As travelers get more sophisticated and with the rise of home-sharing and vacation rental businesses like Airbnb, onefinestay and HomeAway, the industry is finding new ways to appeal to travelers. As a result, we are seeing a multitude of service offerings and very tailored personal experiences that are transformable to guest’s needs. So how are hotels managing to do that? Here’s a look at some of the hottest trends on the rise.
According to a 2014 study conducted by Skift and American Express, 35.2% of the 825 travelers surveyed named complimentary Wi-Fi as the most desired amenity when choosing a hotel for business. Hyatt announced earlier this year that all of its properties would offer free in-room Wi-Fi access, joining the likes of Loews Hotels, Joie De Vivre and La Quinta properties, among others. A brand loyalist? Several hotel brands are offering complimentary Wi-Fi access to guests who join their free loyalty programs including, Marriott, Omni, Kimpton and InterContinental.
Everything is now accessible from a consumer’s smartphone and hotels are starting to get in on the trend to appeal to the tech-obsessed traveler. Travelers are being provided new ways of booking their trip, dining experience, personal trainers or ordering room service, all with the tap of a button on their own devices or with in-room touchscreen controls that operate everything from the television and lighting to the curtains and thermostat a seen at the St. Regis San Francisco. Starwood has taken it a step further with its new SPG Keyless app that allows Starwood Preferred Guest members to use their phone to unlock their room door.
Working out and eating well may not be on every traveler’s agenda, but many business travelers and health nuts appreciate offerings that allow them to stay fit and maintain their exercise routine during their stays. For example, Westin, which was one of the first innovators in this space, offers its RunWESTIN program that includes a running concierge who leads guests on three to five mile routes through the town. This allows travelers to see the city they are visiting from a local’s perspective, while getting in a workout.
Meanwhile, Kimpton hotels provide yoga mats in every room, along with workout routines accessible on the television, as well as complimentary bike. While Trump Hotel Collection recently launched Trump Wellness, also offering workout equipment such as yoga mats, stretch bands and weights that are available to guests for use in-room. They have also partnered with fitness apparel and footwear brand Under Armour to offer guests workout gear. A pre-loaded iPod Shuffle will also be available according to each guest’s music preferences as specified on their Trump Card Privileges Program profile and at on-site fitness centers, Trump is providing exclusive training cards with simple workouts in partnership with Technogym.
Brand Partnership Amenities
The Peninsula Hotels have teamed up with Beats by Dre to provide guests with access to all kinds of audio technology during their stay. Guests will have complimentary access to Beats’ signature audio products during their stay and may choose from the Beats menu card in-room and will be hand delivered from the hotel concierge.
While the beat drops at the Peninsula, the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Cape Cod is offering travelers the quintessential New England experience with their new in-room amenity and partnership with Sperry topsiders. Select rooms will offer the Gold Cup Shoes, valued at over $150 per pair and are made of lambskin leather, 18K gold-plated eyelets and memory foam.
What will be the next big trend in hotel amenities? One thing for sure is technology and the roll it plays in hotel amenities is here to stay.