What do travellers really want when they check in to a hotel? Sure, there are certain aspects of the experience that are timeless guests. They usually expect cleanliness, complimentary toiletries, a good view, and easy accessibility to important attractions, etc. among other things. However, emerging technologies are playing a major role in influencing guest experiences and their overall expectations from the hotels they stay in. With the sea of gadgets and technology available in the market, people, especially the ones who travel frequently, find themselves putting their device’s electrical plug into the wrong socket or dock at a hotel no matter if it is a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. And ever since the presence and popularity of gadgets such as these has burgeoned, the hotel industry worldwide has endured bafflement about precisely what facilities they ought to offer their guests.
However, it isn’t just about the ‘tech support’, though it remains an important consideration. The expectations of weary travellers have certainly evolved from wanting merely roof over their head and a clean bed to sleep in. In this day and age, hotel guests want to indulge themselves. They want to feel pampered. They want top-notch room amenities. Now, we are not saying they expect a jacuzzi or some such thing in their rooms every time. It just means that want for the basic provisions to be high-quality and at least give off a sense of luxury.
So, we put together a list of the features and amenities hotel guests want in their rooms:
It may seem surprising, especially considering the fact that most people have high-speed internet access on their phones. However, the availability of quality internet access remains one of the top priorities for both travellers. The number of hotel rooms providing high-speed access has grown considerably since the mid 2000s to the point that today most hotels offer the facility. In fact, the number of properties with in-room wi-fi has also surged significantly. Save for the properties and hotels that market themselves as a digital detox have, a fast connection to the interwebs continues to be a must have. In fact, some international surveys have discovered that along with breakfast and parking, free Wi-Fi is one of the most important amenities travellers seek. So much so that some guests would happily trade certain amenities in exchange for complimentary Wi-Fi. This is not to say that all travellers are unwilling to pay additional money for better connectivity.
Check-in and check-out on smart devices:
The hotel industry’s close relationship to mobile devices and smartphones isn’t limited to just bookings and reservations. Today, guests do not wish to stand in line to check in and a growing number of travellers want the hotel they are staying in to offer the option for a mobile check-in option.
On the house refreshments:
Of course, hotels offer a rather healthy selection of refreshments in their mini-bar but we all know how practically no one is a fan of the mini-bar fees. So, in the absence of complimentary refreshments, hotel guests are prone to feeling beleaguered into paying frivolous charges. On the other hand, provision of quality complimentary refreshments makes travellers feel they are being cared for. And mind you, a couple of plastic bottles of water doesn’t make the cut. Guests want not just water, but also beverages such as tea and coffee and preferably in decent beverageware.
- If you are wondering why guests would desire easily accessible beverages instead of having to wait for room service or making the effort to going to the restaurant, the answer is simple: when you need a quick caffeine jolt out of bed in the morning, having to wait for it often ruins the purpose. And at the end of the day, they are just basic conveniences that make hotel guests feel pampered.
Though excellent service is a rudimentary facet of hospitality, the infiltration of technology in every realm of our lives has led to the automation or replacement of some services that guests take for granted otherwise. A prime example would be mobile check-in and check-out — while guests want the convenience, they essentially want the hotel staff to take care of them. In person. Sure, state-of-the-art technology continues to improve guest experiences, but nothing can still replace the value of human touch.
Deluxe bedding and bed linen:
Any person, tired or not, enjoys a good night’s sleep. This becomes an especially important consideration when people are travelling. So instead of rough sheets in sombre colours or patterns, patrons look for smooth and breathable sheets in sober shades and gentle and supple comforters and pillows. Besides providing utter comfort to guests, plush bedding and bed linen also positively affects the hotel’s image and the luxury it offers.
This one can be easy to miss but never underestimate the power of a large and soft towel. Soft, because it is easy on the skin and offers a certain comfort. Large, because a small towel can rapidly make things uncomfortable if you are sharing the room with friends, family, or maybe even a co-worker. Besides that, oversized and soft towels feel luxurious and help motivate guests to reuse them instead of putting it away after one use. So, instead of a couple of worn out towels, guests expect multiple soft towels: some to cover them completely after a shower and some for miscellaneous uses during their stay.
Compared to hotel guests of the past decades, travellers in the 21st century are far more environmentally conscious. They are aware of the consequences their choices can have on the environment and consider the impact on the environment when they are booking hotels. Thus, an increasing number of people are adopting lifestyle changes to grapple with the reality and effects of climate change. This, in turn, has led to travellers seek and opt for eco-friendly hotels with their wallets. In fact, some of them are even willing to pay extra for eco-friendly features.
Since the entire concept of hospitality is pivoted on the idea of making guests feel welcome, providing a special extra in the room goes a long way in enhancing guests’ experience. It doesn’t have to be anything exorbitant — just a little something like a welcome drink or a small chocolate on their pillows will immediately do the trick.
Come to think of it, these aren’t extraordinary or expensive expectations. Practically basic, the provision of these amenities does not only greatly enhance guests’ experience but also holds the potential to turn them into loyal customers for the brand.