I am coming back from beautiful Cancun, Mexico after having been there once before, ten years ago. As a twenty-four-year old with much travel under her belt, there's much on my mind from a business of travel perspective. While I had a wonderful time taking vacation and getting away from the crazy corporate world I live in, I couldn't turn off my traveler eyes nor my inner-business woman mindset. I think like a consultant and unfortunately that means I come with recommendations wherever I go, haha.
Let's dive into my observations and please take note, these observations and thoughts are mine and do not represent anyone else's.
This was a family vacation because you're never too old for those (millennials, take note). My parents, sister and I selected an All-Inclusive Package with Sunwing as we've done in the past. I was quite surprised with how tardy Sunwing was with its flights, as going to Cancun the flight was delayed by 5 hours and coming back by 3. In many cases, it wasn't so much a result of the weather but a lack of preparation on Sunwing's end. Adding gasoline while passengers were on the plane, changing gates, poor management of rowdy passengers and an airport transport that never showed all led for me to think Sunwing was having an off few weeks. When it comes to "all-inclusive" packages, I often feel bad criticizing poor management because it is very difficult and close to impossible to render a 5-star experience for a good price. If you want to be treated in a queen, you have to pay like one. All in all, I took away a few things Sunwing or Oasis Cancun should take note of when ensuring quality customer service.
Welcome Package - Oasis Cancun:
One of my favourite parts of our trip was arriving to Oasis Cancun. We were treated wonderfully. We sat down, got the welcome package which, yes, included champagne and it made all the difference. Hotels often do this well...they treat their guests like they would their personal friends and family in their homes, like royalty. The welcome is personable and enticing. Oasis Cancun did great in the welcoming department.
The welcome package should include not only some complimentary champagne but I'd all about packages like gift baskets. Small gifts or wrapped goodies can make guests feel like they are cared for, as well as, a personal tour of one's room.
Food & Beverages - Oasis Cancun:
All-inclusive packages should be that - "all-inclusive". The issue at Oasis Cancun is it had no buffets...Let's pause for a second. The sit-down dinners were nice and the quality of the food was fantastic. The rest of the restaurants, however, like the beach bars, fast food-y joints, breakfast "buffet" and lunch restaurants were all...sit-down! The customer experience is hindered as having lunch by the beach or by the pool is impossible, not to mention a mid-day snack. Consequently, having lunch breaks down the day as it takes at least an hour to order, be served and eat.
Why would a resort restrict the food/beverage section so much? The reason I suspect:
a) No buffet, cutting of supplies: If you cut out the buffets and excess amount of food guests consume when there are no control measures, you cut the amount of food the hotel needs to buy (low supply cost).
b) Sit-down lunch, cutting human capital cost: If you have sit-down lunches and don't allow your guests to take their food to the pool-side, to their rooms, to the beach or anywhere else besides the table, you can afford to cut cleaning staff.
While cost-cutting is important, if it is to the detriment of the customer experience, you're also compromising on customer loyalty, brand equity and overall long-term revenue.
Sustainability & Environmental Concerns - Oasis Cancun:
Sustainability is increasingly important. Look at Starwood's Element hotel brand. Hotels are doing much to help global warming and take care of the world's environmental concerns. I commend hotels and restaurants who are taking matters into their own hands. While Oasis Cancun does a great job in doing so, there were times I couldn't help but feel they used sustainability as an excuse to cut costs again - such as, no straws. There was a "Starbucks" like cafe and I went in for my daily frappuccino but as you may suspect, no straws were being handed out. To be sustainable, don't get cheap, get creative. Cardboard straws or biodegradable straws are out there!
To be sustainable, don't get cheap, get creative!
Farewell Package - Oasis Cancun:
While the welcome package was nice, the farewell package was awful. Sunwing didn't pick us up so we had to run to get a taxi to not miss our flights, Oasis Cancun cut our bracelets and there was no lunch (sit-down issue again) and we weren't care for. It actually reminded me of Amy Schumer's "W Hotels" parody. Overall, a kinder farewell package would be an interesting way to end the perfect vacation and stay. Keep guests wanting more.
All in all, it's important to be customer-centric in all you do. Hotels are rareful ran through a design-thinking state of mind and the wonderful staff usually has little to no decision making. Giving the staff more power can lead for them to hear customer complaints and make appropriate changes.
I'd love to know your comments and thoughts regarding my stay at Oasis Cancun. Have you stayed there before? Do you agree or disagree with my recommendations and why?