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How to increase hotel room bookings for Valentine’s Day

  Posted in How to

Make Valentine’s Day a success at your hotel this year

It’s the time of year again when love is on everyone’s mind. Thoughts of chocolates, red roses and ‘happily ever afters’ swirl around in our brains, and hotel stays abound.

Valentine’s Day is a rare period of opportunity for your hotel; when guests may come from the local neighbourhood or from across the world (unfortunately not the case while we are still faced with the COVID-19 pandemic). Short-term and last-minute bookings will explode and the chance to earn revenue from packages and deals will be especially lucrative for regions that are free of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Travel is the ultimate indulgence for long-term relationships and is often an important milestone in a fledgling relationship, and a hotel stay is an exciting event for guests who are exploring where their feelings will take them.

So it’s the perfect time for your hotel to create romantic, unforgettable Valentine’s Day experiences to offer guests who are hungry to escape the day-to-day and celebrate with a significant other.

In case you need some inspiration, this blog will give you all the creative ideas and strategies you need.

Table of contents

Effective hotel packages

Romantic hotel packages to set the mood on Valentine’s Day

Staging your rooms on Valentine’s Day night will go a long way toward making the night as perfect as possible for your guests. However romance is not the same for everyone and not all guests will want the same experience, which is why you need a diverse range of room packages to offer.

Some couples enjoy a traditional approach, others are more..adventurous, while some simply want to relax as much as they can. It’s important to think carefully about how to play to the strengths of your property and also how you can utilise other local businesses and locations.

Consider some of the following ideas for your room packages:

  • Traditional
    A basic setup might include rose petals adorning the bed, two glasses of champagne waiting, chocolates and fruit, with breakfast in bed delivered in the morning.
  • Decadent
    Ideas for a relaxing experience might see a his and hers spa day, a couple’s massage, and a full five-course candlelit dinner at your hotel restaurant.
  • Experiences
    Some couples are more on the active side and may want to get involved in activities in the outdoors such as surfing/skiing lessons, rock climbing and abseiling, or horseback riding.
  • Something different
    Often it can be fun and romantic to learn together..right? Well some people think so, and you can encourage this by offering painting or pottery classes, cocktail making, cooking classes, chocolate making.
  • Frisky
    Those who want to truly display their love for each other could be given a bottle of champagne, massage oil, scented candles, and contraceptives.
  • Big spenders
    If your hotel caters to the more wealthy, let them indulge by offering packages that may include a sunset cruise, personal serenade, or helicopter ride around nearby sights.
  • Galentines
    Not all are lucky in love, not all want to be. Make sure you don’t leave out travelling friends when preparing for Valentine’s Day. Tailoring these around sightseeing and nearby attractions is the way to go.
  • Social event
    To get everyone in the mood for celebrating, you could take the love out of your rooms and host a party for all to enjoy, providing they purchase a ticket with their stay. Use your bar and restaurant to advantage, create a theme, and even hire local musicians to perform.

No matter what shape or size your hotel may be, there are always creative ways to create excitement for guests on Valentine’s Day.

Best practices for hotels during Valentine’s Day

It’s one thing to have the perfect packages in place for your loved-up guests but you have to make sure you shout it from the rooftops and let them know your hotel is the place to be for their special evening or weekend.

Here’s how to market Valentine’s Day at your hotel and make it a profitable time of year.

1. Run a Valentine’s Day hotel campaign
Targeted emails, dedicated event pages on your website, and themed social media posts will help your hotel catch attention as couples are making their plans each year. This is the perfect time to offer exclusive deals to past guests or guests who regularly stay with you, as well as introductory discounts for guests who have never stayed before. You could even run some competitions with romance-inducing prizes.

Here are some examples to take a look at.

2. Use imagery on social media
We know that images on Facebook already receive more engagement than those without, but when it comes to events like Valentine’s Day it’s even more important. Couples will want to be inspired by your marketing, they’ll want to picture themselves enjoying a romantic evening at your hotel. Without images, they can’t do this. It’s a good idea to take new photos of your property, rooms, and amenities showcasing what you have to offer those celebrating the season of love. Set up spaces specifically for this purpose so you can win as many bookings as possible.

3. Encourage sharing and feedback
Nothing lights up social media quite like Valentine’s Day. When people are happy and celebrating they want to show the world. Use your guests for some free advertising by making it easy for them to tag your hotel and use specific hashtags on their photos or uploaded Instagram stories. Be as attentive and personal as possible during their stay, so that when you ask them to leave a review on sites like TripAdvisor, they’ll be more likely to do so, and in a positive manner. Positive reviews are the lifeblood of a business and it’s the kind of word of mouth that will sway new guests to stay with you.

4. Boost social engagement and sharing with music
Romance and music go hand in hand; every couple has ‘their song’ and everyone likes to use music as a mood setter. So why don’t you create playlists to go along with your rooms or packages and share these on social media, asking guests to add songs that fit with each different offering. Then when they book a stay, the playlist will be playing for them when they arrive at their room, including songs they specifically requested.

5. Find the way to guests’ hearts through their stomachs
Romance and food also have a very close relationship. Most couples bond over a meal when forming a relationship so eating a meal together is very important for Valentine’s Day. At this time of year think about changing up your menus to add a special touch and convince potential customers they can’t miss out on limited time items.

6. Use an app to provide better service and capitalise on upselling opportunities
By enabling guests to use an app you can provide better room service, sending and receiving instant notifications to fulfil requests or offer additional products or services. Once guests are in your hotel, it can be easier to sway them to indulge a little further with extra food, drinks, and entertainment. If you haven’t got your own app, there are plenty of providers you can use for the job. Go check out SiteMinder’s Hotel App Store.

How can your hotel stand out on Valentine’s Day?

Granted, every competitor will be promoting Valentine’s Day specials and packages. So how do you manage to win your fair share of the bookings?

It’s important to play to the strengths of your business and make those clear alongside the themed promotions you’re already running. For instance, some guests may be looking for an amazingly romantic night but they also want convenience. If your hotel is super close to transport, local restaurants, and attractions, make  sure you maintain that messaging in your Valentine’s Day marketing. The same applies to guests looking for a true romantic getaway and your hotel can offer an escape and digital detox.

You also need to ensure your guests are excited by what you’re offering. In your marketing, don’t stop at offering your products and services, let them know why they’re so special and why the guests will love it. If you make them a promise of quality most are willing to trust you, until you give them a reason not to, so be sure to follow through on your pledges of top tier experiences.

Should your hotel market to singles on Valentine’s Day?

Yes, you should never turn away a potential guest by making everything about couples. There are still ways you can create an enjoyable experience for solo travellers at this time of year.

Fun ideas could include:

  • Holding a speed dating event in your bar
  • Giving solo diners a free drink when they eat at your restaurant
  • Hosting a movie night
  • Hosting a comedy night
  • Offering ‘off the grid’ hiking adventures via local guides
  • Selling deals that include tickets to attractions like zoos or museums

Some travellers relish the freedom that going solo brings so it’s important to cater to them, even when it seems the rest of the world is cuddled up in bed.

How to manage hotel reservations during Valentine’s Day (and keep your hotel booked throughout the year)

It’s critical that you have a plan in place to manage your reservations both in times of high demand when admin is a challenge, and during low periods when attracting extra bookings is difficult.

Hotel software can be very useful in both cases, especially a hotel channel manager and online booking engine. With technology products such as these you’ll be able to manage your business more efficiently, acquire more guests, and make the most of all revenue opportunities.

A channel manager will help you advertise your hotel rooms on as many travel sites as you want, with no extra effort required on your part. Reservations will be managed automatically, and your inventory updated instantly whenever you receive a booking. This will dramatically increase your online visibility but also reduce the chance of clerical errors or double bookings.

An online booking engine will enable you to take direct, commission-free, bookings on your own website and social media channels. You can also manage detailed guest profiles, make personalised offers, and create your deals and promotions to entice guests to your hotel.

Key takeaways

  • Romance is not the same for everyone and not all guests will want the same experience, which is why you need a diverse range of room packages to offer
  • It’s important to think carefully about how to play to the strengths of your property and also how you can utilise other local businesses and locations
  • Run campaigns, use imagery, encourage engagement, and keep guests excited
  • Don’t forget about solo travellers on Valentine’s Day
  • Use hotel software to make your business more efficient and more profitable

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