Apex Hotels to greet guests in native tongue

Apex Hotels is taking its signature warm welcome to the next level – with a pledge to ensure front of house teams greet hotel visitors in their native tongue.

Concierge and reception staff – among others – are learning key phrases in at least 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among Apex guests, including Mandarin, Portuguese and Italian.

The top 10 languages based on visitors to Apex hotels during 2017:
1. German
2. French
3. Dutch
4. Italian
5. Spanish
6. Mandarin
7. Swedish
8. Norwegian
9. Japanese
10. Danish

The move comes as Apex Hotels rolls out #WarmerWelcome across its 10-strong portfolio, putting a stronger emphasis than ever on guest wellbeing.

The family-owned hotel chain is introducing a range of new features after surveying more than 2,500 customers to find out what the phrase ‘warmer welcome’ means to them.

Almost half (49%) associated it with being greeted in their own language when travelling, prompting the move to equip staff with new language skills.

Angela Vickers, CEO of Apex Hotels, said, “Apex Hotels is, first and foremost, a family business that was founded on the concept of giving guests the warmest welcome possible – making them feel like they are at home away from home when staying at any of our hotels.

“The research shows that we’re already doing a lot of things right, but we wanted to take the guest experience to the next level by making small changes that can make a world of difference.

“Our survey has really helped us shape our offering – making sure our staff are well-versed in more than 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among our guests is just the start.”

A hot drink was also high on the list of things associated with a warm welcome according to more than a third (36%) of the survey’s respondents.

The survey gave real insight into the impact of travelling, with 33% of respondents revealing they struggle to sleep when staying at a hotel – and more than half (53%) admitting they would like hotels to help them relax and unwind in order to aid their own personal health and wellbeing journeys.

Meanwhile 42% said they would find it beneficial for hotels to help them keep their usual morning and evening routines. More than a fifth said Apex could add value to their personal health and wellbeing journeys by helping them sleep better, while 14% said they’d like assistance in sticking to a healthy eating regime.

In response to this, the family-owned hotel group now has created bespoke, in-room guide books created by Apex’s own wellbeing ambassador Celynn Morin – a dietitian, wellbeing expert, speaker and author – providing tips on everything from getting a great sleep, to breathing exercises to aid relaxation. Copies of the book are being given to all guests. Celynn has also produced an exclusive series of five podcasts with tips on mindfulness, SMART snacking, movement and sleeping well.

Guests also had thoughts on their top hotel ‘must-haves’ – with a comfortable bed and selection of pillows coming out on top (43%), followed by friendly staff and helpful concierge (20.72%) and free high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room entertainment (19.46%).

All Apex Hotels offer high-quality bedding and a selection of pillows to guests, as well as concierge service, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and Sky TV including sports, movies and kids’ channels.

Of those who said they attend hotels as conference and event delegates, almost two-thirds (60.6%) said ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ when asked if they believe hotels do enough to ensure they stay alert and focused throughout conference sessions.

Pictured left to right: Cassius Fevriere (Food and Beverage Manager), Amy Rowbotham (Front Office Manager) and Dominic Ham (Receptionist) from Apex City of Bath Hotel.