How will Tewkesbury Park raise the quality of hospitality?

By: April 13, 2018

The renowned Tewkesbury Park went through a two-year, £9m facelift. The owners claim that the 93-room luxury hotel, spa, and golf course now offers the complete golf break with outstanding accommodation.

From now on we can choose from six brand-new historic suites each offering five-star levels of opulence, detail and traditional quality rarely found in English golf hotels.

We will find also three other individually-designed ‘Indulgence’ rooms can also be found in the 18th Century manor house, and the remainder of Tewkesbury Park’s bedrooms now offer a minimum of four-star style, comfort, and interiors – with superb Hypnos beds in every room.

Tewkesbury Park_Hiseman_golf course

Other changes at Tewkesbury Park

  1. Dozens of bunkers on the Frank Pennink designed golf course (6,579 yards, Par 73 18-hole golf course) have been refurbished, and the course has been remodeled and reconditioned by designer Peter McEvoy and agronomist John Clarkin.
  2. Tewkesbury Park invested in a full range of new Toro machinery to help to raise playing surfaces to the highest standard.
  3. A new Golf Boutique shop providing all the golfing essentials, plus brand-new Golfer Locker Rooms, a 6-hole Academy Course + 2 separate practice areas and a putting green.
  4. The hotel’s indoor pool, sauna, steam room and outdoor hot tub have all been refurbished. Two new spa treatment rooms now feature fresh treatments using the locally-sourced, naturally-inspired and chemical-free Natural Spa Factory products. In addition, the hotel’s newly-equipped Gym will keep you in trim.
  5. New meetings and events facilities capable to host up to 300 participants.

Tewkesbury Park Hotel room

They also improved their Wi-Fi quality and speed. I think high-speed Wi-Fi (ideally 500 megabytes a second) should be a very basic, elementary service of any hotel or golf club.

You might find it surprising, but for many people when they consider where to spend their free time it is an important issue if the golf club or hotel has got free and high-speed Wi-Fi service.

When I hear that a golf club upgraded their Wi-Fi service, I always ask them:

  • Have you got sufficient access points?
  • Do you use a cheap or an expensive product?
  • Have you got enough bandwidth?
  • Is it good for using Amazon Echo and Google’s Home? The Wynn Las Vegas (with almost 5,000 rooms) is already voice-activated via Amazon Echo. Hilton is beta testing its first mobile-centric hotel room, where guests can control temperature, lighting, blinds, thermostat, and TVs with their phones.
  • Are you planning for regular technology upgrades?
  • Do you take advantage of cloud solutions?

On Wednesday (11 April 2018), I gave a presentation on customer experience development and innovation at the 4th National Conference on Residential Tourism & Golf in Estoril, Portugal.

I told my audience that to be able to achieve exceptional customer experience, you have to focus on 4 areas:

  1. Personalization: every guest is unique by expectations, needs, what he/she likes or hates etc. Guests care intensely about their own needs, desires, and goals.
  2. Ease / Convenience (e.g. Pebble Beach Company‘s virtual concierge service; Hilton’s Digital Keys). Exceptional customer experience has minimum friction and stress. PwC’s recent “Experience is everything” study found that 43% of all customers would pay more for greater convenience.
  3. The speed of service: get prepared to “micro-moments and to provide services and solutions by a single click or very quickly (e.g. location-based services).
  4. Friendly & knowledgeable employees.

When I looked for service personalization solutions on Tewkesbury Park’s website, I have not found how they intend to personalize their guests’ experience. Probably one of the biggest challenges of today’s marketers is how to create highly-relevant brands and experiences.

As guests and customers are getting more and more educated their expectations are rising as well. Therefore we have to create not just highly-relevant golf club brands and experiences, but also —> golf club that is ready to engage, connect and positively surprise its guests. This requires active participation with our guests and customers.

I believe today we can already find technologies that can help us to engage with people and create them memorable, human new experiences. Let’s not forget that these experiences should enrich their lives to be able to see them more often in our golf club.

I know for some of you the usage of artificial intelligence is something very futuristic, but I believe it will be very soon indispensable for the highly personalized guest experience.

‘Grab n’ go’ and intuitive dining (e.g. Foxhill Manor in the UK have banished all the rules and let guests eat what they want when and where they want it.) might sound minor innovations in comparison to service personalization, but not negligible.

Tewkesbury Park_Hiseman_golf course

Sustainability at Tewkesbury Park

I’ve got an impression that sustainable tourism is gaining momentum and we will have more and more eco-savvy guests.

For instance, 96% of Conde Nast Traveler readers think hotels should be eco-friendly. A Deloitte study found that 95% of travelers are expecting from hotels and resorts to undertake ‘green’ initiatives.

This not just about the smart usage of towels, but also:

  • how do you use energy (e.g. installing solar panels,
  • F&B sustainability: where items are sourced, whether they’re organic, sustainably harvested, all natural, etc. (E.g. Medinah Country Club’s organic garden) + plates and utensils etc.
  • water saving initiatives,
  • measuring carbon footprint.

While we are fascinated by the latest investments of golf hotels and golf resort, but it is not worth much if they don’t provide to their employees the right training, tools and do not empower them. 

I believe our staff who are in daily connection with our guests have the biggest impact on customer experience. We can also learn a lot from them about what is working well and where should we improve or change. So let’s learn from them!

When you are empowering your employees, you are also improving their quality of work life and motivation. We should help them to thrive!