Oct252013

Loyalty Traveler shoots for Top 10 Hotel Images Travelers Want to See

VFM Leonardo is a technology and online media company for the global hospitality industry. Recently the company published an article based on its research of what images hotel travelers want to see when shopping for a property to stay:

The Top 10 Hotel Images Travel Shoppers Want to See (Oct 16, 2013).

Hotel photography is a big part of my hotel stays. Sometimes I do a good job and get all the vital photos I think I need. Sometimes I just don’t get out and about the hotel enough to capture all the locations I should photograph around a hotel.

The VFM Leonardo article on the Top 10 Hotel Images travel shoppers want to see intrigues me.

As a test of my hotel observation skills, I picked the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek at Avon, Colorado where I made a quick one hour visit in May 2013 to see how I fared compared to the Top 10 Hotel Images from the VFM Leonardo survey.

This was an unscheduled drop-in visit to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek hotel after spending the night at the Westin Riverfront Villas in Avon before hitting the road to drive I-70 west to Grand Junction.

Let’s see how I did on my photographic images on this quick stop with no chance for a second stop to capture the locations I might have missed in my initial tour. (Well, actually, I stayed here in 2010 and the pool photo in this post is from my previous stay.)

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Loyalty Traveler photo challenge

#1. Guest Rooms – this is what shoppers most desire to see.

 PHBC room-1

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek – Bedroom Suite 4000

This image shows the entire bedroom which looks rather stark and bland. This gives a real sense of the room with the large tv on the wall and little else.

PHBC room-2

I find this image of the same room more appealing and this is the one I would choose if I were selling the hotel room. But as seen from the first image, this is not the whole picture.

Since this is a suite, the suite-ness of the hotel room should be revealed.

PHBC-suite

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Suite 4000.

What I failed to photograph was the bathroom. I recall looking in the bathroom and thinking it was nice, but nothing spectacular caught my attention so I did not take a photo. I should have snapped photos since that is an important feature of the room and I really do not recall the details of the bathroom and shower five months later.

The standard room at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has the same bed, a dresser with TV on top, one cushion chair and small table with two chairs. I have photos of the standard room too.

#2 Restaurant

I think the restaurant is the photo I take the least when visiting a hotel. For one, I rarely eat at hotel restaurants. The other more valid reason is the restaurant is usually full of people during dining hours and I respect guests’ privacy when snapping photos with my camera. Most of my restaurant images are when the space is closed and empty.

PHBC-restaurant

8,100 Mountainside Bar & Grill – Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.

#3 Recreation

This could be a page of photos for a place like Park Hyatt Beaver Creek which is primarily a winter snow and summer recreation resort. Skiing and winter sports like ice skating are big attractions. Summer is golf and biking and horseback riding on the mountain.

To capture this location in one photo is challenging.

Since the big bucks come with winter room rates for the ski resort, I choose this photo from May 2013 even though this place was basically in ultra low season and annual repairs were in progress all over the mountainside to the businesses of Beaver Creek.

PHBC-recreation

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek hotel patio fire pit with ski gondola lift outside the hotel doors (May 2013).

Beaver Creek ski resort was originally designed for the Denver 1976 Winter Olympics downhill skiing races, but then Denver voters canceled the Olympics out of concern the Rocky Mountain landscape would be overdeveloped. Innsbruck, Austria stepped in as a replacement city for the 1976 Winter Olympics. This is the only time in Olympics history the host city turned down the honor of hosting the Olympic Games after winning the bid.

The Olympics did not happen at Beaver Creek, but the resort village on the mountainside ten miles west of Vail was built and opened in winter 1980-81.

Since I do not have to limit myself to one photo, here is the golf course just outside Beaver Creek Village on the drive down the mountainside.

PHBC-golf

My brother-in-law enjoyed playing this course during a family vacation stay at the Park Hyatt in July 2010.

#4 The Lobby

The lobby at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is large with several small spaces. That is difficult to convey in a single photo.

PHBC-lobby1

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Antler Hall lobby. This photo shares what I found most appealing about the lobby. There are several separate seating areas around the windows and the space beneath the wall hanging seats only two persons. There is a library room with hundreds of books slightly visible in the upper left corner of the photo.

The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek hotel website offers a great 360 images option of the lobby and other hotel areas. I have several photos of the lobby, but the website is better. This is a large space with seating for around 50 people.

Why is the lobby called Antler Hall? The antler chandelier is a common site in Rocky Mountain resorts and this is one of the largest I have seen. Hunting is another major tourist industry of Colorado.

PHBC-Antlers

Antler Hall – Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.

#5 Map

I often place a map in my hotel reviews, but not always. That is a practice I need to adopt consistently.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Google Maps

Google Maps shows Beaver Creek [Pin A] in relation to Denver 110 miles to the east. The town of Avon is the main exit for Beaver Creek ten miles west of Vail along Interstate 70 or Highway 6, the surface road through these towns. Avon is not named on this level of Google Maps. Aspen is 95 miles to the southwest and reached via Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs I-70 in snow season.

#6 Business Center

I did not actually see the business center at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. I saw its location as I passed it walking up the Grand Staircase from street level Beaver Creek Village before reaching Antler Hall.

Business Centers are a photo I probably take at about 70% of the hotels I visit. Now that I know its popularity I’ll try to remember to snap more Business Center photos.

PHBC Business Center

 

#7 The Pool

My site visit to Beaver Creek happened in the afternoon on a mid-May spring day in the upper 70s/low 80s. There were several women in bikinis by the pool and children too. No photos taken. I don’t want to appear creepy.

My pool photos tend to be early morning or evening when the area is empty.

I’d be imageless for the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek pool for this post from my May 2013 site visit if it weren’t for the fact that I stayed at the hotel in 2010. Here is my image from that trip.

PHBC pool

 

#8 Amenities

This category includes spa facilities, exercise rooms and other guest spaces.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has a spa I did not visit. The exercise room is next to the pool. Again, I have photos of these spaces from my stay in 2010, but not the quick site visit this past May.

One of the amenities I like at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is the game room with pool table.

PHBC-pool table

 

#9 Exterior of Hotel

The exterior is an important aspect of the hotel. This is really important for a resort hotel to give a sense of the environment. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is one hotel in a small ski village with about 25 businesses like retail shops, restaurants, adventure outfitters. There are dozens of timeshare condos and a pedestrian zone walkway in the center of the village. This requires several photos to show.

Here is the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek from two sides.

PHBC-exterior1

Beaver Creek Village view of Park Hyatt. An ice skating rink is outside the hotel operated by a separate company. The hotel has four guest floors.

PHBC-exterior2

Mountainside view of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. Lobby is center with 8100 restaurant and bar to left and pool area is to the right. The edge of ski lift gondola is slightly visible on far right.

Here is the small Beaver Creek Village setting for the Park Hyatt which is a few miles up the mountainside from Avon located down in the valley below.

PHBC-Beaver Creek Village

Beaver Creek Village

#10 The Bar

Photographing the bar is a challenge at many hotels without intruding on hotel guests’ right to privacy. My stay at Hyatt Place Denver Cherry Creek earlier this month had a popular bar. There were always people sitting at the stools of the bar counter in the middle of the lobby. I didn’t get a photo of the bar at that Denver hotel.

Fortunately the bar at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek was not even staffed in the afternoon when I was there in May during the resort’s lowest occupancy period of the year between the snow of winter and the dry slopes of summer.

PHBC-bar8100

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek 8100 Bar

Hotel Images Checklist

Overall I think I did okay with this site visit to Park Hyatt Beaver Creek last May. This case study is kind of a check on myself. I could have picked a hotel where I stayed and have several examples of these Top 10 Images.

Unfortunately, I can’t help but think of all the hotels where I stayed this year and missed many of these top 10 image locations while checked in at the inn.

This is a good photo checklist for my hotel travels in the future.

Are there other hotel images you would like to see when shopping for a place to stay?

I’d love your comments to help me add more images to my checklist of what I should be sure to photograph while at a hotel.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter of Loyalty Traveler blog posts on the upper left side of this page.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »