Guests stay at hotels for a variety of reasons. Some are business travellers looking for a place to rest their heads between meetings. Others are vacation travellers looking for nearby tourist attractions. And some are planners and attendees in town for a meeting or event. Whatever a guest's motivation for staying with you may be, one thing's for sure: the experiences and amenities your hotel offers can make a big difference in growing your business. With that being the case, we put together a list of hotel amenity ideas that any guest is sure to love. But first, let's learn a little bit more about hotel amenities.
What are hotel amenities?
An amenity is defined as "a desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place." For hotels, the options are endless. Things like toiletries and personal care products, like hair dryers and shaving cream, go without saying and should be stocked in every room. Coffee and tea kits and a mini fridge are also largely expected, as well as some kind of complimentary breakfast. Other perks like free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, free parking, and flat-screen TVs in rooms are commonplace as well. But that's only the beginning.
Amenities like the ones listed above are becoming more and more expected — so much so that guests might not even notice them anymore. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways for you to offer amenities that stand out.
Why are hotel amenities important?
At the end of the day, it's all about the hotel customer experience, and amenities go a long way in making a guest's stay more enjoyable. Not only are amenities like the ones listed below a fantastic way to "wow" your guests, but they can actually be used as a selling point and shape a portion of your hotel's marketing strategy, too.
Discover 19 hotel amenity ideas that will impress your guests:
1. Personalised welcome gifts
This is one of the simplest hotel amenity ideas on this list, but it's also one of the easiest to execute. Use what you know about your guests to create a personalised welcome gift. During the booking process, you likely figured out why they’re visiting (business, vacation, in town for a bachelorette party, etc.) and you know if they’re traveling with family, kids, pets, or their partner.
If they’re traveling with kids, have kid-friendly treats, toys, or books in the room. If it’s a couple’s romantic weekend away, put together a small package of chocolate-covered strawberries and some champagne. Surprise them by having it waiting in their room for them when they arrive.
2. Snack baskets with local flavour
Give guests a taste of your city by stocking rooms with a basket of snacks and drinks from local establishments. It gives you a chance to highlight the uniqueness of your destination while delighting guests with fun freebies. And it’s a great way to plug your local small businesses and give them a boost. If you have a grab-and-go snack station in your lobby or a coffee shop, consider offering other, more robust varieties of local food and drink there as a for-purchase option.
3. Coworking spaces or in-room offices
Business travellers, event attendees, or planners may need to get some work done during their stay. As such, offer friendly and open coworking spaces for those who like to work in a “coffee shop” type atmosphere. Make sure some rooms are equipped with desks for those who prefer to work in a quiet, private space.
4. Free bike options
If your destination is one that's bike-friendly, consider investing in a fleet of bikes for guest use. If you have the capabilities, offer a guided tour that leaves daily, or maybe on the weekends. It’s a great way to encourage guests to get active, go green, and see the best parts of your city at their leisure.
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham offers a free bike share program that provides guests with a free bike, helmet, lock, and local map. Each bike has a bike basket for storing guests’ belongings or purchases while they’re out.
5. Free car options
Ride share services are the norm, but what if you took it one step further? Offer guests a free ride in your hotel's car or SUV, like the Harvest Inn in Napa Valley, California, and take them anywhere within a reasonable radius of the hotel. Or give them a free rental. The White Elephant in Nantucket, Massachusetts offers guests who book a particular suite a free BMW car rental to use during their stay.
6. In-room beer taps
The DogHouse hotels are the first of their kind – a craft beer hotel where guests can sleep above a brewery. Their Columbus, Ohio location offers in-room draft beer and a mini fridge with a curated selection of the brewers’ favorite beers. If a beer tap isn’t something you can add in-room, consider stocking the fridge with staff favourites or local brews.
7. In-elevator or in-room bartenders
Surprise guests with an in-elevator cocktail while they wait or offer a personal bartending service where a mixologist will come to their room and make beverages for an additional charge. On Saturday evenings, the W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills parks a miniature bar cart with a personal bartender in the elevator to create signature cocktails during the lift. At The Surrey in New York, a mixologist prepares drinks in-room and leaves behind enough ingredients and tools for 4-5 drinks so guests can try their hand at mixing their own. It’s an out-of-the-box way to provide a customised F&B experience while avoiding crowds and large gatherings.
8. In-room games
Consider providing your guests with complimentary in-room board games or video games. It’s a great option for families, or for those who are kids at heart. Dorchester Collection hotels offer family games (and freshly-baked cookies), and Denver's The Curtis has a video game-themed room with board games and video games galore.
9. Themed experiences
Provide themed experiences or themed rooms that play up your destination and all the great sights and attractions your city has to offer. Going with the music theme of its brand, at any Hard Rock Hotel, guests can listen to curated playlists and even take in-room guitar lessons on a Fender guitar. At Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota, Florida, guests are provided with in-room ukuleles and leather-bound sketchbooks to foster their inner creativity. The Curtis in Denver also offers several additional themed rooms, including Star Trek, Jimmy Buffett, Talladega Nights, and Barbie.
10. In-room bar carts and cocktail stations
Whether it’s a well-stocked bar cart with all the ingredients, a modest mini bar, or an in-room signature cocktail station, mix up the offerings of your in-room beverage selections to give guests an alternative option to going out. The HotelRED in Madison, Wisconsin pulls out all the stops for its in-room minibars. They come stocked with Wisconsin spirits, as well as the classic favorites. For a one-time $100 payment, guests get the “Raid the Minibar” deal where they can have all the drinks and snacks they want.
11. Borrowing closets
If you’re located in an area with lots of hiking trails or is popular for outdoor activities, offer outdoorsy items to your guests for free, or for a small rental fee. Stock a borrowing closet with things like hiking boots, windbreakers, fishing poles, and daypacks. If it matches your destination and the demands of your guests, maybe also consider offering canoe or kayak rentals, mountain bikes, or tennis racquets. The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, for example, is a haven for nature enthusiasts, and they offer Hunter boots and outerwear for guest use.
12. In-room workout equipment and classes
In-room workout options give guests the convenience and safety of staying fit from the comfort of their own rooms. The Hilton McLean Tysons Corner’s “Five Feet to Fitness” programme offers in-room fitness options like a stationary bike, high-intensity interval training stations, and a fitness kiosk with workout videos and yoga classes.
13. Cooking classes
Consider offering cooking classes with your restaurant chefs, or partner with local restaurants and have their chefs host a special cooking class at your hotel. Class options can either be private, group, or open registration with a headcount limit. The Cooking School at Zero George Street Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina is considered one of the “best cooking classes in the world.” The classes, hosted by the hotel chefs, teach guests cooking techniques and styles, and they walk away with an unmatched culinary experience.
14. Personalised soaps, toiletries and more.
Sometimes, it’s the little touches that count. The Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico has a Soap Concierge who provides a variety of soaps for guests to select from. This allows guests to have personalised bars of soap stocked in their rooms. The VIEW in Lugano, Switzerland takes it one step further and allows guests to customise everything in the room, from the fragrance and lighting to the toilet paper and pillows.
15. Exclusive offers.
Give guests something they can’t get anywhere else. Go the extra step and provide discounts and packages based on their interests, like coupons for their favourite stores and specials at restaurants they might enjoy or organise your own complimentary walking tours or bar crawls to show guests the best highlights within walking distance of your hotel.
16. Complimentary books and movies with free popcorn
For guests who aren’t keen on board games or video games but still want a different kind of in-room entertainment, consider offering complimentary books and movie rentals. If you want to add a little extra joy, deliver a free container of freshly popped popcorn, or have the makings for movie snacks right in the room. In the Maldives, Niyama Private Islands Resort rooms have popcorn makers and all the fixing stocked daily.
17. Outdoor dining or rooftop bars
Especially with lingering uncertainties about the safety of dining indoors, if you have the space to make outdoor seating, a poolside cocktail bar, or a rooftop bar or restaurant, this is appealing to many. In urban areas, rooftop bars are popular and might entice more guests to dine at your hotel rather than go looking for another restaurant elsewhere.
18. Themed city tours
To cater to guests who are vacationing in your destination, consider creating themed or customised city tours based on what they’re interested in. Offer tours for foodies, craft beer enthusiasts, happy hours, dining experiences, historical walks and landmarks, boutiques, and shops, and all the major attractions. The Magnolia Hotel and Spa in British Columbia provides guests with themed maps of the city pointing out things like Tapas Trail for quick bites or the Haunted Trail to catch a glimpse of some historical sites.
19. Personalised plant setups
According to an Orbitz survey from 2019, 63% of millennial vacationers said the hotel amenity they would most like to see in their rooms is plants. The Kimpton Gray in Chicago partnered with the city’s conservatory to offer a few rooms filled with indoor plants, in what they called their “plant pop-up hotel.” For a limited time, guests could book one of these rooms packed with a variety of plants.
Put these hotel amenity ideas to use!
Don't stop at what's expected. Go above and beyond. Give guests amenities that they'll remember, and maybe even share on social media and tell their friends and family about.
Up next, check out our list of hotel SEO tips to maximise your exposure.