Many consumers filter on the review score on platforms such as Booking.com and Tripadvisor when choosing a suitable hotel. A high score in combination with a reasonable price contributes to a high occupancy rate. We pose the question to Nick van der Valk, general manager of the Van der Valk Hotel Gilze-Tilburg The Netherlands), ‘What does Van der Valk Hotel Gilze-Tilburg do to increase the review scores?’

Nick has been managing the enormous hotel for years, which has undergone extensive renovations and expansions in recent years and he recognizes the importance of review scores. The hotel now distinguishes itself as a ‘resort hotel’, currently the first and only one within the Van der Valk chain. This is due to the wide range of facilities such as its own swimming pools, wellness, bowling alleys, fitness, halls, several restaurant concepts, a horse hotel, casino, bicycle and scooter rental and much more. But also the unique appearance of an international allure and strategic location in the green among the most beautiful sights.

Nick tells us: “Increasing the review score on Booking and Tripadvisor starts with hotel staff who are friendly, helpful and guest-oriented, that is in our DNA. Guests appreciate positive interactions with staff. That is a prerequisite for being able to start working with the review score at all. We have implemented a very well-thought-out policy for this at Van der Valk Gilze. The quality of the rooms is also the most important factor that guests assess. We ensure that the rooms are clean, well maintained, distinctive and comfortable. The comfort of the hotel room, where the guest spends most of his time, is crucial for a good score. Then the facilities outside the hotel room, which we have also put a lot of effort into in Gilze, are discussed.” But what is a comfortable room?

A comfortable room

“It is no longer the case that a good bed and fine bedding combined with a good-sized TV automatically leads to a positive guest experience. Guests are used to more and at the same time more and more products are coming onto the market that focus on a positive guest experience. However, some of these products are very expensive and there are also products that can even have an adverse effect on the review score. For example, consider curtains that the guest cannot open or close because the tablet used to operate the curtains is too complicated. Or an air conditioner that makes the room too cold, no matter what the guest tries to do.”

What are products that are worth considering when refurbishing the rooms or furnishing new rooms that increase the comfort level?

“A comfortable room is a room that offers more than what the guest is used to. ‘The Extra Mile’, so to speak. That is why we have done everything we can to ensure that the guest is completely satisfied in the hotel room. For example, all rooms are equipped with a minibar, a Nespresso machine and ironing equipment and the more luxurious rooms are also equipped with amenities such as a bubble bath and a Rainshower. The smallest details provide the most valuable impressions for the guest. For example, things like audio that is concealed in the ceiling in the rooms in Gilze appear to work very well with our guests.”

“Beautiful and spacious room, spacious bubble bath, Bluetooth speaker so you can enjoy your own music while relaxing in the bubble bath” (Sharinette). “Free WiFi, which the kids loved, as well as the option to play music in the room via Bluetooth” (Jillstroo140) – Tripadvisor

“The hotel room audio is only a small investment compared to, for example, a bubble bath. However, this concerns audio that has been carefully considered. This was supplied by the Dutch company Octavium, which has the largest range of hotel room audio in Europe.” Some important features of the hotel room audio:

  • Volume ceiling (adjustable per room)
  • Pin
  • Beautiful stereo image
  • Nicely concealed (so it does not have to be cleaned and is difficult to steal)
  • Attractively priced

The wireless telephone chargers built into furniture also come from Octavium.

“A spacious 2-person jacuzzi, rain shower with sun shower, bottle of bubbles, wireless phone charger, Bluetooth sound system in the room” Remco P – Tripadvisor

Key features of these chargers:

  • You can charge all phones with it
  • It prevents questions at the reception for all kinds of charging cables
  • They are incorporated into the bedside tables, making them impossible to steal

“All products, or perhaps you should say gadgets, that require a small investment and have a big impact”

For example, why do you buy those chargers from Octavium and not elsewhere? Nick: “You can probably buy cheaper chargers on a Chinese site, but then you take on a big risk and you have ‘0’ service; we go for quality. Collaborating with Octavium is also very pleasant.”

In summary: for high review scores, in addition to your staff, you pay particular attention to comfort, quality and breadth of facilities. Be sure to focus on the small details, don’t make it too complicated and go the extra mile!”

This text is a summary of an interview with Nick van der Valk in which a filter was applied to Octavium products

Octavium also offers multi-functional lighting for the wall near the bed. It is actually a 4 in 1 product: mood lamp, reading lamp, wireless charger and a USB charging point. An ideal replacement for your current lighting that will visibly modernize your room in one go!

Octavium also offers the Smart Bed Light. This is a light that can be placed under the bed that switches on automatically due to the motion sensor and guides your guest through the room at night without any problems.