My husband Mike and I travel a lot and experience many different kinds of hotels, condos, and houses. Much of this travel is for business, and some is travelling for pleasure, often with family. Although I certainly prefer to stay in properties that are five star or luxury, and we sometimes do, much of the accommodations we stay in are mid-level as far as price point, especially when we are travelling for business and the client is paying. (Mike and I make it a point to spend the client’s money as if it were our own. Well, to be most accurate, I must admit that Mike is better at how he spends his money than I am. While I am careful as to how I spend the client’s money, I am not so careful as to how I spend mine! To know more about this, read my recent book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, available from Amazon.)
I am often amazed at how different hotels and other properties are, especially related to amenities. Now, this is expected when comparing a luxury property to a budget property, or even to a mid-level. And the differences don’t even always make sense, for sometimes what is expected in a mid-level to a luxury hotel is lacking in those yet found in a budget hotel.
I have long planned to market my services to the hospitality industry, thinking someone needs to help the designers and managers who fail to consider what I think of as the basics for a comfortable and pleasant stay. I have not done so yet, but still may.
This subject is on my mind after spending the night in an overall very nice resort condo, that missed the mark on some of the basics. The condo slept eight people, six privately and two on a sofa bed in the living room, and it had a full kitchen. The furnishings were attractive and comfortable. Mike and I were only there for one night and we did not need such a large place, but it was what was available.
While money was obviously spent on some things, a few things that were missing made the overall experience less than positively memorable. And from a customer service standpoint, creating a positive, memorable experience is the number one goal.
In the master bathroom shower, there was no holder for the soap or shampoo, resulting in them being placed on the floor or on the door ledge. There was also no bar in the shower to hold onto when entering and exiting. Both of these can be safety hazards, and not just for older people or for those who have a disability. The lack of a holder for the soap and shampoo is a rare occurrence in my experience. The lack of a safety bar is more common, yet I have noticed lately that more properties do have these.
One of my expectations for any hotel room or resort property is a full-length mirror, and many have them, but by no means all. This resort condo that slept eight had many things, but no full-length mirror anywhere. I sometimes see a large mirror in the bathroom that may be intended to serve the purpose of a full-length mirror, but it doesn’t. And how expensive is glass, really?
And speaking of glass, I prefer to have a lighted makeup/shaving mirror in the bathroom. This is an amenity that is more often in a luxury property than a mid-level, and while I understand the economics of that, I certainly take notice when it is present, or not.
Given all of the devices people have and travel with (at this moment I have my laptop, iPad, and mobile device with me, and I am using all three) enough outlets in easy to locate places is a must. While not required, when the lamp or bedside table have outlets on them, that is a nice feature. (Outlets accessible at tables in a restaurant is also nice and usually lacking. And this is not for the guest to use their mobile device at the table, although many do, but for charging the devices that may need that while travelling.)
The last “requirement” to be comfortable and have a lasting and memorable experience of the property is a chair in the bedroom. I use the chair most often to sit in when applying lotion on my legs. This morning I sat on the stairs for this! Yes, I realize that I can sit on the bed for this, but once out of the bed, I usually do not want to get back in it. And, the bed is often so high it isn’t comfortable to have to scale it for this reason.
You may notice that I have not mentioned the comfort of the bed or the absorbency of the towels. Yes, these are also “requirements.” Most properties have figured this out and seem to get this right more often than not. They also have bath mats and even sometimes a bath rug, which I also consider necessary, for if one isn’t present, I am forced to use one of the other bath linens for this purpose. I could otherwise slip on the wet floor, which would create a memorable experience, but not one that is positive.
Oh, by the way, is your home lacking any of these amenities? If you ever have guests, you might want to consider their positive, memorable experience.
Now this isn’t rocket science, is it? Why then are these things so often missed?
I think I will have this discussion with the hospitality industry! And I will inventory our home, for I Know that we are missing some of these for our guests.