day you stayed. Extending your stay would probably require booking at the current rate, which may be higher than the rate you could have booked at when you made your reservation. As I've said previously, we're floating ideas around at the moment which may or may not be incorporated. My gut feeling is that guys are worried about paying in advance for a number of reasons but I guess they do it in 100s of other areas on the net and don't bat an eyelid. There would of course be top end security and most likely you'd have to be Verified by Visa or have Mastercard Secure Code. Payment details are much farther down the line so don't worry about that too much and just think about the concept. As a customer, one benefit is that I can see where vacancies are available and all in real time. I would have a guaranteed booking either with flexibility to change or cancel or not, depending upon the rate chosen. Maybe it is too impersonal and manual bookings are what people want ? What is certain is that far too many people make bookings for multiple hotels and guest houses and then never cancel. That means lost business and pushes rates up. We'd rather manage things as efficiently as possible to keep costs down as far as possible. Nothing has been decided and does not have to be until we choose the software we intend to use. I think there are more positives than negatives but we really need your comments on this one. Straight up gut feelings about the idea please.
  5. Appreciate all the comments and thank you for your time. We know the Residence Garden and it does seem that many people like the room but not the location and then many state they do not use the pool but book it only because of the room. Others value location over all else whilst many comments on this thread talk about the room not being an issue over a certain minimum and there being no need for anything bar a kettle and some cups and tea/coffee. All interesting points, thanks.
  6. Yes, we fully understand. The ideal at this point in development will be live and guaranteed online bookings. We are looking at both managing this in house and also contracting it out to a specialist provider and no final decision will be taken for a while, leaving us ample time to take on board any suggestions and comments from prospective guests. I am actually very glad you brought this up as the process is not as easy as one would imagine. The real problems stem from people booking and not turning up. The size of the business does not allow for people to leave us with unsold rooms at the height of season, when they book but fail to turn up, without some form of compensation and yet, guests outside the top end hotels are reluctant to guarantee rooms with their credit card details. I am open to suggestions here but I would also like people to be able to book online and move on from the email and telephone booking system. Whatever system we end up with will be well thought out and the staff we employ will be competent enough to manage the booking system. We will certainly not be working with a notebook and pencil ! Please add your comments on how to give you the best booking service.
  7. To clarify, I think what we are trying to do is gauge how guests value things and perhaps whether they make a trade off. Everyone would choose a larger room were the price the same but on a daily basis, I wonder how much guests would be prepared to pay for space or how much of a discount they would need to receive to feel happy with a smaller space. Without being disrespectful, we are looking at a more coordinated approach than the Canterbury Tales in the pictures above, perhaps more akin to a boutique hotel but without the "boutique" price tag. For instance, there will be no chipboard wardrobes or mix and "maybe" match furniture and soft furnishings, but rather a constant theme you can only get when the whole concept is thought through from the beginning and products sourced to work well together. That sounds rather pretentious just reading it back, but rather than rewrite it, it just means that before we start, we know we'll be going to market for X this and X that which matches X of the other, where X is the number of rooms we have. It won't be like going to a jumble sale and buying what they have that week and ending up with a set of rooms where everything is hit and miss. The aim of the game is to keep the rooms full because rooms have a daily cost whether someone is staying there or not. At the end of the day it comes down to price per square meter and if the basic product is good enough to attract guests, then we want to know whether guests would prefer more space, on the understanding that more space means a higher rental rate. Conversely, some people may prefer a lower rental rate at the expense of space on the understanding that quality will not be compromised. I hoope we get some more comments and I thank you all for those received to date.
  8. Some great comments on the main thread but I wanted to ask a specific question here. In Bangkok and elsewhere in the world, there has been a trend over the last few years towards providing hotel rooms which are smaller but well appointed, well designed and well thought out. Gone are the standard square rooms which leave large spaces unused, but which do make the room feel more spacious. As everything, including room size, comes at a cost, I would like your specific opinions. I'm not looking at an Ibis type prefabricated bathroom and shower which although great for a cheap business hotel, is hardly conducive to a relaxed feeling so don't worry but I am looking more at the sleeping and living area. For this question, assume that the room is very well finished with all the appliances you need and all worries about those sort of things are catered for. What I want you to concentrate on is the choice of the 3 room types I post below, all of which would only be differentiated by size and furnishings in that extra space. Option 1 Basic room as expected. Corner table and chairs but no separate or additional lounge space. Effectively, watching TV would be done from sitting on the bed. Some floor space adding to the spaciousness of the room. Option 2 As Option 1 only the room has been specifically designed to reduce floor space wastage. You lose nothing from Option 1 except some floor space. Option 3 A more spacious room than Option 2 with the addition of a lounge seated area and a kitchenette with sink, microwave, plates, cutlery, etc. There would probably only be one TV but it would be designed so that the TV could be watched from the seating area. It is envisaged that the seating area would be comfortable and spacious enough to be the main daytime focal point of the room, whether for eating or relaxing. The extra space would come from a better designed room, rather than just simply extra external dimensions. For simplistic comparison lets price Option 1 at Bt1000. This is not a price level but it gives a round number. Bearing everything in mind, how much of a reduction would you think there should be in the price of Option 2 to compensate for the reduced but wasted floor space and how much would you pay extra for the additional kitchenette facilities of Option 3 and the extra living space and furniture ? There is no right or wrong answer and it might be that we do not have too much influence over the eventual room shapes and sizes but to put it quite simply, there is no point to put in facilities which cost more than the guest is prepared to pay extra for. Our basic product has to be right but size does matter to some people whilst others prefer quality. We are guaranteeing quality, so we are only looking at the prospective guest's desire for space and extra facilities versus price. It has not been costed out so I have no preconceptions. Please try to be as honest as possible. Thanks.
  9. Thanks a lot for the great response. Some items there which we had dealt with such as how simple it is to have hot water available at every water outlet (except the toilet of course !). Multipoint heaters will be the order of the day which will serve all showers and mixer taps. I don't like shaving in cold water either ! I thought it great that most of the comments seem to understand the trade off between the price and what you can have and the location. The balance for us and it is a difficult balance I will admit, is to make sure that most people use most of the services that they are paying for. No point really to have a pool for instance (though I love one) if it means losing so much else and still impacts the rate. Just picking a few more, though I've taken them all down and we'll go through each one., but the wifi issue seems a biggie. Hardwiring Cat 5/6 ethernet cabling is probable because of the technology delivery. No point having a thin pipe when the guy shitting on the pot puts out more and more as time goes on. You would just be building in obsolescence and fixing that costs money, which in this case, means no guests while you rip out the cabling so no, all cabling will be as future proof as we can reasonably envisage without going overboard. Free ? of course. You might hang around and buy something from us ! Issues with noise, blackout curtains, double glazing etc. are all on the books but the solutions will be specific to the building and whether we are looking at a retrofit scenario or from the ground build up. All staff quality issues from front of house through service to maintenance and security and particularly not forgetting the cleaners will be addressed as a breakdown in communication can spoil your day. From my experience, I never saw why you either had 24 hour housekeeping in 5* places or severely limited housekeeping in guest houses. For sure, the people cleaning at 6am cannot be the same ones working at say 8pm and whilst there has to be a cut off somewhere, those timings have to fit in with the likely requirements of the guests. Not much good having staff clock off at 5pm, just when you are thinking about going back for a shower before heading out for the night is it ? Things like guests and ID cards is taken for granted as is 24 hour security. The same goes with the mini bar. It has to be priced so that you'll use it and not just dump the contents on the floor but if you'd rather it was cleared, then so be it. It is our job to make you feel comfortable enough to use it without worry. The way we look at it is we know you understand that you can't have everything you want for a price you'd like to pay, so there has to be compromise. Now we could do things as we see them and make the decisions ourselves as to where those compromises should be made or we could try and act a little bit clever and ask the potential customers what they value and what they don't think is a high enough priority. Please keep the comments coming in but just a final thought for now which maybe you can throw some light on. Just what is the idea of changing the sheets every few days ? and what is this practice of taking the bottom sheet and making it the top sheet for the next day ? Sort of makes it alright to sleep in dirt as long as it is on top of you but not underneath or something ?
  10. Well, the funding is in place and a few locations have been checked out but we're still going through our options and we'd like to get some input from you guys, as you are our target market. We need your bums on our seats (well, beds actually) so instead of doing a Henry Ford and telling you what you were going to get, we thought we would actually listen to the people who will vote with their wallets because if we cannot attract them or even worse, cannot retain them as patrons, then we shouldn't be doing this. I'd love to give you the Marriott for Bt1000 a day but we all know that is not possible. So what is possible ? Well, in terms of what you want inside the rooms, pretty much anything. In terms of what you'd like in the general areas, then unless we were to go outside Pattaya, the costs of buying the land needed would mean the ideas of swimming pools and gardens are out and we're looking at a city hotel or if you prefer, guest house, pension or apartments. That means a more convenient location but a more compact business. The angle we want to come at this from is not asking you to choose between this facility or that amenity but to get a feeling of what you would feel happy paying for and what would turn you off if it was included and you thought that the price was a little too high because we provided amenities which you weren't happy to pay for. It is like trying to fix the feeling of thinking about whether to stay in a 5* hotel but realising that even if you stretch to the rate, you are really paying for all kinds of things which you will never use For the fellow Europeans on here, we've no desire to go down the Ryanair route and say ok, it is Bt200 for the room, the bed will be another Bt100, sheets Bt50 each, floor tiles are Bt10 each and the toilet is Bt50 a go etc. etc. However, we realise that in the modern world and in particular in these economic times, everyone is trimming their cloth and we are lucky that we can adapt our business model to the new world as we see it, where value for money is the order of the day. We're going to come back later and put together the findings from this and other market research and hopefully try and get the right product at the right price. So instead of listing items which you could say yes or no to, we thought we'd start with an open forum where you can suggest anything you'd like and equally, tell us about things which you feel are just not worth paying for and not to bother including. Everyone has their own special wants and desires and here is the chance to see if we can incorporate some of them in our new business. Just to start you off, we've a list of items which we think we'd like to see. Please add yours, scratch some off if you wish. Be honest. General Low noise remote control air conditioning Built in furniture including more than ample storage Large size electronic safety box Large LCD TV (likely 42") Complimentary DVD and integrated stereo system All rooms will be no smoking though guests will be able to smoke on all balconies Bathroom Walk in separate shower. Not a cubicle but purpose built behind a wall with ample dimensions Jacuzzi bath with seating area (may not be in all rooms) Enclosed WC High quality Egyptian cotton towels including oversized bath towels Complimentary quality toiletries and decent toilet tissue ! Quality dressing gowns Bedding High quality hotel standard king size bed and mattress High thread count soft feel bed linen Potential of duvet (washed per schedule and per guest) as opposed to regular blankets Services Bed linen changed daily Towels changed daily Room service Free wireless and hard wired broadband internet 24/7 Minimum Sophon cable or equivalent, potential UBC (working on prices for that) Potential of complimentary in house laundry for guests (X pieces per day etc.) Discounts on bar spend Loyalty scheme for repeat guests Now you may be asking what all this is likely to cost ? Well, we would rather have a popular business than high prices. We are looking at below Bt1000 a night before discounts for advance bookings and repeat guests. So over to you and please give us your feedback. What we hope to do is to see what people value and what they do not. Put very simply, we'd love to eventually know just how much you value something so tell us what you value and then we'll come back and try and work out just how much of a value you would put on that. Perhaps you'd pay Bt50 a day extra for a jacuzzi but not Bt100 a day extra for example. Many thanks
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