LUX Hotel & Spa Awards 2016

LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 7 “We make our first impression count because it can set the tone for the entire stay and the guest’s experience”, explains Arlene Nazaré. “As we so often hear, ‘you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.’ Whether it’s over the phone or in-person, a genuine smile and a professional tone are the beginning of a warm and friendly service. We create an emotional connection with our guests. “We are dedicated to our guests and we do everything for their visit to be a success. We work hard to ensure that all our guests’ wants and needs are met and most of all exceeded. And this goes beyond a clean bed and healthy meals. We offer authentic experiences and unique memories for guests to take home, whether it’s a honeymoon, a wedding, a corporate event or a family holiday. Our main practice is O2O marketing to achieve a personal relationship with guests in order to know them enough to offer the most appropriate type of goods and services.” At the forefront of this goal, Arlene says, lie the hotel staff. As the first point of contact for customers, their role in delivering the hotel’s vision is essential. “Successful hotels are made of people. Leadership and teamwork ability are the successful keys. By sharing the vision and company’s mission, goals and results, our staff has an important role on decision making. This way, the staff is motivated to be involved with the firm’s aims not only with customer relations, but also with the surrounding community at a social and environmental level.” In order to build upon this rapport with new and returning clients, the Hotel do Canal also takes advantage of their location in Horta to promote a connection with visitors and tourists. “The city of Horta is linked to the history of the Atlantic voyages: the Clippers from Pan American World Airways, whaling and yachtsmen chasing the dream of traveling around the world. Hotel do Canal’s atmosphere mirrors this real and authentic storytelling. “We also promote a greater Hotel relationship with Faial’s population where our restaurant has a key role. Clipper Restaurant embodies the image that we have of ourselves: creative individuals. “Still, we develop and build educational projects and an ethical culture in the company. We develop actions to protect the natural environment. We are involved in social projects in the community and we implement personnel policies based on evaluation, training and workers’ welfare. We also promote and defend consumers’ rights.” In addition to this, wider challenges involving the dynamic tourist industry require even more dynamic solutions. “The first year of the presence of low cost airlines in the Azores in 2015 placed the region on a trending curve,” Arlene clarifies. “I believe that Best Boutique Hotel – Portugal & LUX Location Award for Best Panoramic Views Hotel do Canal, part of the Bensaude Hotels Collection, is located on the ocean front of Horta, Faial Island, with breathtaking views over the city bay and Pico Mountain. With the support of a friend- ly professional team, whether a client is traveling on business or on vacation, it is the best choice to relax and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful Azores Islands of Faial, Pico and S. Jorge. we must continue working to keep the destination’s notoriety with qualified and sustainable development in the tourism sector. “Other concerns such as the preservation of the environment and the development of tourism as a promotional tool for the regional economy of the Islands are very important to position the Azores as a unique destination of exuberant nature and to improve the competitiveness of the destination and increase tourist flow.” These efforts to establish a connection with the clientele also means incorporating technology that helps customers feel more at ease. Technology is particular is one way to enhance customers’ options, and Arlene explains how they are able to turn this to their advantage. “We make it easy for customers to communicate with us. This means providing customers with an easy-to-find email address and phone number and social media links (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Newsletters, Google Hotel Finder, Bensaude Hotels website, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram among others). We also capture customer feedback in real time. “Our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) manages the Hotel interaction with current and future customers. The CRM approach improves business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention. By compiling information from a range of different communication channels, we learn more about our target audiences and how to best fulfill their needs.” This forward-thinking strategy has enabled the staff at Hotel do Canal to realize trends among their clientele, and how best to respond to them. “New values are influencing their behavior, in search of authentic experiences because they want to not only meet their needs but mainly to satisfy their wishes.” It is in this ever-changing environment that the Bensaude Hotels Collection responds to these expectations. “To remain in a constantly changing market, our key strategy is to maintain quality. Above all, the online reviews are the most valuable for they enable us to meet our guest’s needs thus encouraging all of us to fulfill our duties in the best of our abilities. We literally take care of people and they take care of us with valuable source of feedback that makes our team improve each day.” These factors give Arlene tremendous hope for the future, expressing future ambitions not only for the hotel, but for the wider Hotel Collection group. “The hoteliers are innovators by passion; this is the best part of this industry and what makes it fun and enjoyable. We have a very ambitious goal, which is to create a typical Faial Island dish with products produced only on this Island. There is a long way to go, but the team is committed to creating something unique and different from the Azores Islands.” Company: Hotel do Canal, Bensaude Hotels Email: hoteldocanal@ Phone: + 351 292 202 120 Web Address: Address: Largo Dr. Manuel de Arriaga, 9900-026 Horta, Azores, Portugal