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The Changing Face of Hospitality: an Interview with Esther Oluka

Posted by Veronica Morozova on


We've already discussed the changing face of hospitality and the increasing demand for personalisation in the industry. Today we interview Esther Oluka, Rentuu's talented Account Manager, to continue to gain further insight into the intricacies and nuances of such demands and how they affect businesses and consumers. 

Hello, Esther. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to discuss hospitality trends with me. As Rentuu's Account Manager, what would you say are the biggest challenges facing the serviced apartment and hotel industry today? 

Hi, no problem at all! I would say that meeting customer's demand for a more personalized experience - going above the fundamental requirements many hotels and serviced apartments are so used to - is quite challenging. Also, hotels and serviced apartments need to come to grips with the fact that paying attention to the guest's experience outside the confines of the hotel room/apartment walls is hugely important. Airbnb's 'Trips' launch is a clear signal that customers are demanding more than the standard package. 

Sure. And what, in your opinion, are some ways that the hotel and short-term rental/serviced apartments industry can cater to these needs? 

Incorporating technology into the guest's experience is one. Mobile check-in and check-out and exceptional cybersecurity are just some examples. As for addressing the need for more personalisation, tracking guest's preferences before and during their stay is vital. This can be everything from keeping track of their favourite brand of coffee to their preferred room temperature.

But it goes beyond that, too - your guests may want to use a bicycle, or borrow a car seat for their child, or perhaps even rent fitness equipment. Hoteliers and rental management companies need to be prepared to meet all these needs. 

Would you say Rentuu has tapped into that market successfully? What kind of people or companies hire equipment through Rentuu?

Yes. Digital concierge and short-let apartment management companies are lining up to use our services. 

In fact, dozens of concierge tablets in London's most sought-after serviced apartments incorporate Rentuu into their listings. We've had fantastic feedback from customers so far.

For example, busy business travellers often like to have their hotel room or rental catered with all their needs - a coffee machine or an extra tablet for work presentations. Families, too, have a lot of requirements when travelling - from cribs to strollers to sterilisers. It makes little sense for concierge services and rental management companies to buy all the products needed, which is why Rentuu comes in handy. 

In your opinion, what are the most exciting disruptions in hospitality tech?

AI is the big one. It will be particularly interesting to see how AI concierge services evolve over the coming years. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas recently launched an AI concierge service called Rose, so now whenever you need more pizza or extra towels delivered to your bedroom, you can simply text Rose and she will sort you out. It's pretty impressive.

Thanks, Esther! That was very insightful.

My pleasure.

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