Tourism Unit 2: Introduction to Hotels Part 2

Listen to the recording as you read the text. Then complete the activities.

Chain Hotels:
When choosing a hotel for a longer stay or a vacation abroad, many people look first to those with the most famous names. Whatever country you live in, the brand names Hilton, Radisson, Best Western, Marriott, or Ritz Carlton, for example, are likely to be familiar. Often starting with just one hotel, each of these companies have invested in other properties, to create a chain of hotels.

Although they may be located in many different countries, the main feature of these chain hotels is that each hotel (of the same name) can be expected to offer the same level of comfort and hospitality. For many guests, the hotel name alone is enough to convince them to make a booking.

Resort Hotels:
Of course, even a great name is not enough if a hotel is not in the right location!

Resort Hotels are so called because they cater to people who want to stay in popular holiday destinations. Traditionally, the seaside and the mountains are preferred locations. Coastal towns and mountain villages in many countries were known as 'resorts' long before the big hotels moved in, but sometimes it is the arrival of one of the larger, well known hotels that indicates the development of a new resort. The hotel itself then becomes the main center of activity, providing all the facilities, entertainment and home comforts a guest desires, with no need to venture outside the hotel grounds at all.

Typically, a resort hotel will contain a selection of different room types of varying prices. The cost of a room will depend on such things as its size and the number of beds it contains, as well as the time of year (the holiday season) and the number of consecutive nights booked. Many resort hotels offer package deals, where prices might also include all food and soft drinks taken over the course of a guest's stay.

The better and higher rated (four and five star) hotels generally offer rooms containing all the necessary amenities, such as television, mini-bar, safe, ironing board, hair dryer, bath robes and complimentary toiletries. Room service allows guests to take meals in their rooms, if they choose. Shared facilities are likely to include swimming pools, restaurants and bars. Luxury brand Resort and Spa hotels will also have fitness and spa treatment centers, offering a variety of (sometimes very exotic!) treatments, all either at an extra charge or included as part of a 'package'.

Business and Conference Hotels:
Business and Conference Hotels (as you might have guessed!) are those that have been designed with business clients in mind. They are often located in designated business areas of large cities, with easy access to exhibition centers and city transport links. The main function of business and conference hotels is the provision of all the services and facilities related to the carrying on of 'business as usual', whilst key corporate executives and their staff are away from their regular workplace.

The growth of global business has led to an increasing demand from corporate clients for accommodation tailored specifically to the needs of busy executives and management teams. Large corporations often choose to hold their annual general meetings, or stage training sessions or exhibitions in locations that are convenient and accessible to large numbers of national and international company employees. Business and Conference hotels are expected to satisfy both the work and the leisure needs of their guests for the duration of such events.

Rooms in this type of hotel are designed with businessmen and women in mind and always provide, along with all the expected comforts, work areas with office supplies and wi-fi connections. Common areas in these hotels are likely to include large meeting rooms, with all the latest audio-visual technology installed, staffed office spaces for the sending and receiving of faxes, or for photocopying and distribution of documents, as well as access to external courier services, such as FedEx, UPS or DHL.

Other facilities and services include: banquet halls for large formal dinners, provision of snacks during breaks in meetings, and the availability of fully equipped fitness centers – in which business guests may burn off excess calories from the previous day's 'Informal Business Lunch'.

Business and conference hotels depend, more than any other hotel type, on establishing ongoing relationships with their clients and are often fully booked, well ahead of important local exhibitions and Trade Fairs. Such events can fill even the largest of cities to bursting point, and make the finding of even a single hotel room a virtual impossibility.

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