How can a hotel increase bookings? Like many parts and people work tirelessly and in tandem to run a hotel, making it successful requires a multi-layered approach.
For a hotel to be popular and visible, it needs a well-defined marketing plan that includes web design, social media management, metasearch advertising, SEO, and so much more.
At Adigital, we assist our clients with all of the above, working within their budget to create an offensive strategy that helps boost the hotel’s brand and sales.
Another critical aspect of a leading hotel marketing agency is the ability to analyze and decode what their client’s hotel customers want.
Now, the hospitality industry is all about guest experience. Based on our observations, hotel amenities are equally essential in driving up sales and customer retention, along with elements like cleanliness, customer reviews, and calculation policies.
While there is no end to exclusive and regional amenities that an establishment can offer, in our ultimate guide to the must-have hotel amenities, we’ve listed the ones that more and more people expect nowadays.
Different types of hotel amenities
We can broadly classify amenities into four categories.
- Basic – Essential must-have hotel amenities include items like a connected bathroom, air-conditioner, and fridge.
- Luxury – Premium extravagant additions range from in-room arcade games to a beer fridge in the bathroom.
- On-site – These amenities, like free evening drinks, are outside the room but within the hotel.
- Off-site – These are amenities offered by the hotel outside the confines of the property, such as free walking tours or a visit to a nearby tourist spot.
Why are hotel amenities necessary?
Hotel amenities are integral to any hotel stay, adding comfort and a hint of luxury to every guest’s holiday or work trip. However, they also help your business as follows;
- Unique hotel amenities give you an advantage over your competitors.
- Amenities help with branding, especially when it comes to items that the guest can take back home.
- Exceptional amenities lead to positive feedback, which results in a sales boost.
- Amenities play a vital role in convincing guests to book a return stay.
- Adding a range of amenities allows you to charge more and add to the per-room profit.
Must-have basic hotel amenities
Before we delve into more distinct features that give you an edge, let us first look at some basic must-have hotel amenities.
Most modern-day travelers expect to find the below at the place of their stay. The only exception is if you run a rustic experiential property devoid of creature comforts. Even then, you’d have to include most of the listed items below;
- En-suite bathroom
- Smart TV
- Rain shower
- Free drinking water
- Mobile charging station
- Coffee and tea maker
- Bluetooth music player
- Free WiFi
- Free parking
- Pillow options/menu
What is the difference between hotel facilities and hotel amenities?
Before we go any further, let us quickly understand the difference between hotel facilities and amenities.
Both terms are often interchangeable, but there is a nuanced difference in what they include.
A hotel facility is a broader category consisting of features typically used by multiple guests simultaneously. A hotel pool, lounge, bar, restaurant, garden, spa, parking, tennis court, and kid’s playground are all examples of hotel facilities.
In contrast, hotel amenities are more personal in composition. You will also find that most of these amenities are in-room and help elevate the comfort and luxurious aspect of your stay.
Unique hotel amenities
As we mention some of the more unique hotel amenities, remember that guests always look for luxury and boutique elements in their hotel rooms and stays.
Simultaneously, many of the following are already becoming popular additions in smaller and boutique hotels around the world.
Therefore, if you wish to stay at the top of the game, adding them to your must-have hotel amenities list should be a priority.
A welcome basket with drinks, snacks, and non-perishable items can make an ideal first impression. It is also your chance to collaborate with and promote local businesses (next-door bakery), products (regional wine), and artisans (handicrafts).
Moreover, you can use Big Data to know your guests’ preferences and personalize the welcome basket with items they like to make a significantly positive impact.
For most travelers, complimentary breakfast is a must-have hotel amenity. However, many properties still charge extra for it. Including breakfast in the room price does make it more appealing, especially if your competitors do not offer it.
However, if cost is an issue, consider providing additional paid breakfast services, such as a Champaign breakfast, a bespoke morning picnic in the garden, or one of those Insta-worthy private pool breakfasts, to balance the expense.
For a hotel to have its own mobile app is still uncommon and a feature that many small properties can benefit from easily. Working alongside your hotel marketing agency, you can develop an app that presents the guest with knowledgeable sources while using it for sales opportunities.
Typically, a well-thought-out mobile app should have hotel information, regular updates about the neighborhood and city, and a guide to nearby tourist spots and restaurants.
Additionally, you can use the mobile application to upsell hotel products, offer discounts on future bookings, and collect Big Data for various marketing purposes.
Having a coffee and tea maker in the room is a basic hotel amenity. However, feel free to up the luxury quotient by including a capsule coffee machine like Nespresso. Make sure you have a variety of flavor capsules to give the guests a range of options.
In-room cocktail bar
The in-room cocktail bar is a growing trend, especially across adults-only resorts. This hotel amenity elevates the romantic aspect of the room and allows guests to have a nightcap at leisure in the comfort of their private space.
Everyone these days is gadget-savvy. Thus, a tablet in the room makes for an excellent hotel amenity. If you think we are overplaying the importance of the tablet, here is a list of things you and your guests can do using one;
- Control the TV channels
- Manage room lighting
- Order room service
- Play streaming services
- Make restaurant reservations
- Contact the concierge or reception
- Make a spa booking
- Offer information about hotel features and amenities
- Use to upsell hotel products
- Get hotel reviews and feedback
Nostalgia and music can often make any stay memorable. While Bluetooth speakers are a must-have hotel amenity, turntables are still a luxury. Having one in your rooms helps dictate the ambiance and makes them more appealing.
It would help if you also had a good collection of vinyl records. Some pre-placed in the rooms, and others that the guests can borrow from the hotel’s reception.
In-room spa experience
Think of a welcome basket but with items that help rejuvenate the mind and body, and that’s what we mean by an in-room spa experience.
Cooling eye masks, scent diffusers, bath salts, and rose petals are inexpensive hotel room amenities that enable guests to have a spa experience anytime.
In-room revitalizing products are especially beneficial if you do not have a standalone Spa on your property.
Travelers are more eco-conscious now than ever. Moreover, many prefer to stay only at sustainable hotels.
Thus, having biodegradable toiletries, reducing plastic use, installing energy-saving lights, and putting organic food in the welcome basket are becoming essential hotel amenities.
Properties are already taking positive steps by removing small shampoo bottles and using razors made with paper as part of in-room toiletries.
Themed rooms are another growing trend. Having a limited number of such rooms gives you a chance to price them higher and create a marketing buzz simultaneously.
Depending on the “mood” of your property, you can theme the rooms around anything experiential, from anime or literary characters to cars, music, or fashion. The possibilities are endless.
Memorable turndown service
If first impressions are essential, so are the last ones. A memorable turndown service is often unexpected by the guest and, thus, a pleasant surprise when done right.
How to make it special?
Put a sweet treat on the pillow or place a collectible the guest can take home. If you can personalize it, nothing like it.
There are different types of guests staying at every hotel. Some prefer the peace of their room, while others want to go out and mingle.
One of the on-site must-have hotel amenities you should consider is a library or a lounge. It is a space where people can read, interact, or, for that matter, have a quiet drink.
A lounge lets you possibly have an adjoining bar or drinks table as a convenience for the guests and to generate extra money for yourself.
If space permits, you may even have movie nights in the common area with free popcorn.
A personally created physical guidebook works on many levels. It’s something unique to your hotel. It can include advertisements of local businesses you are collaborating with. More importantly, as a hotel amenity, it provides the guest with hotel and citywide information.
Lastly, when the guest takes it back home and shares it with friends and family, the guidebook assists with hotel marketing and brand recognition.
Pet-friendly hotel amenities
Among the newest trends in the hospitality world is increased travel with pets. As a result, keeping your doors open to furry companions is a good move.
It’s even better to include in-room pet-friendly amenities, such as a separate bed, toys, and snacks for your four-legged guests.
Provided your neighborhood and city are apt for cycling, having the option to borrow a bicycle is one of the must-have hotel amenities.
It doesn’t cost much, hardly requires maintenance, promotes eco-friendliness, and certainly adds to the enjoyment of the stay for the guest.
Free pick-up and drop
While a bicycle helps with transport within the city, offering a free shuttle pick-up and drop service to the airport or downtown is often a deciding factor when people book a room.
You can even use it to increase direct bookings by offering complimentary transportation only to guests who book through the hotel website.
Free food and drinks
Everyone loves free food and drinks. Look at hotel reviews of a property that offers complimentary beverages and snacks in any form, and you’ll see most guests mention this as a positive.
If budget is an issue, you need not go overboard. Keep it simple and limit free food to cheaper items like ice cream, lemonade, or chips.
On-site cultural experience
A common misconception about hotel amenities is that they are an expense. It does not have to be that way, as you can use them to increase revenue.
Tourists nowadays want to immerse themselves in the local culture. To help facilitate this, you can host nightly music and dance performances or have handicraft-making sessions for kids.
At the same time, you may offer premium paid features like art and cooking classes.
Location-centric must-have hotel amenities
It’s always possible to include specific regional experiences and improve the guest experience. For example, if your hotel is near a water body like a lake, river, or sea, free-to-use equipment like canoes or paddle boards are things guests appreciate and, to some extent, even expect.
Out-of-the-box hotel amenities
These amenities allow a hotel to go all out and showcase its eccentricity.
Examples include a themed puzzle the guest can take home, which is also a great branding opportunity. Maybe a turndown service with personally written poems or handmade bookmarks. Some recent, more eclectic additions are in-room arcade games and your own personal beer tap.
The primary aim of this guide to the must-have hotel amenities is to convince property owners to include new and ingenious additions to the stay. The direct advantage is fodder for marketing and increased sales and revenue.
However, before we end, it’s pertinent to note that amenities also enhance the guest experience. They add to their comfort and convenience during the stay. Lastly, for customers, they increase the value-for-money factor of the room.
So, having a range of basic, luxury, on-site, and off-site amenities is a win-win situation whether you are the hotel owner or a guest.