Hotel Online  Special Report

The Evolution of Guest Room Amenities


By John R. Hendrie, February 2005

It used to be so easy being a Hotelier.  Your Guest wanted a good mattress, a clean bathroom, and access to a pool, perhaps.  And, room amenities were not a loss leader, for your prices reflected a recoup of the costs, minimal, as they were.  Then, the evolution began, and you had to be quite clever to gain and retain the competitive edge and not “break the bank”.

A simple tub begat a Jacuzzi, leading to the Spa.  Ordinary cable television has turned into Movies on Demand.  Lone soda machines were replaced by mini-bars.  Complimentary coffee in the Lobby morphed into a coffee maker, a fridge and a microwave in every room.  Rigid hours for Room Service are now 24/7 with pizza.  Maybe you began to participate in the “bedding wars”, extolling your beds, linens, furniture – actually anything that moves is for sale.  Goodness, I can have my laundry done, a newspaper delivered, and, in some cases, my shoes shined.  If you could only find me a good woman (and some said, “no problem”), I would change my address and become a permanent resident.

The Guest Room has become the haven, the Crib, the Pad, the home away from home.  You are doing everything you can to make it special, safe and memorable.  But, the evolution continues, as you try to exceed the expectations of the Baby Boomers and the GenX’ers.  Remarkable Hospitality is a challenge!

Do you remember the days when you made some money on your telephones, some more than others?  That is history, because everyone now is connected – through their cell phones, their Bayberrys, and their laptops.  You tried to fill the void with Business Centers, a good transitional concept, but your Guest wants their connectivity in private and comfort, in the domain we have so carefully created for them.  They want it all, they want it now, and they want it their way!

I read somewhere that high speed internet access use has spiraled from 7% in 1998 to 50% in 2004, yet more than half of all lodgings do not offer this service.  What an opportunity to make your property distinctive and attentive to Guest Satisfaction. 

What does your Guest want?  They want reliability, ease of connection, speed and security.  I would think that you would want the same thing, in addition to service guarantee, other applications, such as surveillance, web printing, hotel specific information, and, of course, reasonable cost.  We are not talking hi-tech, for WiFi is here, your Guests expect the service, the provider field is still very open and competitive for super products, services and costs. 

I still struggle with e-mails, attachments and excel. Let’s not even talk about Power Point.  But, I carry my laptop everywhere, and I fully expect access to the internet.  In hotels which do not offer the service, I become irritated.  In those which offer a wide variety of services, I actually become confused, then irritable,  if there is no service to which I can turn.  Maybe, I am just irritable when I travel.  But, that is your problem, too.  Make me welcome, spoil me with your Hospitality, but, goodness, get me on-line!

By John R. Hendrie, CEO
Hospitality Performance, Inc.

Also See: Hospitality Trade Associations:  What Have You Done for Me Lately? / February 2005
I Would Like to See your Hospitality Standards. Where Are They? Anybody Seen Them? / John Hendrie / January 2005
Remarkable Hospitality - the Road Map to Excellence; Exceeding the Expectations of our Guests / John Hendrie / January 2005
Are Your Guests Expecting Mediocrity with Your Hospitality Services? Move Your Level of Excellence to the Remarkable / John Hendrie / December 2004
Guest Services - A Tradition Diminished / John Hendrie / December 2004
Rescue from Mediocrity; The Decline of Service Etiquette - A Sequel / John Hendrie / November 2004
Offering Crushed Pepper Before Tasting the Entrée; The Decline of Restaurant Service Etiquette / John Hendrie / October 2004
Destination Marketing – How to rebuild your Reputation and the upcoming Season after the Hurricanes / John Hendrie / September 2004
Six Factors Which Dictate Success in Performing Destination Marketing / John Hendrie / September 2004
Influencing the Consumer to Book Business through Your Commitment to Quality / Aug 2004
Major Hotel Operators Have Rediscovered Hospitality Fundamentals by Revisiting the Guest Room / John R. Hendrie / July 2004
Destination Marketing 101: Take Care of Mom / John R. Hendrie / June 2004
Service Unions Combine, Presenting Huge Challenge to Hospitality Industry / John R. Hendrie / March 2004
What Value Quality? Most Hospitality Operators Use the Term “Quality” In their Advertising. What Exactly Does that Mean? / John R. Hendrie / April 2004

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