In a bid to drive more direct bookings you’ve listed your hotel on metasearch for free, integrated a booking engine via your property management system or connectivity partner, and started some savvy social marketing. It’s going well and now you’re looking for new ways to make an impression on your guests, get noticed online, and increase overnight stays. You’re not ready to shell out for professional solutions just yet, though. So what do you do?
Glad you asked.
You need to offer the room amenities that matter most to travelers, and they need to be top quality. In fact, per PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series Report on hotel brand loyalty, “Both business and leisure travelers say room quality is the #1 reason for choosing a hotel.”
The guest isn’t just looking for a bed to sleep in and a roof over their head anymore. Travelers want to indulge themselves in hotels featuring high-quality room amenities. They want to feel pampered. They want luxury.
This doesn’t mean a jacuzzi in the room, however. It means the basics you provide should look and feel luxurious. Guests want you to meet (and ideally exceed) their expectations on the essentials. And when you do, they’ll notice—both from your online profile and while at your property.
In this post we’ll reveal the basic room amenities that matter most to hotel guests. We’ll also give you some tips on how to update them so they’re not just simple, but simply splendid.
#1 Plush pillows and breathable bed linens
There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. And when you’re on the road, with the stresses of trip-planning and travel behind you, there’s nothing you want more.
What the average hotel provides: Rough polyester sheets in dark colors or dated patterns.
What guests want: Soft, breathable white or pastel sheets, down comforters, and plump pillows.
Why? 1000-thread-count cotton sheets and down-filled duvets are soothing. It’s the same with earth tones. When you stick to natural fibers and colors, guests can see from your online profile images how luxuriously comfortable your beds are. And they’ll certainly feel it when they’re sleeping on them.
#2 Soft, oversized bath towels
Using a towel that doesn’t fully cover you is awkward. Picture yourself sharing a hotel room with a friend, parent, or co-worker and you’ll understand why.
What the average hotel provides: One or two small, worn, rough towels.
What guests want: Generous, super soft towels that envelope them completely. Also, multiple towels with different sizes for different uses.
Why? Large towels feel luxurious. You can still encourage guests to use the same towel more than once, but give them a set of oversized, fluffy towels upon arrival. They’ll be more likely to hang them up and reuse them if you do.
#3 Full-sized, pH-balanced toiletries
Having to squeeze the living daylights out of a tiny bottle just to get a few drops of low-quality product doesn’t make for a luxurious hotel experience. Especially not when the soap dries out your skin and the shampoo makes your hair dull and frizzy.
What the average hotel provides: A few small bottles of cheap shampoo, lotion, and shower and bath gel.
What guests want: High-quality soap, shampoo, and conditioner that leave them feeling clean and refreshed and looking good. And enough of everything to get the job done.
Why? An invigorating shower resulting in shiny, tangle-free hair and soft, clean skin is at the height of simple luxury. It instills in your guests a sense of confidence and joy, and this is how they’d like to feel as they leave their room to go to an important meeting or to see the sights. Help them feel great by plying their shower with top-notch, regular-sized toiletries.
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#4 Complimentary refreshments
We all know that mini-bar fees are the most contested item on a room bill. It leaves a guest feeling nickel-and-dimed. Quality complimentary refreshments, on the other hand, leave them feeling cared for.
What the average hotel provides: Cheap plastic bottles of water, an uninspired sampling of snacks, and sample-sized alcohol at exorbitant rates.
What guests want: Water, tea, and coffee within arm’s reach and in real drinkware.
Why? After a long flight or an evening of enjoying the local nightlife, a bottle of water is just what your guests need to rehydrate and feel refreshed. Similarly, that jolt of caffeine the moment they wake up helps get their day started right. These are simple conveniences you can offer free of charge to make your guests feel pampered, not cheated.
#5 A little something special
One of the greatest rules of hospitality is to make your guests feel welcome and special. What better way to accomplish this than by treating each one to a little something extra? Add a cherry to the top of their experience and they’ll love you for it.
What the average hotel provides: Nothing, usually.
What guests want: To feel special. A plate of homemade cookies, a welcome cocktail, or fresh flowers in the room can do the trick.
Why? In a world where competing hoteliers are trying to undercut one another by cutting back on what they see as unnecessary expenses, the hotels that still invest in life’s simple luxuries for their guests will stand out. Dare to be different. Offer your guests more than what they expect. When you deliver a high standard of quality on the essential room amenities hotel guests want most, you set yourself apart from other hoteliers, and you get noticed by travelers.
Got the above covered? Then you’re well on your way to encouraging guests to extend their stay, return soon, and leave you a gracious review after they’ve gone. This is because unlike your competition, you nailed the basics and are exceeding expectations.
Are there a few things you could work on? Don’t delay. Go room by room and replace old, rough, inexpensive room amenities with the quality basics travelers want.