When it comes to hotel marketing, the words you choose matter. Often, they are the thing that convinces customers to click the ‘Book Now’ button. They should be specific, carefully chosen and right for your brand, not lacklustre catch-all clichés. The goal of your content is to make your hotel stand out from the crowd and to secure bookings, right? Stereotype cliché-riddled writing will do just the opposite.
Sure, everyone has reservations about certain terms like ‘off the beaten track’ or ‘unique’, but individual qualms shouldn’t mean a blanket ban on these phrases. Some clichés can be a convenient shorthand – a way of succinctly conveying a concept or idea to your target audience without having to reveal all the details.
However, other clichéd phrases are so frequently bandied about in hospitality and travel marketing materials, they fail to even register with readers. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the worst offenders below.
1. A home from home
Hotels frequently rely on this old nugget to hint at how welcoming and comfortable they are. But most potential guests won’t be wowed by this overdone cliché. While a dose of home-style warmth can benefit a B&B, domesticity usually has its limits – travellers want something a little more enticing than their own home.
2. City of contrasts
Don’t state the obvious. Urban hotels often use this one to describe their setting, but truth be told, every city is a ‘city of contrasts’. If your hotel was based in a city that had absolutely no contrast, that would be truly interesting.
3. Friendly locals
Think carefully before telling your guests all about the friendly locals. Even the most welcoming communities are multifaceted and comprised of many individuals with varying levels of friendliness. Instead of using the umbrella term ‘friendly’, offer your guests more concrete insights into local culture – e.g. “Pub culture is so ensconced here that you can’t walk for more than a minute without passing one.”
4. Best-kept secret
Whether you are referring to your own hotel or the area where it is situated, you need to think again. Is it really a secret? Probably not – you are actively trying to spread the word about it after all. Drop the cliché and try to say what you mean instead, whether that be ‘remote’, ‘secluded’ or ‘quiet’.
This is a perfectly good word that has unfortunately become the victim of misuse. It once denoted something truly exceptional and extraordinary: a world-class athlete for example, or a world-class performer. But, now there are world-class slide fasteners, world-class omelettes and more world-class hotels than you can shake a stick at, so try to find a better way of illustrating how ‘world-class’ your hotel is.
Look, we see where you’re coming from. You’ve used the word ‘drink’ already and so you’re desperately trying to avoid repetition. And in a way, you’re right; it is good to mix things up. But to pick a word that nobody ever uses in real life is strange. Do the waiting staff at your hotel bar or restaurant ask patrons if they’d like a quaff or a libation rather than a drink? No? Good. Case closed.
This falls into the same category as the above. No one uses this term in everyday speech. In fact, no one even says this word aloud. We know you don’t like to repeat ‘restaurant’, but ‘eatery’ is simply unacceptable. Instead, try using alternatives that better illustrate what type of restaurant you are referring to, such as ‘diner’, ‘café’ or ‘pizzeria’.
8. Je ne sais quoi
First of all, you’re not French. Well, maybe you are, but even so, writing this phrase is admitting defeat, as there are only two (equally bad) reasons to use it: you don’t know what you are trying to say, or you cannot be bothered to explain it. Try harder.
9. Melting pot
This phrase is routinely wheeled out to describe anywhere – usually a city – that doesn’t appear to have a completely monocultural, homogenous society. The problem is, these days, this can be said of most major cities. So leave it out.
Quirky has become a broad term to describe anyone and anything that is ‘a bit different’. Different than what exactly? No one knows. All we do know is that this word has become vague and fuzzy through overuse. Where possible, try to be more specific. Describe exactly what it is that makes your hotel, its décor or the neighbourhood it’s in so very ‘quirky’.