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Starwood and Shangri-La Hotels have been providing services in the Hotel Industry around the globe for many decades. Starwood Hotel & Resort was originally known as Starwood Lodging, was established in 1961 and later incorporated in 1980 (Starwood, 2014). Shangri-La Hotels & Resort started business in 1971 as a hotel in Singapore. By that time, it was identified as Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. While Stamford Connecticut serves as the headquarters for Starwood Hotels, the headquarters offices for Shangri-La Hotels are in Hong Kong (Shangri-La Hotel, 2014). According to the reviews and ratings available from diverse sources, both hotels are commendable, therefore they compete. The paper compares them by analysing the guest relations, special procedures and equipment characterizing the facilities. The discussionВ’s conclusion will include the researcherВ’s preferred hotel.
Both hotels offer spas and apartments as part of other facilities available in order to serve the diverse needs of customers. Additionally, the interior of both hotels is attractive and captivating with a garden setting that is decorated with lush foliage. According to a review written by the New York Times, Shangri-La has a discreet entrance and it is lavish too. The lobby has plush sofas, cascading chandeliers and fresh orchids, which recreates a feel that is soft-like hence puts the place high above the chaos of the city (Chen, N.D).
Another review by Hemispheres indicates that the hotel has a gentlemanВ’s club opulence, but an ultramodern exterior. The reviews offered by guests who have been in Starwood also depict the place as an appealing one. According to the reviews written on Tripadvisor, guests who have been to Starwood agree that the rooms are spacious (Tripadvisor, 2014). They are also affordable for someone who travels on a budget and needs to escape from his/her usual environment. However, these reviews offer some negative aspects of the hotel. Although spacious and affordable, guests at Starwood Hotel complained of mould in the bathrooms and uncleaned carpets. The premises where the hotel is found in a place such as Singapore is described as old. Similarly, the guestsВ’ reviews in Singapore concerning Shangri-La described the place as outdated. Nevertheless, the complaints from guests in Starwood were more than those in Shangri-La. In fact, guests in Shangri-La used such words as faultless, perfect and fantastic, amongst other positive words to describe Shangri-La (Tripadvisor, 2014).
The two hotel groups offer various products. They include resorts and spas. For those willing to take vacations, apartments are also available. One of the differences between Starwood and Shangri-La is the penthouse offered by the former. It is located in Geneva, Switzerland at Hotel President Wilson. It is the most expensive penthouse in the world is $65,000 for one night (Knoji, 2014). One more difference is variance in the price rating for the other packages. Shangri-La is pricier than Starwood and the other four and five star hotels in its category.
According to the reviews offered by guests who have been to the hotel, Starwood have ratings and packages that can benefit someone looking for a luxurious place on a budget. Additionally, the hotel has the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) program which is mainly of significance to people who travel frequently. The program allows its members to redeem points, which are applicable in 1,100 hotels found in 100 countries (Knoji, 2014). Shangri-La hotels can only suite someone who is looking for luxury and prestige without any heavy consideration of the price ratings.
The customer service in both hotels is commendable. Majority of the customers at Starwood Hotel state that their interaction with the employees formed part of the best experience in the hotel. According to the reviews, majority stated that the inconveniences found in the rooms were compensated by the friendly treatment from the employees. Shangri-La customers state that besides the wonderful rooms, the best thing that would guarantee a customerВ’s return to the place is his/her interaction with the employees. Customers described the employees as friendly and professional (Tripadvisor, 2014). When comparing reviews, Shangri-La customers rate the employee services and conduct higher than Starwood ratings.
Food offered at the hotels attracts numerous customers across all cultures and countries. Being five star hotels, they are able to offer a diversified menu. Starwood hotel originated from North America. Coming from part of the world that composed of many cultures, the hotel tries to accommodate all these cultures on the menu. Additionally, it attempts to prepare a menu that aligns with the local culture of the host country (Starwood, 2014). If the hotel is in Singapore, then it will prepare both the local and the international meals. Although the menus have been commendable, there are a few complains relating to how customers are treated when they raise concern over the type of food they ordered.
One complained that there was a foul smell on his pork chops. The staff simply ruled his case off by stating that he was the only one who complained about the problem. This was backed up when the kitchen staff smelt the meal only to affirm that there was no problem with it (Tripadvisor, 2014). A Meal should be served in accordance to the customerВ’s wish. As part of excellent customer service, the hotel should have served him a different meal, rather than portraying him as disillusioned.
Although Shangri La has attempted to incorporate as many types of food as possible due to the presence of diverse cultures, it was a different situation. The Hotel originated from an Asian country - Singapore. As an outcome, its menu tends to be characterised by dishes that are of Asian origin. Nevertheless, there are hardly any complaints relating to the food offered and the staffВ’s attitude towards any emerging issues (Starwood, 2014). Being a five star hotel that targets the high-end market, the hotel attempts to offer the best services and products possible so that the customer finds value in his money.
The procedures characterising both hotels are commendable. This includes check-in, checking-out and service provision within the period a customer is present in the hotel. Starwood hotel rates high in terms of customer service efficiency (Tripadvisor, 2014). Many customers are glad because of the SPG program that allows them to make bookings prior to their arrival. However, a few complaints can be noted. First, there have been challenges noted with impromptu issues. This includes change of rooms, customers who walk in without prior arrangements and refunds.
Customers complain that it takes long for one to receive another room in case of dissatisfaction with the current one. Another customer complained that the staff lied to her about impossibility of receiving another room for the same price if she wanted to change. Since she had children, she took a room that was thrice the price and had paid for the current room. After a few days, she found out that there was an open room with the same price as her initial room on the day she wanted to change. She complained about the delay in refund even though the management had reassured her in timely receipt of her money (Tripadvisor, 2014).
Nonetheless, customers can be able to book online via the hotel websites in accordance to the customerВ’s preferred country. Additionally, customers who frequently take trips, and need accommodation can use the SPG program that was mentioned earlier. Customers can also call to the offices in their particular countries, which is also as efficient. The office at the local or the international market can be of use to the customers.
The procedures at Shangri-La have received positive comments. The hotel is characterised by efficient system that is able to flow with the emerging needs of the various customers. Although it may not have a program as the one in Starwood, it offers special rates and packages for its frequent customers (Tripadvisor, 2014). Customers are able to book online, through the hotel websites, which are identified in accordance to the country. There are various modes of payment available. Additionally, one can book by calling the local office or any other office linked to the hotel.
Both hotels appear to be very competitive even among each other. The evident advantages in Starwood hotels include the affordable rooms, convenient travellersВ’ program, and commendable customer care. In addition, the hotel has best penthouse though expensive in the world. Majority of the customers at Starwood Hotel state that their interaction with the employees formed part of the best experience in the hotel. Shangri-La Hotel advantages include excellent customer care, highly efficient systems, and commendable facilities. The hotel is also fitted with efficient and effective communication channels. However, as noted earlier, the payment ratings are higher as compared to other similar four and five star hotels rated to be of the same standard. The preferred hotel is Shangri-La Hotel because all its products and services are excellent irrespective of its high prices.
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