I want to be a hospitality accommodations inspector. And if there isn't such a job, I want to inaugurate one. I'm perfect for this job, at least how I envision the job desciption: given one 3-day visit (weekend and weekday) to a hotel, pension, B &B, etc. the hospitality accommodation inspectation will be able to suggest many low-cost, practical, and high-return hospitality improvements.
One observation from the Germany trip would be that a guest’s first impression is crucial. Rule #1: There should be some kind of hospitable greeting. For example, we arrived at a hotel in Munich and were immediately disoriented because even though this is a Starwood preferred hotel, there was no one to greet us when we entered the main entrance. In fact, I remarked to my husband that this couldn't be the reception entrance because it was deserted outside. Stepping through the door produced no greeter as well. If the check-in desk hadn't been in sight, we would have never known that we were at the reception area. This proved to be the hotel's standard; we never saw a bellman (bellperson?) during our comings and goings. Another example of a greeting let-down was when we arrived at a pension where the owner was so frazzled that we needed a car spot (even though the hotel advertises free parking), that she could barely check us in. Sure enough, when we returned late that night, there were no available parking spots. OK, we weren't really surprised because the owner had been distraught. But we couldn't figure out why she hadn't prepared us for optional parking choices.
What accommodation personnel need to realize is that first-time guests are holding their breath to verify that they've booked an acceptable lodging. Understandably, most guests want to be assured, not that they're staying at the Neuschwanstein Castle, but just that they're not staying at Hotel California.
Frankly, to ease first-time guests' relief takes little trouble. However, it does require a deliberate sense of hospitality--to extend a warm welcome, an efficient check-in, and a courteous set of directions for a pleasant stay.
My hospitality accommodation recommendations are to skip the goldfish adornment, the embellished spa products, and the prestigious bedding. Rather, concentrate on a personal interaction and a professional experience.
PS...If you are in need of a hospitality accomodations inspector, send me your request. I'm available!