Photo: David Hoekman
|New York designer Carleton Varney has decorated each of the 385 guest rooms in Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. No two rooms are alike.
Group tours and getting heads in beds
© 2012 Group Tour Media Blog,
April 11, 2012
By David Hoekman
It’s true confession time at Group Tour Blogs.
I do not think a lot — let alone write — about accommodations.
And that is a shame. I know a ton of effort goes into making sure all goes well when a group arrives at a hotel for an overnight stay.
Clean and comfortable hotel rooms are so much the norm in the hospitality industry that I tend to take them for granted.
Of course, nothing can sour a group tour faster than a room cleaned too hastily or a surly hotel employee. Word spreads through the motorcoach like wildfire.
To avoid those experiences, tour operators make site inspections and develop relationships with hotel general managers.
Personally, I like staying at historic properties.
Photo: Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
|The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs, Ark., has restored and renovated the historic Crystal Ballroom.
Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island and the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs, Ark., come to mind.
These hotels are reassuring to me. It’s almost as if the walls whisper, “Welcome. We’ve taken care of travelers for a long time. We know just how to do it. We’ll take good care of your group, too.”
Even hotels I don’t normally think of as historic are getting up there in age.
Motel 6, for instance, is 50 years old.
Homebuilders Paul Greene and William Becker built the first Motel 6 on the sandy shores of Cabrillo Beach in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1962.
Now I’ve got that guitar run from the Motel 6 radio ad going through my head. And I can hear the brand’s longtime “voice,” Tom Bodett, imparting some homespun wisdom and the brand’s iconic tagline, “We’ll leave the light on for you,” which, by the way, is a registered trademark.
Do you use historic hotels with your groups?
David Hoekman is the managing editor for Group Tour Media, the Holland, Mich.-based publisher of Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour and several specialty group tour websites.
Tell us what you think or offer article suggestions to the editor.
There are many more international group travel articles available in our Group Tour Media article archive.
Mail: 2465 112th Ave.
Holland, MI 49424
Fax: (616) 393-0085
Phone: 1-800-767-3489 between 8am - 5pm, EST.
© 2013 Group Tour Media. All rights reserved.