At one luxury hotel / spa, our evaluation of the consumer experience highlighted an underlying strategic inconsistency. It was marketing itself as both a minimalist health resort and luxury niche hotel. The dilemma was that the former involved spartan values - and was even reflected in a lack of comfortable seating to recline and relax in. But the latter implied expectations of cosseted care and attention and hence a level of facilities that were actually not provided. The result was that it failed to offer a really compelling experience either to those visitors who thought that they had signed up to a complete spartan spa 'bubble', or to those who expected the full facilities of a luxury hotel.

Our recommendation was the need for focus on one or the other - or both only if they could be made into distinct and compelling offerings in the same resort. But our concern was that without a strong, vision driven leadership, the compromise situation was likely to continue.

At another luxury hotel - one of a small chain of beautifully designed boutique resorts - the architecture was stunning and attention to detail could not be faulted.

But the guest experience was let down by two key issues.

First, the menu and wine list, whilst good, were not sufficient to 'wow' a clientele whose expectations and standards were likely to have been exceedingly high.

Second, the hotel manager failed to make a personal 'connection' with each of his high paying guests. This was noticed and commented on to us. So whilst the overall hotel experience was very good, it failed to engender an affective bond through the personal touch. As a result it fell short of delivering the type of truly compelling experience that was probably necessary to achieve unequivocal word of mouth advocacy from one high net worth guest to one of his/her friends or colleagues.

Two small matters. Both with significant impact. Both relatively easy to resolve.