Have you ever slept in a hotel bed that was so comfortable, you wished you’d be able to get that same feeling from your own bed at home? Or perhaps you loved the hotel shampoo so much that you asked for extra bottles so that you could take them home with you after your stay.
Those in the hospitality industry go above and beyond to make their guests feel “at home” when they stay on their property, but in many cases, the luxuries enjoyed at one’s favorite hotel are actually better than one has in his or her own home.
This is where Fairfield-based Hotels at Home comes in. The company has been helping hotel brands get their products sold to guests, so that they can use them at home. These branded merchandise programs provide hotels with a unique opportunity for more personal engagement with their patrons.
“We are selling high-quality products to people who already know that they like them,” says Steven Ware, president and CEO of Hotels at Home. “People want to try things before they buy them, and our company has more ‘showrooms’ than any other company in the world.”
Established in 1999, Hotels at Home also has locations in France (20 employees) and China (10 employees). It currently employs 75 people in New Jersey. Its client list includes some of the most recognizable hospitality brands including Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and more.
“We create individually branded e-commerce programs for each of the brands that we represent,” says Ware. “We have 35 unique websites and each one of them pulls through [the hotel’s] brand identity, its style guidelines, and its tone of voice.”
While its web design is top notch with fast load times, innovative features and subscription programs, Hotels at Home also fulfils orders and ships the various hotels’ products to customers from its three locations.
“We do everything under one roof. From the e-commerce design, development and marketing, to the pick, pack and fulfilment, the logistics for drop-ship orders, and customer service – it’s all here,” Ware says.
He describes the company as an innovative marketing agency that frees its clients (the hotel parent companies) from the responsibility of managing a full-time retail operation. However, a distinct understanding of hospitality business is at its core, and the company strives to extend the concierge-level service that hotels deliver to their guests. One such example of this is its in-home white glove bed delivery.
Ware says the plan moving forward is to continue to be a pioneer in the adaptation of the newest technologies.
“It’s always been important to lead in new technologies. Our websites were mobile before other websites were; we added subscriptions before a lot of the subscription box companies gained popularity; we were focused on streamlining our codebase before anyone else. … Having leading-edge technology is our competitive advantage,” Ware says.