As a content producer for E-Marketing Associates, I have the opportunity to stay at our client hotels and write about my experiences. While this is an optional component, I think it is essential for content producers or copywriters like me to get a complete and accurate picture in our heads of a property. I can explain why in one word…” details.”
I often write copy for hotel websites, describing the rooms, amenities, and area to potential guests. Some properties are comfortable but predictable. Some hold a unique character that is only accurately experienced using all the senses. As a writer, I research and read a lot every day. But there is no better research on all the particular “details” than actually going to a hotel, talking to the staff and owners, eating the food, seeing the rooms, experiencing the area and sleeping in that bed myself.
One of the hotels I stayed at was in a historical building where famous writers had lived in the past. I knew this before coming, but I remember walking from the covered parking lot into the lobby and thinking I was in a different world. The brass fixtures, skylights, and mirrors had something to them. There is something special about the white and gold-lined columns connecting to the walls. It was evident that this building had witnessed much in the past. I felt transported into decades past—a feeling not unlike when someone is traveling.
There are some things you can’t learn about a place from words and pictures.
A good example is the level of customer service a hotel provides. Of course, every employee and general manager says that they provide the best customer service to guests, but nothing can compare to experiencing the service yourself. I once stayed at a hotel whose owners ate dinner with me at the restaurant next door, as if I was part of their very own family. I saw the waitresses and staff talk to hotel guests like old friends. That level of hospitality is best seen firsthand rather than through words, and experiencing it allowed me to write about the hotel on their website accurately.
Something must also be said about experience vs. research. Sometimes small details can get lost in the constant stream of information. However, I have found that it is easier to remember details when they are associated with a memory or experience, especially a positive one. Since I stayed in some hotel rooms, I can tell you exactly which amenities they had, as opposed to solely reading a list online.
Writers are forever told, “write what you know.” Can you know about something you haven’t been exposed to? Perhaps you can, but there is an absolute verifiable truth, mood, and feeling that comes from words written from reality.