Village Hotels launches new 'UpperDeck' rooms
20 April 2012 14:19:20 GMT
Village Hotels' new CEO Robert Cook has revealed a new room concept, introduced at properties in Chester, Solihull and Swansea ahead of its rollout across the entire estate.
Just three months into his new role as CEO of De Vere VILLAGE hotels, Robert B. Cook has unveiled his first project to improve the customer experience and increase profitability.
The initiative is the unveiling of UpperDeck™, an all-new superior room type. Unveiled this week at Chester St Davids, Solihull and Swansea, Cook is embarking on a rollout of 20 rooms per property across the estate by September 2012: approximately 300 rooms in total.
The new rooms have been designed by Greyline Design, who previously worked on De Vere properties Cameron House, Oulton Hall and Slaley Hall.
The rollout comes as VILLAGE confirms that it has been trading strongly during the downturn. With this outperformance, Village has the opportunity to expand the estate and grow profitability through a double offensive of a new build programme of signature ‘Black Boxes’ as well as the the roll out of UpperDeck™ superior rooms right across the existing VILLAGE estate.
With an established strong midweek occupancy and solid leisure accommodation base, VILLAGE’s growth strategy has been devised to both leverage its high occupancy and competitive pricing levels without cannibalizing its existing customer base.
In what observers are describing as a “canny” move, VILLAGE has seized the opportunity to embed a new room category across approximately 20% of the bed stock giving it a massive advantage to maximise its midweek successes.
Says Robert Cook: ”Across the industry, and even before the economic downturn, we saw the downgrading of the upgraded status, especially in the midmarket segment. Cost cutting to improve profitability or just to keep your head above water has in most cases has prompted the stripping back of the basics in room amenities. Meanwhile, the sector is not seeing much by way of new investment and little is on the horizon.
“So, with all the benefits that already come with staying at a VILLAGE hotel I could see a great opportunity to offer, to both corporate and leisure guests alike, a must-have upgrade that has real benefits, both during the stay and for another three months afterwards if they maximise the benefits of the UpperDeckClub™ website. Through UpperDeck™ I can give an enhanced customer experience and more room product choice whilst still driving ARR and profitability.”
The result is a niche product that will stand out amongst the competitive landscape:
• The sleep experience in UpperDeck™ rivals 5-star operators: the SweetDreams™ bed is a hybrid of a Sealy Palatial Crest™ bed with luxury mattress topper and Egyptian cotton linens
• UpperDeck™ guests get the full Sky™ entertainment package including Sky Movies™, not just Freeview™
• All rooms have Bose sound docks to deliver guests’ personal entertainment
• The Starbucks experience is extended to the bedrooms with a Starbucks hospitality tray in-room
• And, the icing on the cake: access to the UpperDeckClub for up to three months after your stay for guests to buy partner products at specially negotiated prices and benefit from exclusive offers from great British brands including luggage from Antler and spa products from Espa
Cook concludes: “I’ve always thought that the real potential of VILLAGE was waiting to be realised. I also believe that every weekday night away from home is begrudged so it must be as good as, if not better than, staying at home. What I want to achieve in UpperDeck™ epitomises my hospitality philosophy: great service, great rooms and, above all, an amazing stay."