The Apex City of Bath is taking the hotel group’s signature warm welcome to the next level, with a pledge to ensure front of house teams greet hotel visitors in their native tongue.
Concierge and reception staff, among others, at the James Street West hotel are learning key phrases in at least 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among Apex guests, including Mandarin, Portuguese and Italian.
The move comes as Apex Hotels rolls out the #WarmerWelcome campaign across its 10-strong portfolio, putting a stronger emphasis than ever on guest wellbeing.
The family-owned hotel chain is introducing a range of new features after surveying more than 2,500 customers to find out what the phrase ‘warmer welcome’ means to them.
Almost half (49%) associated it with being greeted in their own language when travelling, prompting the move to equip staff with new language skills.
Angela Vickers, Chief Executive Officer, Apex Hotels Limited said: “Apex Hotels is, first and foremost, a family business that was founded on the concept of giving guests the warmest welcome possible – making them feel like they are at home away from home when staying at any of our hotels.
“Bath’s new Visitor Information Centre is anticipating half a million visitors this year and it’s safe to assume international visitors will account for a significant number given the city’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spa city. So we want to pull out all the stops to make visitors from both home and abroad feel special.
“Our research shows that we’re already doing a lot of things right, but we wanted to take the guest experience to the next level across the portfolio by making small changes that can make a world of difference.
“Our survey has really helped us shape our offering – making sure our staff are well-versed in more than 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among our guests is just the start.”
In Bath alone a third of customers (33%) said a hot drink was also high on the list of things associated with a warm welcome while 8% opted for a hot drink and, in true Bath spirit, 7% chose a warm bath.
Almost half (45%) also said they would like hotels to help them relax and unwind in order to aid their own personal health and wellbeing journeys.
The survey gave real insight into the overall UK perceptions on the impact of travelling – 33% of the UK’s 2,500+ respondents revealed they struggle to sleep when staying at a hotel.
Meanwhile 42% said they would find it beneficial for hotels to help them keep their usual morning and evening routines.
More than a fifth said Apex could add value to their personal health and wellbeing journeys by helping them sleep better, while 14% said they’d like assistance in sticking to a healthy eating regime.
In response to this, the family-owned hotel group now has created bespoke, in-room guide books created by Apex’s own wellbeing ambassador Celynn Morin – a dietitian, wellbeing expert, speaker and author – providing tips on everything from getting a great sleep, to breathing exercises to aid relaxation. Copies of the book are being given to all guests.
Celynn has also produced an exclusive series of five podcasts with tips on mindfulness, SMART snacking, movement and sleeping well.
Guests also had thoughts on their top hotel ‘must-haves’ – with a comfortable bed and selection of pillows coming out on top (43%), followed by friendly staff and helpful concierge (20.72%) and free high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room entertainment (19.46%).
All Apex Hotels offer high-quality bedding and a selection of pillows to guests, as well as concierge service, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and Sky TV including sports, movies and kids’ channels.
Of those who said they attend hotels as conference and event delegates, almost two-thirds (60.6%) said ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ when asked if they believe hotels do enough to ensure they stay alert and focused throughout conference sessions.