A guest’s overall hotel experience — from interactions with staff to the quality of the amenities and guest services provided — can make or break your business. This means you need to provide your hotel guests with the highest level of customer service from the moment they book your hotel to the moment they drop off their key on the way out the door.
The entire hotel staff needs to be striving for excellence in customer service at all times to keep guests happy. After all, 33 percent of Americans say they'll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor customer service. It also means that offering unique and interesting guest services can make a real impact on guest satisfaction and your bottom line.
So the question is: what hotel guest services and amenities can you provide that will help you stand out from the competition?
Below are 14 creative hotel guest services you can offer in order to provide an incredible experience that will make guests want to come back again and again.
1. Personalized Welcome Gifts
Personalized welcome gifts are a simple way to go the extra mile for your guests that make them feel special and acknowledged. The right gift provides guests with a positive experience from the very start of their stay at your hotel. To figure out what will be received well, it’s wise to use any information you collect through the check-in process to build guest profiles. Your front desk agents can utilize this knowledge of your hotel guests to come up with welcome gifts they will love.
For example, if your guests are traveling with children, make sure that there is a kid-friendly board game, sweet treat, or video game console in the room upon their arrival or shortly thereafter. Likewise, if you have two guests arriving in a honeymoon suite, it might be a good idea to Google their names for any recent wedding announcements. If one is found, you can write up a short congratulatory note to the happy couple and place it in their room along with some champagne.
Small touches like this don’t have to be too pricey for the hotel, but make a huge difference to guests. It shows that the hotel staff took the time to get to know something about them, and made an effort to make their stay special.
2. Discounts & Packages for Local Experiences
What better way to attract potential hotel guests than to offer location-specific events and packages? Partnering with local businesses to offer your guests cooking classes, a night of painting or wine tasting benefits both you and the business you have partnered with. It offers guests experiences that were crafted by locals, making them unique and irresistible.
These types of offers can be especially enticing if the product or experience is something the city is famous for. For example, a bar hopping tour on Bourbon Street is one of those absolute must-do in New Orleans.
Discounts and themed experiences can entice guests to choose your hotel over others and become a vital part of your hotel’s guest services.
3. In-Room Workout Equipment on Request
While some guests like to relax and lounge on vacation, others like to keep busy and fit. Many hotels have standard amenities such as a gym. But to stand out from the crowd, your hotel could take these concepts a step further. Rather than forcing people to visit a crowded fitness center, you could offer in-room workout equipment to allow guests to exercise from the comfort of their own rooms.
The type of equipment offered could range anywhere from simple dumbbells and medicine balls, all the way up to a Peloton or small treadmill.
4. In-Room Office Supplies & Shared Workspaces
Depending on where your hotel is located, a good amount of your hotel guests could potentially be traveling for business, which means they will need a way to get work done during their stay. Though most hotels offer a desk, pens, notepads, and basic wifi, the modern business traveler may appreciate a few more options.
Hotel owners and managers may want to consider offering two tiers of wifi: one that works for basic web browsing and email, and a more advanced option that works well for Zoom calls and video streaming. It may also be shrewd to offer guests the option to include a large monitor and mouse in their room that can easily be connected to a laptop.
Additionally, some business people prefer to work in quiet, private places, others want to work in open and friendly co-working spaces. Hotels should consider turning an outdated business center with desktop computers and fax machines and cubicles, to an open office plan that includes a small kitchen, large tables and call booths.
5. In-Room Beer Taps
The minibar has long been a mainstay of hotels all over the world (or at least in countries where alcohol is legal). This may be sufficient for most travelers, but, if you’re trying to attract more of a party crowd, you may want to take this to another level. Installing full bars in each room of your property may not be feasible, but offering in-room beer and wine taps are perfect for guests who are there for bachelor or bachelorette parties, weddings, holiday parties, or other special occasions. You could even partner with local breweries or wineries to offer your guests local beverage options.
6. Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services
Many hotel guests will have been on the road for quite some time when they finally arrive at your property. Obviously, at a certain point, these visitors will need freshly cleaned clothes. However, it’s rare that business or leisure travelers will want to spend any amount of time hunting down a laundromat or dry cleaners.
Savvy hoteliers should consider either offering these services on site or contracting with a local business to provide free or discounted drying cleaning and laundry services to guests.
7. Free Bike or Shuttle Options
No matter where your hotel is located, your out-of-town guests will need transportation to get around. Offering your guests a free bike share provides a way for them to travel around the area freely and save money on potentially pricey transportation options.
Additionally, shuttle services to and from public transport hubs and local landmarks are almost always appreciated by busy travelers.
8. Borrowing Closets With Hiking, Camping & Other Sports Equipment
Is your hotel located within an area that is known for camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities? If so, a borrowing closet that is full of the appropriate gear could be very useful for guests. Even the most well-prepared travelers forget things from time to time and weather conditions can often change quickly. Ensuring that your hotel can provide guests with the equipment they need to enjoy the surrounding area, despite the weather or their own forgetfulness, will go a long way towards endearing you to your guests and turning them into repeat customers.
9. Personal Shoppers On-Demand
If your hotel is located in an area that is known for luxury brands and unique stores, it may be a good idea to engage personal shoppers for guests who are willing to pay a premium for the service. Personal shoppers can operate in a variety of ways, including:
Offering advice to hotel guests while shopping together
Interviewing hotel guests to determine their preferences before striking out to find items the personal shopper thinks will meet their needs and desires
Shopping for guests based on a pre-selected list of stores and sending photos of clothing options by text in real time
10. Plant Selection for Guest Rooms
According to a recent survey conducted by Orbitz, nearly 63 percent of millennials who stay in hotels claim that the hotel amenity they appreciate the most is plants.
It might be simple, but it is not something a lot of hotels are putting effort into today. Plants, whether real or fake, can bring life and brightness to a hotel room, making it feel less stuffy and confined. Allowing guests to select the plants that will be featured in their rooms during check-in adds an extra layer of comfort to their stay.
11. Mobile and Contactless Check-in
A recent study showed that more than 31 percent of leisure and 53 percent of business travelers book their hotels using a smartphone. So why not allow them to check in using their phone as well? We live in a digital age where consumers expect instant access and immediate satisfaction. Your hotel guests don't want to spend their precious time standing in line and checking in at a front desk. Having a mobile check in option would appeal to many potential guests as an efficient, easy way to avoid lengthy check-in lines.
Contactless check-in options have also become more and more prevalent since the advent of the pandemic. Offering an option to check-in from the convenience of a mobile device makes guests feel safer from COVID-19 variants and removes the hassle of dealing with credit cards and registration forms upon arrival.
12. VIP Member Experiences
You can create a VIP program for select guests that stay frequently at your hotel, with various perks offered as they gain various status levels. Perk example, preferred room selection or private breakfast hour once a member stays a certain number of nights at your hotel. These types of perks make guests feel like superstars and hammers home how important their happiness is to the hotel.
13. Digital Upsells
Offering upsells digitally throughout the guest journey enables hotels to boost ancillary revenue and improve the overall guest experience. Hotel technology solutions, such as those provided by Canary, enable guests to conveniently purchase upsells from anywhere on the property from a mobile device and allow hotel staff to process requests for amenities and add-ons at scale.
Offering digital upsells has been known to boost ancillary revenue by up to 40%.
14. Chargers (for Everything) at The Front Desk
Speaking of technology, your hotel guests tend to travel with their laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones — even when on vacation. This brings about the constant need for chargers to keep all these devices powered on. There will inevitably be a circumstance in which a guest has left a charger at home — it happens to the best of us! Having chargers available for all modern mobile, tablet and laptop devices to sign out at the front desk is a small way to let guests know that you are thinking about every aspect of their stay down to the last detail.
The above list contains just a handful of hotel guest services that demonstrate just how deeply the staff at your property cares about the guest experience. As you develop various guest services to provide at your own property, don’t hesitate to be creative and cater to your specific type of clientele! People remember unique, high-quality experiences and will write glowing reviews for hotels that provide them.
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