Let’s face it: what guests want in a hotel depends largely on their purpose for traveling. A mommy planning a family vacation will consider a pool, kids’ club and chicken fingers on the menu “must-haves,” whereas that same woman taking a trip to close a deal for her company probably wants to steer far clear of those things. When it comes to hotel amenities for business travelers, the most wanted can be categorized into what we’ve identified as The Three Cs: Comfort, Convenience and Connectedness.
Comfort (of home)
Hotels large and small are putting the emphasis on sleek, aesthetically pleasing, functional accommodations that follow contemporary design trends so there isn’t a disconnect between business travelers’ everyday lives and their time as a road warrior. Think: cozy, customizable guest rooms.
Picture this. You get home after a long day at the office, toss your keys on a hall table, hang up your coat and kick off your shoes—all within the first ten seconds of walking through the door. Hotel rooms weren’t traditionally equipped for this all-too-common “I’m on my time now and I want to be comfortable” arrival ritual, but that’s starting to change.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: Holiday Inn is rolling out its H4 design concept, which showcases a “Welcome Nook” with handy spots to shed keys, coats, shoes and mobile devices, essentially acting like the entryway or mudroom of your own home.
In our mobile-obsessed, instant gratification world, people are used to having everything they want or need, right when they want or need it (and right at their fingertips). Hotel guests demand seamless service, complete flexibility and an uninterrupted routine. Anything less is considered a major inconvenience (and a big no-no in the hospitality business).
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: The Hilton Honors loyalty program features a mobile app that allows guests to not only book a reservation, but choose their exact room, check in digitally, pre-order niceties (like extra pillows) and unlock their guest room door, all from their smartphone. So the business traveler coming in off the red eye can hit the hay without delay (and without having to make polite small talk with front desk staff).
ANOTHER REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: At EVEN Hotels, Cork & Kale is a fast-casual F&B venue that also offers healthy grab-and-go meal options to fit any nutrition-minded mover-and-shaker’s hectic schedule.
YET ANOTHER REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: Business travelers who want to stick to their workout regimen on the road will love Hilton’s new Five Feet to Fitness concept, which equips guest rooms with all the cardio and strength-training equipment you could need to get your sweat on, along with a video kiosk featuring an extensive menu of guided exercise tutorials and classes.
Connectedness (both on and offline)
Just because they’re checked into your hotel doesn’t mean they’re checked out of the office, so the necessity of free Wi-Fi to get online and access email goes without saying.
According to a report from the Global Business Travel Association, here’s what road warriors had to say about which new hotel technology innovations they’re most interested in (% ranked in top 3):
- More regular power and USB outlets (35%)
- Offering streaming services (i.e. Netflix and HBO Go) on guest televisions (34%)
- In-room chargers for laptops and/or phones (32%)
- Keyless/mobile technology room entry (27%)
- Offering “smart” TVs with Internet access (27%)
- Self check-in/check-out kiosks (24%)
- Smartphone docking stations (23%)
- Online or mobile check-in/check-out (22%)
- Maintaining “guest profiles” to deliver a personalized hotel stay (18%)
- Body sensors that can detect when a room is occupied to control energy use/plan housekeeping visits (13%)
- Offering laptops or tablets for rent or check-out (10%)
- In-room VoIP phone service (6%)
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: Four Seasons gets online connectedness right. For over two years now, the luxury chain has been offering complimentary, unlimited, property-wide Wi-Fi that travels seamlessly from the lobby to your guest room. Four Seasons Hotels also offer loaner tablets and smartphones for guests who have (face-palm!) forgotten their mobile devices at home.
But how about offline connectedness? For as much as we are glued to our mobile devices, many business travelers (especially millennials) seek social interaction with like-minded guests to ward off loneliness. To tap into that very human emotion, many of the newest boutique hotels and lifestyle hospitality brands design their properties with stylish, welcoming lobbies that create a sense of instant community.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: The creator of boutique citizenM hotels operates under the philosophy that a guest room is like your bedroom at home. It’s a comfy place for you to sleep. On the flipside, he designed his hotel lobbies like hip, residential living rooms to act as gathering areas where guests can co-work, network or just plain hang out.
If you’d like help curating the right collection of hotel amenities for business travelers and elevating them into brand touchpoints to get more heads-in-beds, contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.