Hotel stayers have reportedly paid a total of $2 billion in fees, annually, whether it be Wi-Fi charges or mandatory staff gratuity. Now, millennials with their fast-pace on the go lifestyles, are having hotels rethink their guest rooms. These once standard hotel amenities are evolving to stay more in-line with upcoming generations.
In an age where staying digitally connected is vital to doing business and maintaining relationships, free Wi-Fi has followed suit. Hotel chains with the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt have all joined in on the free Wi-Fi bandwagon.
Younger travelers are spending less time inside their rooms and as a result are looking for a clean and efficient space to stay. Thus, in an effort to optimize in-room space, hoteliers are opting for more versatile workspaces and furniture pieces. Traditional in-room work desks are surprisingly on track to being extinct. Hotels are not axing the entire in-room desk concept but instead choosing to reinvent it by exchanging large, bulky desks for slimmer, more versatile pieces. In other words, leaving enough room for your laptop and a coffee.
Travelers frequently on the road will soon be seeing less and less of hotel room service.The downward spiral of hotel room service began in 2007 with the collapse of the US economy and has not made a comeback since. The costs of running a full-service kitchen between all hours of the day is extremely costly, which is why room service is notorious for its outrageous price-tags. Hotel giants like Hilton were the first to eliminate the service.
Hotel Front Desks
As smartphones move higher up in the forefront of daily travel and hospitality, hotels will be following suit. A lot of hotels are beginning to believe the front-desk concept creates a barrier between guest and staff. Allowing guests more autonomy will make them feel more at home and it reduces frustrations which results in increased efficiency during the check-in process and requesting special services. Some Hyatt properties feature a host with portable laptop ready to greet you pull out a chair and offer you a beverage. Courtyard by Marriott has renovated 201 of its 800 U.S. lobbies, to feature “welcome pedestals” equipped with clerks ready to step out to meet guests, then step back to check them in.
Keyless hotel room entry many would say is the future. Major hotels like Starwood are replacing typical key-cards with mobile entry. Other hotel chains such as the Marriott and Hilton have also jumped on the key-less band wagon. The logic behind the move relies on the concept that travelers use their smartphones for just about everything, therefore why not using it to access your hotel room? It’s the safest form of entry as most of us never embark on any adventure without checking that we have our mobile phones. Guests can unlock their room doors by simply waving or tapping their smartphone over a panel on the room-door.
In-room closets take up a lot of space and younger travelers are not finding them useful at all. In an effort to seem more modern hotel chains are replacing closets with hangers and hooks. More and more research is concluding that younger travelers need a place to sleep and a space big enough to put a laptop. Therefore, hotels can cut costs by building smaller rooms that still maintain that spacious feel by ridding of unnecessary amenities such as closets.
For the same reason desks are getting makeovers, traditional bathtubs are getting ripped out and being replaced with showers. Business travelers are just too busy and are spending less time lounging in hotel rooms, and using the space strictly for sleeping. Also, larger bathrooms are increasingly more important, a good comfortable shower is becoming more and more important amongst business travelers. It’s not a mystery that even walk-in showers are more space-efficient than bathtubs, this transition is only natural. Marriott and Hilton have begun renovating their rooms to feature these stand-up shower stalls as well as removing them from newer room models.