Success Story: Hotel F6 and Valpas Hotels - A Year in Review
This blog post is a review of the past year with one of our first clients, Finland's best rated hotel, Hotel F6. The post is structured as a mini-case and we walk you through the background of Hotel F6, the hotel's challenge, and lastly how we have helped F6 in their journey.
The story of Hotel F6
The hotel F6 is family-owned and a proud member of the renowned Nordic Hotels and Resorts. It was launched in the summer of 2016 and it immediately became the gem of the Finnish boutique hotel scene, soon earning the desired "Finland’s #1 TripAdvisor 2017 Hotel" title.
Hotel F6's success story isn't just pure luck but result of hard work and great experience: the hotel's General Manager, Roni Saari started his hotel career over 20 years ago at the reception of a Holiday Inn. He learnt the tricks of the industry little by little, and had opened several award-winning hotels in Finland already before Hotel F6.
The challenge of staying at the top
It might sound a bit far-fetched to label Hotel F6 having "challenges", but as some of you know, getting to the top is hard, but staying there is even harder. With this in mind, staying at the top for many years in a row does require overcoming challenges. Challenges, like many other things, are easier to square away if you are prepared.
This is exactly why Roni Saari values the concept of thinking ahead: “We keep questioning established practices and try to run the hotel as smartly as possible. Thinking ahead ensures we keep creating the best guest experience over time.”
How Valpas Hotels helped F6 to stay the best
Despite the above-mentioned forward-looking thinking, it is safe to say that running a hotel will always entail many kinds of surprises that need to be taken care of. One of the nastiest surprises is to have a guest reporting a bed bug encounter, or even worse, writing an online review to one of the numerous booking platforms. In the history of Hotel F6, there has never been a bed bug infestation, but Mr. Saari acknowledged the risks and did not want to leave it up to chance: “Bed bugs are a problem all over the world because of increasing global travel. As a hotelier, you just have to face it that they might get here sometime, too. We also know that travelers are more and more anxious about them. With Valpas, we increase our guest experience by communicating that at the F6 you can stay carefree, before the guests have even booked a room.”
Our core mission at Valpas Hotels is to prevent these nasty surprises, for the benefit of both travelers and hotels. And that is is what we did and keep doing at the Hotel F6. We installed our patented system - each hotel bed is fitted with a set of design bed legs that capture any bed bugs that may find their way to the room. This way, the bugs are caught before they cause any harm or grey hairs, and can’t spread. The system is autonomous and room monitoring is always on: when any bugs are caught the hotel staff receives a notification to their e-mail and Valpas dashboard is updated. During the last year, the system prevented 2 potential bed bug infestations at F6.
As the hotel and its reputation was safeguarded, we were also curious to investigate how the guests felt about the new layer of protection. We conducted a guest survey with a little over 100 respondents, and the results can be seen below. Unsurprisingly, also the hotel's guests valued F6's membership in the Valpas Hotels network, as the average preference for their next stay in a Valpas Hotels member hotel was high.
Currently we are updating our hotel listing and booking site to help travelers find and book our hotels more efficiently. First experiments with Google Ads have also been conducted. This means we are advancing to the direction of competing against certain profit-withering OTAs and helping our member hotels to receive more organic bookings.
Approximately one year ago Roni Saari set a clear vision for the F6. “We want to remain the leading hotel in Finland and be #1 in the future, too. For that, we need to keep delighting our guests with the best experience.” Based on F6's withstanding ranking as the #1 hotel in Tripadvisor Finland and the many awards listed below, it's easy to sum up that Saari's vision has kept the hotel on the path of success.
The many awards are:
Brand Of The Year recognition award in January 2019 by the Nordic Choice Awards
Hotels.com's Loved by Guests Award 2019 9.8/10
Guest Review Award 2018 by Booking.com
9.5/10 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2019 no 1 in Helsinki. Rating 5/5
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