Over the last few years I’ve stayed in many many hotels, and I can honestly say the quality can vary enormously. With most hotel chains you kinda know what to expect, but when it comes to independent or ’boutique’ style accommodation, the star rating isn’t always an indication of what you are going to get.
The one thing I have noticed is that if a hotel has added some nice finishing touches to their decor, amenities and service, the overall experience tends to be better. It is the nice touches that take a hotel from good to great. Here are my top ten nice touches for hotels with an accompanying slide deck.
1. A great power shower
There is nothing worse than having a rubbish shower. Having a rubbish shower position over the top of one of those shallow and small bathtubs which you can’t have a bath in – that is worse. A great power shower with a separate bathtub will always be a winner for me.
2. Proper coat hangers
Do hotels think guests are going to steal their coat hangers? Is that why a lot of hotels have those coat hangers without an actual hook?
3. Complimentary water
All hotels should have a few bottles of complimentary water in the bedrooms. It costs a tiny amount and makes a guest feel a little bit more looked after. Complimentary water should be available throughout the hotel.
4. International plug adapters
This is such a nice touch and so handy for frequent business travellers. Having the plugs already in the bedroom is a bonus.
5. Decent bath products
Firstly I can’t stand two in one shampoo/conditioner products. Secondly, I don’t like using the pump action canisters cemented to the shower wall. Some excellent small travel size products are all I ask for. Oh and some body wash rather than just soap.
6. Easily accessible wifi
Wifi in hotels should be free. Simple as that. It should also be easily accessible so that guests do not have to remember their room number, access code, mother’s maiden name, blood type before they can get online.
7. Complimentary breakfast
I can’t stand hotels that nickel and dime their customers. A continental breakfast buffet shouldn’t cost an individual $40 plus tax, especially if they have already paid a considerable amount for an overnight stay. Just include a continental breakfast for free and if the guest wants a hot breakfast, feel free to charge them extra.
8. Extra duvets and pillows
If there is an actual duvet, this is a step in the right direction (who wants four layers of sheets and blankets?) A nice touch is extra duvets and pillows tucked away for the guest. Extra special hotels will give guests a choice of pillows with the turndown service.
9. A reasonably priced mini bar
Everyone knows that minibars are ridiculously priced. To afford a small tub of cashew nuts, most have to sell their first born. A great hotel will not overcharge on the mini bar – some will offer the mini bar contents for free. I particularly like these hotels.
10. A turndown service
The first time I saw a towel made into a swan, I was impressed, the second and third time I was less impressed. I am however really impressed with a turndown service that is actually a service. Close my curtains, pull out the duvet, leave me some beautiful chocolates and some extra water. Don’t worry about putting the creepy jazz music on the speaker system though.