As a boutique hotel owner it can be hard to know if you've managed to achieve the best possible room rate to maximise your return on your hotel while also making sure your customers come back fo future vists. Here are our tips to making sure you've got your pricing right.
Check your availability
The first and probably most important indication of whether your prices are right is whether you achieve maximum occupancy. If you are consistently at capacity and turning people away you may be able to lift your rates to raise your profitability. If you are worried about offending loyal customers you can raise prises seasonally by small amount and break the impact up over a year.
If you find that you have excess capacity at some times but not others you may want to introduce a staggered peak and off peak pricing system. Other options in boutique accomodation are to offer different prices for different rooms, particularly if they have different themes or facilities.
Check the competition's room rates
Start by doing an online review of your competition's room rates, followed up by a review of the facilities they offer in person. Check the rooms, food and beverage facilities and health facilities offered by nearby hotels and compare these to your services so you can see what is popular in the local market.
It can be worth spending a night at the competition to see what aspects of service they are doing very successfully and which don't work as well. This will help guide your marketing efforts by seeing what your strongest suites are (pun intended) and may give your some new ideas for your service.
Package your accomodation with other services
One of the drivers of consumers using boutique hotels over chain hotels is the desire to support small, local businesses. Work with local restaurants, shops and entertainment options to provide discounts and special packages such as "Foodie's weekend getway", "Shopper paradise short break" and "Terrific Theatre".
Reward loyal customers
Not all loyalty programs need to include free nights of accomodation. Other benefits such as late checkouts and free breakfasts can be offered at a much lower cost to the hotel owner than the perceived benefit to the customer.
Don't be afraid to make your loyalty program a little quirky either—people love a little personality in boutique accomodation. A retro hotel could offer customers vintage style pens to take home, and a hotel based in an old quarry could give everyone a pet rock. You could come up with several ideas to reward your customers and you could poll them to find out which idea will reward loyal customers or create new ones.