When you’ve narrowed your list of locations to those that meet your physical requirements for sleeping rooms and meeting space, it’s time to take a site inspection. This checklist gives you a general idea of what to look for and questions to ask.
Be prepared. Show location staff you’re organized and know what you’re doing. Be a smart reunion buyer. Approach your inspection as though you want to buy the hotel.
Things to observe about the site
Before conducting a formal tour of the property, interact with staff and observe how you are treated. Walking through with the general manager or sales representative will elicit a different response from bellman, front desk and maid staff than on your own. Our tip? Ask random questions – where are the public restrooms, are there any decent restaurants around here and see what type of response you get.
During the tour, take special note of the appearance of the property, both interior and exterior. Gauge the overall cleanliness of the property, condition of all rooms (sleeping, dining, meeting). Keep in mind that on any hotel tour they are going to deliberately show you their best rooms so investigate on your own, peeking into rooms being made as you’re walking the hallways, stopping off at the restroom mid-tour to check cleanliness. Open closet doors in rooms and janitorial/housekeeping closets. When you are with the hotel rep, don’t hesitate to ask very thorough questions. What happens in case of fire or emergency? How is the local area? Ask to see the “back of the hotel,” the kitchen and engineering areas. Find out how long the sales rep and management has been with the property; turnover is rampant in certain properties.