Travelers’ most desired hotel amenities
Over the years, hotels have supplied all sorts of amenities to win the hearts and dollars of travelers: Remember the crunchy-plastic shower caps? The two cotton balls tightly sealed into little waxy packets? And who could forget the washcloths origami’ed into bunnies or swans, lying in wait for us at the end of the day atop our turned-down beds? Some astonish us with their uselessness, others ? the DIY coffee makers now in vogue come to mind ? amaze simply because they are there. They seem way too good to actually be true.
Amenities come and go, changing with the times. Not so long ago, what topped guests’ lists of favorite hotel offerings were cable TV, air conditioning and swimming pools, according to surveys conducted by Hotels.com.
In January, Hotels.com polled more than 8,600 travelers from 28 countries, including the United States, on their favorite hotel amenities and what they would like to see become standard practice at all hotels. Here’s what they learned:
* Free Wi-Fi remains the most-wished-for service: 34 percent of leisure travelers, and 56 percent of business travelers, said free Wi-Fi is a must when choosing a hotel. Among all respondents, only 11 percent said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi at a hotel.
* For leisure travelers, other musts were: free breakfast (25 percent), swimming pool (10), free parking (9).
* For business travel, the musts were: proximity to transportation and dining (15 percent), free breakfast (11), and a comfortable chair (6).
TECHNOLOGY, JUST LIKE HOME
Travelers are demanding the same types of technology ? at the same level of sophistication ? as they use at home. It’s a high priority.
* Travelers’ favorite modern in-room amenity? The high-end coffee maker (23 percent).
* The other faves: Rooms whose lights, TV, curtains, temperature etc. can all be controlled by one hand-held remote (20 percent); iPads for guests and massage chairs (15 percent each).
Simple amenities go a long way, too.
* The most-appreciated simple amenity: bottled water (43 percent).
* Making the room layout convenient is in this category as well. Making electrical plugs easily accessible is one small detail guests appreciate (11 percent); safes (10), power adapters and robes (7 for each) were small touches guests said made their stay a bit more comfortable.
YES, THERE CAN BE FREE MEALS
Food, free and unlimited, is one of the most-missed comforts of home according to 23 percent of survey respondents.
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