What comes to your mind when you think of hotel amenities?
The most common answers are probably little bottles of toiletries, an in-room coffee station, slippers and a bathrobe.
While guests expect these and similar items in their rooms, just offering basic amenities isn’t enough to make your hotel stand out.
But if you can go above and beyond with your amenities, travelers will love you for it. And they’ll tell their friends and social media followers about it.
So let’s look at how you can make that happen…
What Are Hotel Amenities?
First, let’s quickly explore what hotel amenities are. The term covers services or add-ons guests can enjoy during their stay at no extra cost. Their goal is to make the travelers’ stay more fun, enjoyable and memorable.
In-room amenities include items like toiletries, a hairdryer, stationery, Wi-Fi, etc. In-house amenities refer to offers such as a pool and gym, direct beach access, or a rooftop terrace for example.
The quality and quantity of amenities you offer depend on the type of property you run and which audience you want to attract. For instance, generic toiletries will work at a three-star hotel. But guests at a five-star resort will expect name-brand products.
Why Are Hotel Amenities So Important?
It’s easy: they can have a significant impact on the guest experience. In many cases, travelers expect basic amenities and not having them could put a damper on their time with you.
Invest in high-quality amenities to impress guests and make them feel valued. Well-thought-out options fulfill needs and show that you care about making the stay as smooth and special as possible.
Go a step further and come up with some special, unique add-ons to truly wow your guests. This increases your chances of a repeat booking and gives them something cool to tell others about. That can translate to positive word of mouth, raving reviews and favorable social media mentions.
Trends in Hotel Amenities
Since most travelers expect basic hotel amenities, it’s time to think of something new if you want to impress them with your extras.
You’ll find the latest trends listed below for some inspiration.
Going for More Personalized Experiences
Our industry is moving away from cookie-cutter experiences and towards more personalized offers. Data from McKinsey reveals that 71% of customers want businesses to provide more personalized experiences.
Your amenities should reflect this trend. One way to do that is to create welcome amenities and in-room services based on guest preferences.
Instead of gifting the standard bottle of wine or fruit platter, provide something more customized such as:
- A selection of fresh fruit juices for guests who don’t drink alcohol
- Healthy snacks for late-night arrivals
- Milk and cookies at turndown for families
For this to work, record guest preferences in their profiles and communicate the information between front office, room service and housekeeping.
Embracing Technological Advancements
People are increasingly decking out their homes with the latest tech. That includes using smart and voice-controlled devices. According to Statista, there are already over 63 million smart homes across the United States alone.
Provide smart technology or the chance for guests to connect their own devices at your hotel to allow them to recreate their home atmosphere while on the road.
Some tech-driven services your guests will enjoy:
- Voice-activated controls for lights, A/C, curtains, etc.
- Mobile check-in and keyless entry to eliminate waiting times at reception
- High-speed Wi-Fi and advanced entertainment systems, so travelers can enjoy their favorite content on the big screen in their room
Expanding Wellness and Fitness Offerings
An Ipsos survey found that 62% of Americans focus more on their health and wellbeing now than before the pandemic. Today, many of them look more closely at what they eat, are more serious about exercising and improving their overall lifestyle.
These three amenities will help you score big with your health-conscious guests:
- A state-of-the-art gym or fitness center: start with a range of modern, high-quality equipment. If your gym is small, invest in few yet versatile machines as well as free weights, so guests can easily do their preferred workout.
- Spa services and relaxation amenities: apart from traditional treatments, offer other relaxing options like yoga or guided meditations. It’s a plus if your spa products are locally sourced.
- Healthy food and beverage options: whether you have a buffet or an a la carte menu, provide several tasty, healthy options. Gone are the days when a simple salad was enough on this front. You get extra brownie points for using seasonal, organic and local ingredients as much as possible.
Implementing Sustainable Practices
According to Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023 76% of travelers say they want to choose eco-friendlier options this year. One way for guests to minimize their trip’s carbon footprint is to book hotels with strong green initiatives.
Make your property the obvious choice by ticking these three boxes:
- Use energy-efficient lighting and appliances: that includes your kettle and minibar fridge as well as the lights in your guest rooms. Of course, it doesn’t have to be limited to this space. Ideally you’ll use energy-saving electronics throughout the hotel.
- Provide eco-friendly toiletries: work with brands that avoid harmful chemicals and use natural ingredients instead. That’s better for your guests and the environment.
- Implement recycling and waste management initiatives: provide different bins, so guests and staff can separate various types of waste. Look into a recycling program at your hotel as well. Your city’s waste management services can offer support and resources to get you started. Go even further and eliminate as much waste as possible by reducing food waste and cutting out single-use plastics.
Let your guests know you’re working on these points and are committed to doing better. That’ll help you attract more eco-conscious travelers. On top of that, many of these green initiatives will save you money in the long term.
Innovative Hotel Amenities
Now that we’ve looked at general amenities, let’s zoom in on your guest’s experience. How can you make it extra special with signature hotel amenities?
Here are some novel ideas to play around with.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences
VR and AR technology are developing rapidly, constantly offering new ways to interact with your surroundings and virtual worlds.
There are two main ways you can use these new tech options:
- Offer virtual tours of your hotel and local attractions: give potential guests an immersive impression of your property with a VR tour of your hotel. Make it accessible on your website, so they can check it out during their research. That can help convince them you have everything they want for their stay. Virtual tours of local sights are also great because they help guests prepare for their trip with some insider info.
- Provide AR-based concierge services: this can be a fun new way to interact with guests, give recommendations and offer information about local sights, restaurants and activities.
High-End Dining Experiences
Just like hotels, restaurants need to find new ways to stand out and attract guests. So why not try something new in your F&B department?
- Chef visits: organize a chef exchange with other properties in your group or in your area to switch things up and offer a limited-time special menu. Depending on your audience, you can also invite a celebrity chef, so they can prepare their award-winning dishes for a week or two.
- Farm-to-table and locally sourced ingredients: set up partnerships with local growers to get as much fresh, regional food as possible. Consider planting some ingredients on-site as well, e.g. in an herb garden on the roof.
Unique Entertainment Facilities
Do you have venues that set you apart from the compset? Leverage them to create memorable experiences for your guests!
- Use your special locations: rooftops, terraces and swimming pools are great for events that break the mold. You could host pool parties, after-work mixers on your terrace, or turn your rooftop pool lounge into an after-hours meet-up spot. And in the mornings, you can use the space for a wake-up meditation or yoga session.
Don’t have a rooftop bar or terrace? Consider revamping and using some of your smaller function spaces for such events and activities.
- Movie theaters and gaming lounges: not everyone wants to party, so offer some relaxing options as well, where guests can kick back and chill. A small on-site movie theater or a gaming area is great for those who want a fun time without a crowd. Check out the Arcade Hotel in Amsterdam for inspiration - they’ve gone all out on the gaming angle.
Enhanced Business Facilities
A survey by Morgan Stanley found that overall business travel budgets are back up to 98% of 2019 levels. On top of this recovery, many people still have the option to work remotely at least part of the time. That means you can expect solid demand from both business and bleisure guests.
Cater to this important market segment with top-notch business amenities:
- Co-working spaces: provide an area to work with comfortable seating, good lighting and plenty of power outlets. This can also be a revenue source since people who work for several hours will often buy drinks and/or snacks.
- Meeting areas: give business travelers a chance to invite clients or partners for a meeting in a sophisticated setting. Again, you can generate revenue from F&B sales here.
- Advanced audiovisual equipment: make it easy for guests to join group calls by supplying straightforward yet powerful A/V gear.
Hotel Amenities of the Future
Nothing ever stands still in hospitality, so customer expectations will continue to evolve. At the same time, technology will create ever new opportunities for hotels. Keep an eye on these developments, so you can always provide the cutting-edge services your guests expect.
To get you started, here are a few amenities that are becoming more relevant.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration
AI offers many new use cases that our industry still needs to explore. One way to use it is via AI-powered virtual assistants in rooms. Guests can interact with them and get personalized recommendations based on their questions, previous behavior and demographic.
Thanks to AI, these recommendations will not be static. Over time, these AI assistants will become more sophisticated and learn to adapt suggestions based on the hotel’s service offers and guest responses.
Expanded Sustainability Initiatives
This topic will only gain importance, so it’s essential to keep stepping up your efforts. With many cities and countries aiming to go carbon neutral, businesses are encouraged to do the same. What would it take for your hotel to become carbon neutral? Or to go completely zero-waste? Another option would be to shift entirely to renewable energy sources or use only green building materials in future renovations.
All are big commitments that take elaborate planning. But they pay off in many ways. First, you save money after your initial investments. Second, you’ll be able to boost revenues since eco-conscious travelers are often willing to pay a premium. And finally, you build a reputation as an environmentally conscious business and attract more travelers who share this value.
Health and Wellness Emphasis
We already discussed how travelers want to keep up healthy habits while they’re away from home. But even here, there’s a trend towards expecting increasingly personalized options.
Here are four ways to offer guests more tailored health and wellness services:
- Work with local fitness and health professionals: they can provide personalized workouts and advice to suit every traveler's needs.
- Offer high-tech equipment: platforms like Tonal, FlexIt or Peloton are finding their way into more and more homes. Having them at your hotel allows people to log in and pick up their personal program where they left off.
- In-room health and wellness amenities: consider offering in-room fitness equipment, so guests can exercise in privacy. You could also feature high-quality air filtration and purification systems, in all rooms or on demand, so health-conscious travelers can rest easy.
While the demands in our industry are always changing, a hotel’s goal remains the same: to attract and wow guests with outstanding service and amenities.
The best way to achieve this goal now and in the future is to listen to your guests, act on their feedback and monitor general industry trends.
What are people asking for more often? What are they sharing on social media? And which of these things could you offer at your hotel?
Try new amenities regularly to keep your offering fun, exciting and engaging for your guests. That gives you the best chance to stay relevant and continuously draw in the right travelers.