Creativity in competition

One hotel may have the nicest staff with the most comfortable beds, but it can also be surrounded by many other hotels with similar outstanding services. In an article posted last Tuesday on, the question on how to ensure that potential customers choose a hotel instead of its competitors is raised. According to Robin Trehan, Partner at Transatlantic Funds, and Kison Patel, National Hotel Exchange, “There are several ways to accomplish this, there are simple, common sense ways, ways that take a little investigation, and some require creativity.” Creativity is then becoming a key word in competition with small things making all the difference when choosing a hotel.

In that framework, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is being innovative in the way they test the rooms of the new Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel before its opening. Actually, its 120 managers who work around the country are making sure everything is perfect by sleeping in all 790 rooms and tasting the meals! Another way to be creative has been used by Westin Hotels & Resorts in its new advertising campaign. They promote relaxation and tranquility using sensory elements (smell, view, hearing…). “We have worked hard to redefine our brands and develop innovative signature services that communicate each brand’s unique positioning,” said Steven J. Heyer, Chief Executive Officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

However, innovative services are only a plus since they don’t replace technology. According to, people are attracted by technology (TV plasma screens, wireless…) and this is a very important factor to take into account to keep a customer. So, creativity is necessary but not enough to be competitive.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.