Bed time stories


  • Worry Dolls by the Omni hotel La Mansion del Rio
  • Fa-Raon (Bristol Hotel Paris)
  • Poem Palace Hotel Dubai
  • Fa-Raon (Bristol Hotel Paris)

The ultimate bed time stories to read in hotels are stories which takes place in the hotel….. Don’t you agree? We once philosophized about starting our own hotel and one of the ideas that came up was writing a story which took place in the vicinity of the hotel. And sending this story to every guest two weeks prior to their arrival, to enhance the anticipation. Imagine the kind of stories that could be written about your hotel or the hotel you love to visit as a loyal guest. We haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying such an idea as guest yet but it’s quite interesting to see what is done with storytelling in the hospitality industry.

We made a small list with successful storytelling examples!

1. Colourful worry dolls at your pillow

At the Omni hotel La Mansion Del Rio, a Spanish colonial hotel on the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, they have a personal gesture at the turn down service. Guests receive a handcrafted colourful worry doll at their pillow, a gesture they inherited from the peace-loving Yanaguana Indians. The doll comes with a letter that tells the story. In short: according to tradition, if you tell one worry to each doll before bedtime and then place the doll under your pillow, your worries will disappear by dawn.

2. George Bear creates his stories on Facebook

The George hotel in New Zealand has a special surprise for all his guests. They are greeted by a soft and cuddly George Bear at their bed after the turn down service. With George bear comes a poem that starts with the line: “Hello there, I’m George Bear and now I’m in your special care”. Guests are invited to take George Bear on their next travels and send pictures to George Bear own Facebook page.

3. The story of dogs and cats in the hotel lobby

While travelling the world we have had several hotels where dogs were present in the lobby. Mostly the dog of the owner. For kids and most adults a great way to be welcomed, the opportunity to pet a dog. In Paris the Bristol hotel has its own cat, Fa-Raon. We spotted the cat in a holiday pictures, at Twitter and their Facebook account or simply google Fa-Raon. That tells a story!

4. #RFWinterTale storytelling around the Christmas Season

We wrote about it last December, the winter tales about Rudy the elk’s journey celebrating Europe’s Festive experiences. His journey is created by the Rocco Forte hotels using storytelling with the #RFWinterTale. The elk (don’t mistakenly call him a reindeer) is visiting cities where the Rocco Forte hotels are located. A special website with bedtime stories you can tell your kid! Even at home!

5. Just a short bed time story, poem or a seashell?

In the first edition of our publications about ‘Small gestures in hospitality’ we wrote about the poems the Palace hotel in Dubai places at the pillows with the turn down stories. We stayed 2 nights and received two beautiful poems. A small but nice gesture, we really appreciated! Another example we once encountered at the turn down service: a large seashell at our pillow! With a note from the manager: wishing us a pleasant night and saying he hoped we could hear the ocean in it, since it was too cold to open the balcony doors. So simple, yet this happened years ago (20+) and we still remember. Important is to keep it local!

6. Adjust to the modern times and create bed time video’s

Have you ever see ‘French Kiss’? A short video by Marriott Hotels (more than 6 million views). Or the short film ‘A postcard from Istanbul’. Created to introduce the St. Regis Istanbul which opened the first of March 2015.  St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and Emmy award winning actor and director John Malkovich have partnered to make this film.

7. Emphasis on the stories already told

Use the fact that your hotel is an existing legendary landmark like the hotels which are member of The Leading Hotels of the World did when they commemorated their 85th anniversary year in 2013. They used the period around the Hollywood’s Oscars. They selected 85 Leading Hotels featured in iconic films over the past decades around the globe. Threw a huge party and used it on Twitter and Facebook.

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