By Kacey Bradley
In the hospitality industry, there seems to be a disconnect between what hotels think guests want, what guests think they want and what they actually use. Because people are expecting services they're used to, some amenities aren't as novel as they once were, while others go unused.
So, what makes travelers content during their stay at a hotel? Do guests need extra packaged toiletries or a pool to rave about the establishment? The following seven amenities are what guests hope for and take advantage of during their visit.
As travelers are stowing their electronics along for their trips, their charging needs have become more crucial. According to the PR Newswire Association, 81 percent of a study group said their smartphone is their primary travel accessory. Most people juggle several mobile devices, including laptops, tablets and e-readers.
With plenty of electronic devices, hotels must provide enough outlets to cover all the chargers. But appliances already in the room, like lamps and a bedside clock, may take up several outlets. Conveniently placed ones are what pleases guests. Additional tech provided by the hotel is attractive, but most guests are focused on the devices they brought along.
2. Small Toiletries
Personal-sized shampoos, conditioners, body washes and hand soap stocked in hotel bathrooms are something guests consistently want and use. According to a study by Cornell University, 86 percent of the hotel guest sample used their packaged bathroom products. In their study, this was one of the most accurately predicted expected uses for guests.
Soap and shampoo dispensers, while greener, had a lower usage, and this continues to be a challenge for hoteliers opting for eco-friendly practices. Single-use plastics are a popular amenity, but the resulting amount of waste is unwanted. Many hotels are exchanging plastic packaging for more sustainable materials.
3. Fitness Equipment
Hotels have aimed their efforts at health-conscious guests with boutique fitness experiences and outdoor recreational equipment. From adult-sized playgrounds to fitness trails, accessible workout gear has increased around the world.
While business travelers and other busy people have limited workout times, some hotels are offering shorter exercise classes to do over a lunch break or after meetings. Outdoor ellipticals and stationary bikes can appeal to multiple generations and promote active lifestyles.
4. Free WiFi
Internet access in hotels is a modern-day staple for guests, and it's a game changer when people are booking. Approximately 34 percent of business travelers won't even consider a hotel unless it has WiFi. For the initial choice of their accommodations, WiFi is a deal breaker.
However, many guests may use their own hotspot rather than the hotel's internet services. Increased security across WiFi platforms can improve guests' reception of hotel-offered internet.
Although technology makes getting answers much quicker, the experience of knowledgeable concierges doesn't seem to be waning. Apps may offer fast information, but concierges hold reliable recommendations and invaluable help. Plus, guests continue to go to them for assistance.
While the internet has altered the role of concierges, guests still want to discuss options with them to narrow down dining or outing choices. They also want to filter their own research through these experts.
For leisure guests, the pool area is a common attraction. Many families anticipate going for a swim together, but frequently their plans change. However, the expectation holds their attention enough to make it a go-to amenity.
Around 39 percent of leisure guests and 33 percent of business-leisure guests used the pool facilities, according to the previously mentioned Cornell study. With a decent amount of hotel guests engaging in the pool activities, this continues to be a desired feature.
7. Lobby Seating
Couches and chairs in the lobby may be overlooked, but guests end up lounging around this area. When a guest walks into your hotel, they might not analyze your lobby seating, but once they're staying in the building, they gravitate toward the common area. Often, they need to wait for their travel companions in the lobby and take a seat.
Redesign your entryway to account for this seated time. You can impact your guests with useful information on the area, hotel services and entertainment choices.
Give Travelers What They're Looking For
Hotels and resorts pursue convenient and comfortable accommodations for guests, but with shifts in preferences, ideal amenities can be unpredictable. Determining the best services to offer is essential for succeeding in hospitality, so keep your hotel visitors happy with luxuries they can appreciate.