As hoteliers refresh their focus on understanding guest behaviour, it’s time to look at hotels through the customer’s eyes. For the general manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Janet Fitzner, cleanliness, noise and location are what most concern her as a guest
How do you book a hotel? (travel agent, direct phone call, direct email, online, mobile etc.)
Mostly I book my stays through the hotel website, which allows me to explore the hotel’s facilities and photo gallery tours.
When was the last time you used a travel agent for personal travel?
I always booked my personal travel on my own, or through my close friends that I was travelling with.
Front desk or self-service kiosk - which one do you approach for check-in?
Front desk because I like the personal service and warm welcome. If I am going for a business trip for a one- or two-night’s stay I don’t mind using a self-service kiosk.
What’s the first thing you do when you enter your hotel room?
I always search for a window to see the view, and then I switch the TV on and check the internet connection.
What would you prefer to have in your room - an espresso machine or kettle and fine teas?
An espresso machine for the morning coffee!
What could you live without - in-room robe and slippers, or guest toiletries?
Guest bathroom toiletries.
What’s worse - no spa or no bar?
I would say no bar - a place to meet up with friends and colleagues.
How much would you be willing to pay to use the internet in a hotel?
I would say not more than EUR 15 (US $19.7) per day.
How long do you wait for room service before calling to chase it?
It depends on how long they said it would take. Ten minutes after the promised delivery time, I would pick up the phone.
What item do you always hope to find on the in-room dining menu?
That would be a nice salad and tomato soup. I also look at the chocolate cake and ice-cream selection.
What are you most likely to complain about in a hotel?
Cleanliness would be number one.
What will make you recommend a hotel to a friend?
Location, hotel facilities, restaurant selection, food quality and service.
What’s your hotel pet peeve?
Location if it is not as promised and the noise.
What’s your favourite holiday memory?
Sailing with friends from Thailand to Malaysia. We went island hopping and explored the unsurpassed nature and food delicacies of Thailand.
What’s your best business travel experience and why?
I look forward to meeting colleagues and friends from different parts of the world.
Which holiday experience would you rather forget and why?
It was several years ago, a trip to Barcelona. I booked a bad hotel and was robbed in the bar.
Have you ever checked out of a hotel early because it was so bad?
Yes I have. The room was too small and the bathroom was not clean.
How many hours could you cope without your Blackberry/iPhone on holiday?
Not more than 24 hours.
If you weren’t a hotelier, what would you be?
Most probably I would be an artist or a partner in a consulting company.
Tell us one thing your team don’t know about you?
Even though I live in one of the best shopping destinations in the world I don’t really like shopping malls.