Welcome to the MBH blog and media room!

July 21, 2009

We’ve moved!!

Just so you don’t lose track or think I haven’t posted in over 2 weeks please follow me to our new MEXICO BOUTIQUE HOTELS BLOG address. Same blog, better zip code 😉

Advertisements

Mexico On Sale – But At What Cost?

June 29, 2009

Mexico For Sale

Mexico seems to be having a fire sale right now. Everywhere you turn, prices are being slashed.

The NY Times’ Michelle Higgins published her list.

National Geographic Traveler posted their review of this phenomenon.

Maribeth Mellin, award-winning Mexico travel journalist, said her piece here.

Certainly, the “epidemic of fear” paraded by the media in its headlines has had a dramatic impact on Mexico’s travel and tourism industry. All related business have had to drastically reduce their rates while attempting to maintain same service levels. To say this is a challenge is a gross understatement. If you add to that the fact that the global economic situation had already forced a worldwide travel “sale epidemic” of its own, Mexico tourism—with its extra cloud of doom over its head—has been reduced to cutting rates on already substantial discounts dictated by International competition.

Initially, and superficially I think, lower rates can entice some travelers to come back, but it’s a fine line (and a dangerous one) when tourism products (hotels, restaurants, tours, etc.) are forced to operate with little or no profit margins and STILL live up to expected standards. Travelers may come, but what will their experience be like and what will the impact be when they return home?

There are great travel deals right now. Amazing really, in some cases. But the industry won’t be able to keep this up without letting something go eventually. In Mexico, as in the rest of the world, staff must be paid, training must be given, maintenance must be on-going, and a certain level of quality is to be expected. Let’s hope that those that did visit us during the last few months are able to get the word out on the real situation and we can get back to what we do best; authentic, warm, unparalleled hospitality at a fair price for both traveler and supplier.

Because we’re all in the same boat, we also have some great deals going on at some of our finest Mexico Boutique Hotel properties. And while the prices may be unexpectedly low, we can say without a doubt that these hotels continue to offer their guests everything that is to be expected from an MBH member.


When Rocio Lost Her ‘Clefs’ or Does The Desk Make The Concierge?

June 25, 2009

Cles d'or

 

 

 

 

 

A little less than a year ago, Rocio Martinez Quintal—the Mexico Boutique Hotels’ concierge—lost her hard-earned Clefs d’Ors (Golden Keys) because her job description no longer fit the traditional association’s definition of what it means to be a concierge.

She was told that because she does not actually sit at a desk inside a hotel and face travelers, she is not a true concierge. This was a blow to Rocio: she had spent two years preparing for this prestigious recognition and felt she had not changed anything about how she worked or her dedication to the traveler’s experience. She still provided assistance and information on everything from dinner reservations, flowers, guided tours, pre-arrival packing, airport transfers, driving instructions, marriage proposals and so much more. In short, she still does everything that makes a concierge a concierge. The only difference is she does all of this virtually and via telephone given that our hotels are spread out over 26 destinations in Mexico.

Now, I’m willing to bet that any traveler who has ever dealt with Rocio when booking with Mexico Boutique Hotels would confirm just how much of a concierge she actually is. So would our member hotels, which are often very small and have embraced the extra help that Rocio provides them. In fact, their support was such that when Rocio was told (by the Clefs association in Mexico) she needed to fulfill certain desk hours, several of our properties happily offered her a physical space in their hotel.

Not surprisingly,  the removal of Rocio’s ‘Keys’ has not kept her from working just as hard and efficiently as before. It merely made me think about how standards are set, maintained and allowed to evolve in an ever-changing industry.

What is your definition of concierge?


What are your top hotel complaints for Mexico?

June 18, 2009

I originally posted this on Novmber 24, 2008 on what use to be our old blog. As we are now going full force with a new and improved version, my question still lingers so I’m posting again: What are your top hotel complaints? I had gotten one comment when I first posted this so I’ll add it at the end of this post to get things started…Thanks Alex 😉

Tonight, I’m sitting in a hotel room, in a chilly place and was looking forward to one of those “I’m working on the road nights” where you order room service, work en suite and enjoy a long hot shower—bath would be ideal but you can’t ask too much! So, it’s all perfect until I turn the shower on….. NO hot water! Now, this is MY all-time peeve for a hotel. It is simply the one thing that will drive me crazy. So it got me thinking, what would be the top things that really dampen your experience when it comes to hotels. I went online and searched articles but didn’t find anything. So here it is. Does anyone out there have an opinion on what are the most annoying, exasperating, frustrating things you simply can’t handle at a hotel. I’d love to know! I represent 46 hotels and I’m sure they’d love to know. So if you feel inspired please fill our our poll. I’ve put in some issues we heard in the past but there is much room for additional comments.

 

Mexico Hotels (chelsdov1228<at>yahoo.com)

no hot water? that would definitely drive me crazy too. one of my complaints would be no available room service, but i can understand why not all Mexico hotels can have 24 hour room service 😉 Interesting post, I hope to see more complaints! 

Alex