What is the perfect hotel amenity? It’s more difficult for a hotel to figure this out than you’d think. They have a guest’s past preferences, that may have been recorded. They can do a bit of research – some guests have more of a google trail than others. But it’s perhaps more important to get the desires right for the guest of a guest than for the guest themselves.
A solo business traveler is far easier than someone traveling with a companion where the hotel doesn’t know what to expect about them. What happens when the companion has a flower allergy you don’t know about? Oops.
But when executed properly it creates a sense of delight, gratitude and care.
In hospitality, it's often common to prepare 'an amenity' for a notable guest.
Often, it's a fruit basket, flowers, or a fancy bottle of wine. In many instances, the team in charge of preparing this will ensure to cover the basics:
-Does this person drink alcohol?
-Are they… pic.twitter.com/ueFaAUQe1H
— Antonia (@antonia_mdprjct) November 19, 2023
When a hotel guest says what they want things are, of course, easier. Some people make odd requests just to see if the hotel will do it, like a photo of King Charles or Jon Hamm on their bed. Or this:
Personally I hate receiving bottles of wine, not because I don’t drink but because hotels almost invariably give wine I would never drink at home (bad wine).
I love having plenty of bottled water, mostly not worrying if I have enough or having to remember to pick some up. If I am staying on my own I probably want 3 bottles for the night. With my wife and daughter multiply that out.
Years ago Hyatt tested out trying to deliver on preferred amenities. I often found a dozen bottles of water in my room – also, in hotels with refrigerators, real cream or half and half to use (just a drop!) In my coffee – and a fresh coffee display, not the coffee maker that had been sitting in the room uncleaned for however long. This was maybe 5 or 7 years ago? The effort did not last.
I miss having a check-in amenity from Hyatt, which was eliminated with the World of Hyatt program. I could *choose* points or a food and beverage amenity if I fancied one.
Grand Hyatt Tampa Cuban Sandwich Check-in Amenity
What I really love is a dessert treat in the room each evening. Recently the Park Hyatt Dubai had baklava in my room on arrival as an amenity. Lovely. On day 2 they placed fruit. Nothing on days 3 or 4. Odd. Is it a daily thing and a fail? Was it supposed to be only the first night? Who knows. Either make it special and a bit over the top like every night or make super it personalized or else it is probably a waste
When I stayed at W Doha there were odd memes on the table with my head (and I got less of an upgrade than most).
At St Regis Dubai they created a cake with this blog’s logo (but didn’t otherwise treat me differently). The cake was pretty good.
Nothing like either of these things has happened in the last seven years. No other hotel has ever obviously recognized me except for Park Hyatt Paris where I haven’t had better than the junior suite I confirm at booking in over 10 years. Indeed their ‘social media manager’ once introduced themselves at check-in. I had inquired about a further upgrade to suites many other Globalists received. I was quoted a buy up price
Fair enough! I do not try to leverage this platform for special treatment. I have declined unearned comp status (the only I was ever offered was Hilton Gold). I experience travel the same way all of you do.
The interesting takeaway though is how hard it is for hotels to deliver personalized service even when they want to. One chain once tried to get better service from their properties for bloggers. They ran a list of upcoming stays. And accidentally sent that last to a staff member at The Points Guy. Oops. (And my upcoming stay with that chain received zero extra recognition.) Execution is hard!