Tax Day Reminder: Advertising Is The Tax Hotels Pay For An Unremarkable Product

As everyone is gearing up for the dreaded tax deadline, we wanted to share one of our favorite quotes, “Advertising is the tax you pay for an unremarkable product.”


We love marketing. And, we love helping hoteliers with marketing. Lucky for us, we’ve been fortunate enough to partner with many hotels and resorts that are already offering epic experiences and genuine first-class hospitality to their guests.

Since they start off with a remarkable product, our job in generating demand for them is much easier. However, there are far too many hotels that continue to sink millions of marketing dollars to over-compensate for or to cover up an aging, lackluster, or grungy hotel product. Sadly, as long as those hotels delay improving or, in some cases, completely overhaul their hotel appearance, service or amenities, they will continue to have an uphill battle when attracting and retaining guests.

So, as everyone is gearing up for the dreaded tax deadline, we wanted to share one of our favorite quotes by Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, “Advertising is the tax you pay for an unremarkable product.”

Marketing Can Only Do So Much.

The less you pay attention to improving your service and your hotel product, the more you’ll be spending in marketing and advertising to make up for it. Serve your guests better by working on your hotel first. By refusing to cut corners, investing in quality from the front desk to the back of the house, and by presenting the best guest experience that your staff can deliver, guest sentiment will go up, your number of repeat guests will go up, profits will go up and your marketing cost per booking will go down.

Take a cue from these three hotels across the globe, who are delighting guests with remarkable experiences from check-in to check-out.


Sumba, Indonesia

Located on a spectacularly unexplored island in Indonesia, Nihiwatu is all about the outdoors and luxurious, far-flung adventure. Guests of the resort’s villas are treated to jaw-dropping ocean views, their own private freshwater pools, and Sumbanese-inspired design and amenities. Even among the natural landscapes of rugged beach and lush gardens, Nihiwatu works at keeping up a pristine appearance. Not only do they offer exciting and Instagram-worthy activities, like exploring the bush on horseback or lounging at the beach cinema, they’ve also built a reputation for their eco-friendly ethos. They maintain their own organic garden to source product for resort meals and run a turtle hatchery, community programs in local villages, and a foundation dedicated to reducing malaria on the island.  Going against other resorts, Nihiwatu offers free Wifi and free bottled water. And, with a days notice, will organize treehouse barbecues, torch-lit dinners on the beach and in-villa lobster feasts.

Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Santa Monica, CA

Located on the golden shores of Santa Monica, this chic and stunning hamlet exudes a laid-back, beach charm with sweeping ocean views and a breezy color palette. Guests are treated to complimentary beach cruisers to take down to the beach boardwalk, Palisades Park and along the promenade at Santa Monica Pier. In summer, pool hosts supply guests not only with sunblock and magazines, but also iPads, iPods and ice cream. They’ll also prepare the perfect beach outing, complete with games, picnics and towels. When not on the beach, guests can participate in the hotel’s other complimentary activities, including yoga in Palisades Park, surfing lessons and hikes in Temescal Canyon. Their Tower 8 restaurant serves up a seasonal California menu, led by a Michelin-starred chef from the local area. The restaurant also offers its full menu at the pool, so guests can enjoy farm fresh flavors and seafood without leaving their sun lounger.

Hotel Hugo

New York City, NY

Tucked between the Hudson River and SoHo in Hudson Square, this retro retreat combines an urban industrial style with sophisticated maritime-inspired interiors, featuring lacquered wood, blue marble floors and shiny chrome fixtures. The result leaves guests feeling as if they’re staying on a luxury Italian ocean liner with dramatic views of the Hudson River. Twenty stories up, guests will find the hotel’s glass-enclosed rooftop bar and open-air terrace, where handcrafted cocktails, light bites and jaw-dropping views are always on the menu. The hotel was built from the ground up, with a stylish business center, a bright fitness room and a vertical garden wall that greets guests upon arrival. Adjoining the lobby, the restaurant is loved by locals and features Chef Kristine Mana-ay’s approachable cuisine steeped in the comfort food ideals of Italy.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

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