We know, we know; it’s not possible to please all of your guests all of the time. Everyone is different and has different expectations/needs.
A hotel’s job is to be as accommodating as possible, by creating a practical and comfortable place for its guests to stay.
We’ve crawled internet forums such as reddit and Quora to find out what people really want and expect from their hotel rooms (and it’s surprisingly basic).
“Must-Have’s” for the Perfect Hotel Room
Somewhere to put luggage
It’s essential for guests to have somewhere to put their luggage. There’s nothing worse than having to step over your suitcase every morning, or having to constantly move it between the bed, armchair and floor.
Make a dedicated space for your guests’ luggage, even if it’s just a simple fold-out luggage rack. This small gesture is one your guests will appreciate, and remember.
Peace and quiet
After a long day of travelling/sightseeing/relaxing, your guests want to be able to have a long, comfortable sleep without being interrupted by outdoor distractions – or even worse – their neighbour’s noisy habits. A sound-proofed room isn’t too much to ask, and quality of sleep is important for everyone.
Technology is supposed to make people’s lives easier. Remember that before you start adding multiple gadgets that require a book full of instructions. Cool technology and gadgets can be fun and impressive, but keep the essential controls as simple and easy to use as possible.
A HRS survey revealed that 42% of guests from the UK would rather operate their room’s lighting, air conditioning and television via a display instead of using a separate remote control or switch.
The easiest way hotels can accommodate guests with lighting is to provide a variety of light sources. Lighting can transform a room, and making sure you have enough lighting to full the room completely will help to make it look big, airy and inviting.
That said, some guests will want to be able to dim the lighting at night time. Some hotels provide dimmer settings; others have alternate lights that provide less light. It really doesn’t matter as long as the option is there.
It is always a good idea to have a lamp in each room which is suitable for reading. Many guests enjoy reading before bed, and will require a light bright enough to do so (that’s within arms reach!).
Photo: The London West Hollywood
Power sockets (in the right places)
Virtually everyone travels with a laptop and smart phone these days. Certainly business travelers do. And yet, so many hotels are not as electronic friendly as you would expect. [Quora thread]
People now own multiple electronic devices, and they will want access to multiple power sockets. It’s no good having two outlets in the room, which are used to power the hotel lamps and TV.
Worst of all, your guests don’t want to have to crawl under beds/move furniture to access the power sockets. Placement is really important – consider the layout of your room and the needs of your guest. Try to place power outlets near bed side tables/desks for convenience.
Alternatively, you consider lending extra power strips to guests (make these available at the front desk to avoid them being stolen).
Wifi (free and fast)
We've argued in favour of free hotel wifi before; free internet connection is now considered a basic utility for most people. If their favourite restaurants and bars provide them with decent wifi for free, why can’t their hotel?
Most hotels try to provide a “home away from home” – if that is the case you should be providing your guests with a basic (and free) internet connection.
According to research by Amba Hotels, more than a quarter of travellers have complained about slow or hard to use Wi-Fi and more than 84% have suffered as a result of slow hotel wifi:
- 33% have not been able to send or receive important work emails
- 27% haven’t been able to contact home
- 19% haven’t been able to check flights
- 8% have lost a client or business opportunity after being let down by slow wifi
Blackout window treatment
There is nothing more irritating than trying to sleep in a light room. If a guest wants some light, they’ll turn the lamp on. However, most like to sleep in total darkness and silence. Make sure you equip your room with a blackout window treatment, and check that there are no annoying gaps that the light can seep through.
Families with children, or guests who have spent a day of travelling, may want to sleep in the middle of the day. The ability to block out the sun is a simply request, but an essential one.
Clean, drinking water isn’t a luxury, it’s essential. It’s especially important to provide clean drinking water if you’re in a hard-water area or if the water doesn’t come clean from the taps.
Photo: The Spirit Science
Nice Touches (To Make Your Hotel Stand Out)
A safe that is laptop-friendly
This applies mostly to business travellers, who often bring a laptop with them. Being such a valuable item, it’s only natural that owners want to be able to leave their laptops in a secure room safe when they venture out of the room. What’s more, having a charging port inside the safe would be extremely convenient!
Please please please let me charge my laptop while I’m out without worrying about it going AWOL for some reason. Some (few) hotels have thought of this but it should definitely become a standard. [Quora thread]
An often overlooked feature, it’s great when hotels provide a small collection of books for their guests. When guests want to lock themselves away in their rooms, but there’s nothing on TV to entertain them, a good book is always a nice way to relax in the evening.
Digital or analogue, a clock is a nice homely touch that is never out of place. Even better is an easy-to-use alarm clock.
Ironing board/Iron (Business rooms especially)
Clothes tend to get creased when they’ve been folded up in a suitcase. Many guests would like the opportunity to Iron their clothes in the comfort of their own room, without having to pay or wait for laundry service.
Choice of pillows
I don’t like being forced to choose between no pillow at all and an overstuffed one that practically holds my head at a 90 degree angle to my body while I’m sleeping. [Quora thread]
When it comes to sleep, everyone has their own habits and preferences. Your guests haven’t been able to choose the ‘ideal’ bed for themselves, so offering them a choice of pillows is a small comfort that allows your guests to feel more at home.
Local food and drink recommendations
It’s all very well promoting your own food and drink services, but a true customer-service is to share local treats with your guests as well. They want to explore the area, and will do so regardless of how many promotional menus you leave in their room.
Have a selection of local guides/resources available, and don’t pretend that your guests will never leave the hotel.
Fridge (with usable space)
A stocked fridge is a nice way to make some extra money, but don’t be surprised if your guests remove everything to make room for their own drinks and snacks.
The Key Takeaway
Your role is to be a temporary home for your guests; somewhere they can relax, be safe and return to at the end of a busy day. Think about the everyday tasks people will go through each day (wake up, get washed and dressed, eat breakfast etc.), and then think about the tools they’ll require to complete each task. This will help you to develop a list of essential amenities for your hotel room.
Main photo credit: hotel PORTO BAY RIO INTERNACIONAL | suite sea view via photopin(license)