Here are five things I’d implement immediately if I ran a hotel.
1. Provide high quality hair dryers.
If you care about female business travelers, this is a must. I want to look good, but I don’t want to lug my Rusk Speed Freak in my suitcase, OK?
This evil little hair dryer pictured below is the worst-of-the-worst, but a Conair without heat control and a worn out motor doesn’t win a prize either.
Hotels should treat quality hair dryers as an upsell opportunity like they do robes. If someone steals the hair dryer, add $250 to the bill. Easy.
2. Offer breakfast for room service 24/7.
How hard is it to make pancakes and bacon in addition to mediocre club sandwiches, really?
3. Provide unscented toiletries.
4. Make the loyalty program truly rewarding.
I recently stayed at the Omni Houston for four nights. Upon arrival, my room was ready and I had been pre-checked in. Not only that, they had noted that during a previous stay at the Omni Dallas Galleria, I had requested foam pillows and from that, extrapolated that I’d appreciate one of the hotel’s hypoallergenic rooms. I totally did.
The loyalty program also gave me free wifi for the whole stay and a free beverage of my choice delivered to my room each morning. With my coffee, I also added a croissant for just $1.75 instead of a ridiculous room service-y upcharge.
Andaz, part of the Hyatt family, offers similarly pleasing rewards. Everything in-room except alcohol is free. That means guests don’t pay extra for wifi, snacks or bottled water. Is it rolled into the price of the room? Yeah, probably, but it’s a few things I don’t have to think about when I get back to the office and do my expense report.
5. Skip the newspaper.
I don’t read USA Today and that’s the default for a lot of hotels. And who has time to read a newspaper these days? I get my news via iPad–no annoying ink on my fingers and I read just the stories that are relevant to me. Sorry, traditionalists.
* I’m writing this on February 23, 2013.