By Kacey Bradley
For some, a hotel stay marks a getaway, a vacation from the norm — relaxation, indulgence and fond memories to bring back when it's time to head home.
Then, of course, there are frequent travelers.
Most who fall into this category jet around the country and world for business, which means they see lots of hotels. This constant on-the-go lifestyle might have run-of-the-mill hotel stays blurring together, if it weren't for a few savvy hoteliers who have started to up their game in order to make an impression on the weariest of travelers.
Improvements can be big or small, but even the slightest adjustment can turn heads. Here are five ways hotels have successfully made themselves better for their most frequent customers:
1. More Comfortable Mattresses and Pillows: At the end of the day, what is a hotel, really? It's a place to get some shut-eye after a long flight, business meeting or conference. Unfortunately, if the bed's uncomfortable, that much-needed sleep might not come too easily.
That's why many hotels have started to upgrade the mattresses in their guest rooms. In fact, some chains have worked with mattress manufacturers in order to create their own signature beds that frequent travelers. That way, customers look forward to snoozing on mattresses padded with cushy memory foam, for example, every time they check in.
It's also important to — quite literally — top it all off with a set of pillows that match the bed's level of comfort. And, because every guest has different sleep-time preferences, it's important to have a few options as far as pillow firmness. Stack them neatly on the bed or store a few in the guest closet, but be sure their presence is known so that guests can mix, match and sleep soundly.
2. Electronic Management Systems for Bookings: It's 2017: how many people are really calling to make a hotel reservation? Of course, some very frequent and high-up business travelers have assistants in charge of making their bookings over the phone. But others much prefer to do their bidding online — the most convenient hotels have made that service available and have fine-tuned it so that reservations aren't lost on the Internet.
3. Better Bed Linens: Now, back to the guest rooms, where things can be made even cozier with a great set of sheets. It's no longer acceptable to throw low-quality linens onto a hotel bed and call it a day; instead, chains have begun upgrading their supply of sheets so that they're extra-soft and well laundered to stay that way.
On top of that, guests also want to find luxury within their hotel bathrooms, such as having a clean space and fresh towels readily available to them just like they would at home. With this being said, the hotel hospitality industry puts a large focus on keeping guests comfortable with towels that stay soft for longer periods of time. One of the tricks of the trade is adding a scoop of baking soda to the wash cycle to eliminate any built-up dirt.
4. Deals, Offers and Frequent Traveler Programs: This applies to both business and leisure travelers: today's market requires businesses to offer competitive deals and rates or potential customers will be onto the next hotel they find online. Therefore, it's important and expected that hotels come up with deals, promotions and offers that continue to entice guests to choose them over the others. Today's frequent traveler expects a little bit in return for loyal business, and it's up to a hotel to provide that reward. Whether it's a points system — wherein visitors accrue points with each stay that can be used for free future lodging — or a status that allows guests access to a special lounge, free breakfast, etc., frequent travelers want to earn something for their regular visits — and it's up to hotels to figure out what works best.
5. Finally, throw in a Few Perks: We touched on this a bit above, but once frequent travelers are recognized via a points system, for example, it's important to show them love upon every check-in. Perhaps the concierge could send them upstairs with a complimentary bottle of water and snack, or provide them with free breakfast to start each day off on the right foot. Something as simple as a turndown service, even, could make a stay feel more cozy and custom, which is just what a frequent traveler needs to survive what can be a tiring and lonely jaunt on the road.
With these improvements, any frequent traveler will be happy to check into a hotel. Perhaps he or she will even experience the relaxation, indulgence and fond memories that come with a for-pleasure vacation, too.