What Do Guests Want? A Look At In-Room Amenities
In the age of the information superhighway, guests are certainly in the position of power when it comes to booking a hotel room. Hotel information and amenities and customer testimonials can be accessed by guests within minutes to give them a solid understanding of precisely what they’ll receive for the price they pay.
Today, guests can use comparative hotel search engines which can filter various factors such as price, hotel amenities, customer ratings, location, and a myriad of other factors to assist in their decision-making process. As a result, it’s more important than ever for hoteliers to offer guests sufficient room amenities not only to attract new guests, but to increase the amount of positive guest reviews which is extremely important in today’s online market.
While different demographics have individual preferences in terms of room amenities, there is certainly some common ground in which we can all relate. With the huge amount of competition in the hotel industry, it’s essential that hotels differentiate themselves to give their guests a unique experience. Obviously the high-end hotels have plenty of differentiation, but the simplest way for the majority of hotels to differentiate themselves is through the quality of the in-room amenities they offer their guests. The hotel industry has been changing rapidly over the past few years, so let’s explore what guests are now looking for in terms of in-room amenities.
Strong & robust Wi-Fi
The days of hotel’s charging for Wi-Fi are long gone. However, the problem isn’t just about paying for Wi-Fi, it’s about speed and accessibility. With guests bringing more and more devices to their hotel rooms, it’s imperative that hotels can provide guests with good bandwidth and a strong signal.
Nothing is more frustrating for guests than having poor Wi-Fi or even Wi-Fi that simply doesn’t work. Wi-Fi is a huge part of people’s lives nowadays, and having strong and robust Wi-Fi throughout the hotel is certainly one way to increase the number of future customers. Most people would choose to stay at a hotel with strong Wi-Fi over any other in-room amenity.
The mini-bar was a huge money-maker for hotel’s in years gone by, however it’s important for hotels to recognise that charging $5 for a small bottle of water is inconsiderate and disheartening for guests.
After a long transit, guests who are offered free water and coffee will be relieved when they arrive at their room, creating a strong and lasting first impression. While cheap and simple, offering guests complimentary refreshments can significantly increase customer satisfaction and guest ratings.
There have been cases where people have spent at least five minutes to remove the packaging from a small piece of cheap soap in a hotel bathroom, which has been both inconvenient and annoying.
Most guests don’t bring soap and towels when staying in hotels, so providing them with high-quality soap, shampoo, and towels makes a stark difference in terms of guest satisfaction. Some hotels have even looked at adding high quality personal grooming products such as GHD hair straighteners. Guests have become accustomed to small towels and cheap soap, so surprising them with high quality toiletries will certainly leave them feeling clean and refreshed!
With the need to power an increasing number of mobile devices and laptops, hotels need to be generous and strategic with the electricity sockets they offer their guests. Many hotels don’t have adequate electricity outlets, or have outlets that are inconvenient and hard to access.
There should be at least two free electricity outlets on each side of the bed so guests can charge two of their devices at the same time. For family sized rooms, the more the better. The frustration that comes with inadequate electricity outlets, particularly for business travellers, is enough for them to leave negative feedback.
Interactive information & entertainment
While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are becoming rather popular, guests still like to watch TV like they do at home. Offering big, high resolution televisions with a wide range of channels is important for hotels to ensure their guests can enjoy at least the same entertainment services as they do at home.
IPTV systems like Lifestylepanel can deliver strong signals over the internet and allows guests to watch live TV, catch-up TV, and pay-per-view so they don’t miss out on any of the programs they normally watch at home. In addition to this, systems like Lifestylepanel also offer features such as guest messaging, things to do, recommended restaurants, and all the hotel information and facilities, all from a single to user interface on the hotel’s in-room TV.