It’s the little things that matter – especially to our hotel guests, meeting planners, and event attendees who come from near and far to stay with us and experience our property. What’s behind pulling off legendary customer service and review scores, even at the most basic of properties?
It comes down to amenities.
Whether intuitive or creative, there are certain amenities that can be easily and cheaply be implemented, while also keeping your guests delightfully happy from arrival to departure. Amenities can also make or break decisions when for meeting planners. Remember that when trying to increase group bookings at hotels. Here are the amenities that can make the biggest impact on your guests’ experience. Build these into your experience, then make them the centerpieces of your hotel marketing strategies.
No guest has been delighted to pay a fee for Wi-Fi. Ever. Whether it’s $5 or $12, charging for Wi-Fi is just as repulsive to a guest as charging for water usage. Said another way, guests think of Wi-Fi as a basic utility. Wi-Fi fees are the most common complaint amongst group business and event attendees, and could cost you future meetings or events in the long-run. Instead, include the cost of Wi-Fi in the room rate itself or offer it outright for free. Anything to avoid nickel-and-diming your guest.
A Long List of TV Channels
Sure your guests will usually spend most of their time outside, but once they’re back in their room relaxing, they’ll need a variety of entertainment options. Think how deflated your guests will be flipping through your channels – all 10 of them, as they fruitlessly attempt to find something to watch. If you’re going to invest in hi-def, flat screen TVs, be sure to offer a lot of channels to come with it.
Necessities & Fun Extras for Kids
Parents traveling with children always arrive with an armload of children necessities. From car seats, to strollers, to cribs, to high chairs, to toys, it’s little wonder that families arrive looking frazzled, stressed, and in desperate need of the getaway that awaits them. Be a hero to your family guests by offering infant and children amenities to ease their load. These can include items such as bottle warmers, cribs, or even cool extras that will leave their kids talking for months. At the Ritz Carlton Chicago, kids are beyond giddy when they see The Candy Man, who delivers gummy bears, chocolate bars and more, via a traveling candy cart. The property will also pitch pint-sized tents inside guestrooms on request, so that kids can have an indoor camping adventure.
In other words, again, don’t nickel-and-dime your guests. Resort fees do just that, charging sometimes up to $50 per night for “conveniences” that may have never been used in the first place. Besides charging for Wi-Fi, some hotels are guilty of charging for items such as coffee pods (by all means, DO NOT charge for this), lotion, and even toothpaste. However wonderful your guests’ stay was will be left in tatters once they see their itemized bill. Lesson learned? If you want guests leaving with a smile on their face and a good review at their fingertips, then include those fees into the rate.
Various Categories for Different Sized Rooms
Guests like to see room options and pricing that correlates with room size. If you sell your smallest rooms for the same price as your larger rooms, your guests will feel duped once they check in. Instead, proudly brand your small rooms as an advantage to those travelers who are money-savvy or expect to be outside of their room most of the time anyhow.
Complimentary Passes to Off-Site Amenities
Best for boutique properties who don’t offer amenities such as a spa or fitness facilities, you can partner with a nearby workout facility to offer free passes to guests. This is especially important if your comp set offers these amenities in-house and you don’t.
From experience, hoteliers know that offering room service is a worthwhile investment. Properties with full room service can charge upwards of 10% more than their normal room rate and make even more revenue from food. Even if you don’t have the capability to offer room service in the hotel or you don't have a restaurant, any room service is better than nothing at all. Weary guests will appreciate any efforts you put into this. Arrange delivery from nearby restaurants, offer a snack box or cheese and fruit platters, or stock your gift shop with food items, like sandwiches and frozen pizzas.
Complimentary Food and Drinks
The fastest way to win over your guests’ hearts? Make their stomachs happy. People love free food as much as they hate paying a fee for your Wi-Fi. Kimpton Hotel offers a complimentary wine and appetizer hour every evening where guests can wine, dine, and mingle. Embassy Suites starts every guest’s stay right by offering a complimentary made-to-order breakfast.
Written by Junvi Ola.