Amenities have a huge impact on guest experience. But with most modern travelers checking in with a smart phone (and the ability to stream video, schedule a car and arrange food delivery) many hoteliers are thinking twice about the kinds of amenities they offer. Here, we help you consider the options, defining the basics and outlining what’s most desired by your best guests.
What are hotel amenities?
Hotel amenities are the premiums, or extras, provided by those selling accommodations to guests. They will vary by type of property (e.g. luxury hotel vs. hostel) and from property to property.
Amenities include in-room extras – such as air conditioning, entertainment (TV/music), Wi-Fi, toiletries, robes and more – and on-property premiums – including parking, dining, pools, common areas, fitness and recreation options. Use of on-property amenities typically have an associated fee or cost. An amenity can include anything beyond the basics of a room, bathroom and a clean, safe surrounding.
What amenities should every hotel include?
Amenities are an excellent opportunity to ensure your guests feel comfortable and pampered during their stay. However, it’s important to curate your amenities with an eye to your bottom line and ability to operate profitably. You also want to create a consistent guest experience, selecting amenities that align with traveler expectations. If you have a luxury property, providing budget soaps and shampoos will likely be deemed subpar by your guests. But if your target traveler is on a budget, the simple availability of toiletries could differentiate you.
A PwC research study with business and leisure travelers revealed that room quality remains the number one reason travelers choose a hotel, so let’s focus on the in-room amenities that matter.
Increasingly, amenities that once differentiated a property – sustainable practices, robes and slippers, in-room entertainment, signature products – are becoming expected basics.
Beyond plugs, think about providing desks where guests can use, as well as charge, their devices. Long a basic for business travelers, having a workspace is now essential for all traveler types.
How can you attract the right guests with amenities and special offers?
Beyond the basics, the right set of amenities for your hotel depends on the guests you want to attract. Families respond differently than business travelers, international guests differ from domestic, weekend get-awayers from week-long vacation stayers. Our guide to hotel marketing can help you clarify your best guests. Once you know, consider targeting them with amenities and special offers.
And remember, documenting your in-room and on-property amenities in your OTA listing will help match your property to guests looking for the experience you offer.
Amenities that matter: High speed Wi-Fi, comfortable desk and lighting, power outlets and USB ports, laundry services and the ability to iron, in-room coffee maker, breakfast/restaurants, fitness facilities, parking or shuttle
Special offers that appeal: Free parking, complimentary breakfast, discounted laundry services
Touches that delight: A complementary drink to help them wind down at the end of a long day; a fruit plate or light snack when they arrive, especially if the journey is long or the hour is late
Amenities that matter: High-speed Wi-Fi, in-room kitchen/coffee maker, breakfast/restaurants, pools, pet-friendly, in-room entertainment, activities
Special offers that appeal: Anything that makes traveling with kids more affordable and hassle-free: packaging your hotel with a flight; offering a free night after a minimum three-night stay; providing complementary breakfasts; free parking or shuttles and free pet stays
Touches that delight: Recommendations for family-friendly activities and must-see sites, free bike rental availability of beach, pool or snow toys, stashes of puzzles or games, special treatment for the family pup.
Amenities that matter: High-speed Wi-Fi, balcony/view, pool/hot tub, in-room entertainment in-room coffee makers, high-end toiletries, robes/slippers, pet-friendly, activities
Special offers that appeal: Anything that makes the most of their time: flexible check-in and check-out times, luggage storage, free parking and shuttles, complimentary breakfast.
Anything that makes their stay special: complimentary champagne, discounts at spas or on activities, discounts in restaurants, etc.
Touches that delight: Acknowledgement of birthdays, anniversaries, or honeymoons; local recommendations for special-occasion dining, hiking trails and must-see sites; celebratory in-room gifts such as fruit plates, decadent deserts and/or wine.
More ideas for impressing your guests with amenities
Never underestimate the power of a simple, thoughtful gesture to make a guest’s stay truly special. Employ these three tips, above and beyond the amenities you offer, to elevate your guest experience. Never underestimate the power of a simple, thoughtful gesture to make a guest’s stay truly special. Employ these three tips, above and beyond the amenities you offer, to elevate your guest experience.
1. Write personal notes
In a world of twitter, text and social messaging, a hand signed note stands out as something special. Words of welcome, congratulations and wishes for a happy birthday communicate personalize a guest’s stay and communicate that they are known and valued.
2. Share local knowledge
Although travelers spend a lot of time researching their destination to discover all there is to see and do, your local knowledge can take their experience to the next level. Create your own top ten lists of where to eat local delicacies, take a yoga class, go for a run and catch the sunrise, experience the history and culture of your location. You share these at check-in, provide them in your rooms, or send them ahead to help guests anticipate their trip.
3. Delight with welcome gifts
Arriving in their room to discover a gift elevates a guest’s first impression and sets the tone for their stay. Leverage local products and flavors to add special meaning to your gesture – consider local chocolates, wines, fruits, soaps or lotions. If your property has a restaurant, you can showcase their talents with gifts of cookies or snacks.
Although these special touches are primarily a means to go the extra mile for your guests, they also differentiate your guest experience and are likely to be referenced in reviews. Make sure to reflect your unique amenities in your listings. You can see the power of these updates by logging into Partner Central and checking out your Content Score.