To win guest loyalty, hoteliers have always needed to offer more than a place to sleep. Whether it is valet parking, room service, or an on-site spa, hotels rely on extra amenities to appeal to customers.
This hasn’t changed post-pandemic. After two years of sitting around in sweatpants, trying to muster the energy to microwave their ramen, guests are more than ready to pamper themselves. Hotels need to provide quality services and amenities to stand out from the competition and give guests a reason to return.
Here’s a rundown of important amenities guests look for today:
When it comes to accommodation, the most sought-after amenity is free, high-speed internet. Today’s travelers are reliant on their phones (and other devices) to research activities, plan itineraries, and keep in touch with friends and family. And those are only the leisure uses.
The workcation trend—mixing your job with your vacation—is picking up steam. A quarter of Canadian employees plan to take a workcation in 2022, and that number rises to 65% in a global eight-country study.
However, guests can’t “work from anywhere” without Wi-Fi. If you don’t offer it, they’ll keep looking for a property that does.
But there is a solution if you have spotty Wi-Fi and can’t upgrade: Market yourself as a technology-free hotel like the Sheldon Chalet. Having your phone on you at all times, listening for pings, is exhausting. There is a guest subset who is sold on the idea of relaxing with a good book instead.
Though you may need to simplify, there are still ways you can treat your guests to breakfast post-pandemic. Consider bringing back your buffet with a couple Covid-conscious adjustments.
Have staff deliver the food rather than having guests come get it. That way, you avoid crowding, and it will reduce the chance of contamination from having food laid out in a public area.
When in doubt, go for quality over quantity and choose a few staples your guests will enjoy. Bonus points if you can get your food from local suppliers. It’s better for the environment, and it helps with your unique selling proposition. “Farm fresh eggs with artisan cheddar from the local cheeseworks” sounds much better than “eggs and cheese.”
While you’re at it, it’s nice to have gluten-free, nut-free and vegan options. This doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. You can have one item that covers multiple dietary restrictions—just be careful of cross-contamination.
A grab-and-go option works as well. It requires fewer staff than a plated breakfast, so this option can be available longer for guests who like to sleep in.
Having a hand sanitizer station in your breakfast area is a good idea too.
Mini-fridge or Kitchenette
Guests also appreciate a place to store their own breakfast, i.e., a mini-fridge. Unlike minibars, you don’t have to worry about stocking or tracking use, which makes things easier for your staff.
Add a microwave and a countertop, and you have a kitchenette. Kitchenettes are especially useful for extended-stay travelers. You can’t eat out every night for two months without a mind-boggling bill. Give guests the option of getting some groceries instead.
One fifth of AirBnB stays from July to September 2021 were for at least one month. There’s a market here, and you need to offer cooking essentials to complete. Reusable dishes, utensils and a cutting board go a long way towards making guests feel at home…and towards reducing the number of plastic forks.
Luxury In-room Essentials
It’s the little details that make a guest’s stay special. When it comes to in-room amenities, that means ensuring linens and toiletries are high quality. Swap out polyester sheets for high-thread-count cotton and equip rooms with soft, oversized bath towels.
And don’t skimp on towel quantity. There’s nothing more irritating than realizing there’s no towel left for your hair after mopping up the lake of water on the floor. (Quality shower seals are a plus too.)
When stocking the bathroom, choose high-end hair care products and artisanal soaps. Showcase local brands if you can and choose sustainable options. Those little shampoo bottles are fun, but they’re not so great for the environment. Try dispensers instead.
Paying attention to details here will leave your guests feeling pampered and excited to return.
Being a tourist is tiring; guests need something to watch when they put their feet up at the end of the day. They want in-room flat-screen TVs, but pay-per-view movies aren’t going to cut it anymore. The demand for casting is higher than ever, so consider installing smart TVs or casting devices that allow guests to cast content from their own mobile device to the guest room TV.
Property management systems like WebRezPro offer integrations with smart room automation systems that allow guests to securely control a range of features in their rooms, from lighting and drapes to electronic locks and TV!
Guests enjoy socializing with each other, and hotels should provide common areas for them to do that. Shared spaces can include lounges, lobbies, libraries, and even designated coworking spaces to capitalize on the workcation trend. The number of worldwide coworking spaces is predicted to double from almost 20,000 in 2020 to over 40,000 in 2024.
Remember that time you had to find city parking, and the streets were all mysteriously one way? Offering free—or even paid—parking can help make your guest’s stay stress free, especially if you’re located in a huge metropolis like London or New York. For out-of-town guests, an airport shuttle is always appreciated as well.
Since the pandemic, more guests than ever are traveling with pets. Offering pet-friendly rooms is a must for attracting this booming segment.
Our client, The Island Inn at 123 West offers a Puppy Pass package, which includes a dog bed, a bowl, and treats. They won a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for 2022, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to amenities and extras. Sometimes the way to a guest’s heart is through their dog…
Almost 75% of travelers around the globe say their primary travel motivation is becoming less stressed and healthier. Offering wellness packages will attract these guests to your hotel. If your property has a gym and/or a spa, that’s a great start! Even without, hotels can build relationships with local businesses to offer guests wellness packages or discounts.
Family spa days, outdoor adventure activities, and corporate wellness retreats are all good options to try. Make sure you offer choices for all fitness levels. Corporate team building doesn’t work that well if half the team can’t participate.
Take note: Outdoor adventure travel isn’t only for young men in surf shorts. The average adventure traveler is actually a 48-year-old woman.
Amenities matter. They elevate the guest experience and help grow repeat business and new bookings. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to win your customers’ loyalty and rave reviews!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published February 2019 and updated June 2022.