I am surprised by the number of hotel and revenue managers that are still trying to market themselves by selling standard rooms. What is so special about that ‘Standard Room’ that it will persuade potential guests to buy? How is one standard room different from a standard room in another hotel?

Where has our creativity gone? Have we forgotten that we have to differentiate ourselves from the competition? I am sure we all agree that asking someone to pay €100 to €200 for something ‘STANDARD’ is not very convincing.

It is probably a legacy from the hotel GDS systems we are dealing with. Room names deviate from the GDS room type coding like C2T, B1D or D2C.

And how about that double or triple room, doesn’t it sound exciting? How come we are putting occupancy into the name? Doesn’t this get filtered when you put the number of people into the hotel reservation system?

Funny enough hotel meeting and conference rooms have been given some more creative attention. They have been given names of painters like Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso or Rembrandt. Or city names like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Berlin are being used.

But why oh why aren’t we trying to do a better job at positioning our hotel rooms? Don’t we want to sell them and put heads in beds? You have 30 characters at your disposal in the GDS and about 40 on most hotel booking engines. Use this space!

We have been preaching this issue at many of more than 200 hotel training courses over the last 3 years and are happy we have seen some results. The Hotel de Roode Leeuw in Amsterdam has uses names like ‘Comfort Room and ‘Budget Room’. The Berns Hotel in Stockholm has the following original room types: extra small, small, medium, large, large with balcony and extra large. Qbic Hotels calls their rooms a ‘Cubi’ after their cubicle shape furniture unit.

Most chains start simply at Classic or Deluxe and go up from there. W Hotels uses creative names like ‘Cozy’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘Mega’, ‘Fabulous’, ‘Fantastic’, ‘Cool’, ‘Spectacular’, ‘Marvelous’, ‘Wow’, and ‘Extreme’. I would like to sleep in one for those rooms…

It seems design hotels and boutique hotels have been much more original. Maybe other hotels should simply follow their example.

Be different, be daring. Sell experience! A great word by the way. Why not call a room for a hotel in London the Chelsea or Piccadilly Experience? Simple, right? And why not call multiple occupancy rooms, Family Room? In the end that is the target market, right?

Remember if you stand out, you will more likely to be chosen. Differentiate yourself, not only on your hotel website, but also on OTA’s and GDS.

Hopefully in a few weeks we will see those standard rooms replaced by some more appetizing and exciting names.