by adminUser on February 13, 2019
As the ‘guest experience’ continues to take an ever more prominent role in hotel services, a growing concept of ‘home from home’ takes centre stage in the thought process of leading hoteliers.
Hotel design focusing around homely touches has long been the champion of small independents eager to stand out in a saturated market and provide their guests with a ‘slice of home’ whilst travelling. However, 2019 is likely to see this process become a mainstay within the broader industry as more and more chains take note of a growing desire from guests to feel ‘homely’ wherever they lay their hat (so to speak).
This concept has wide reaching requirements, from additional touches in the room’s right through to the personalisation of guest experiences whilst staying at a property. Increasingly, you will find coffee machines, charging stations or even toiletries baskets awaiting you upon check-in to your room, while hotel specific gifts (books, teddy bears, and chocolates) and welcome notes continue to provide that idea of personalised, one to one service.
Do you have anything other than ‘The News’?
It’s a fair question and one we have all asked (albeit subconsciously) when turning on the sleek flat screen TV’s in our hotel rooms. Traditionally, if you stayed in a hotel, and especially abroad, the only hope you had of getting English channels would depend entirely on the hotels channel reception. At best you might get BBC1, ITV 4 and some random American channels filled with b-movies and outdated dramas. At worse, you might be limited to ‘CNN’ and ‘BBC World Service’.
But fear not, hotels are increasingly adopting the ‘personal viewing’ model and providing streaming services such as Netflix and Apple TV in rooms as standard, allowing guests to login in and have their own media ready and waiting for them. The benefits of this can be far reaching, after all, who is going to want to miss the all-important plot twists in their favourite show? Especially when easy access to Room Service ensures they have all they need for a night of box set binging. This simple addition can be a key difference between guests heading off site for F&B or staying where you want them, in your property utilising your services.
Is my room intelligent?
Hotels are looking increasingly likely to adopt smart-room technology in 2019 and beyond. The traditional ‘guest directory’ with its coffee stained pages is likely to be replaced with digital services provided on an in-room mobile device or even a handy, free app. Need something from reception? Forget the awkward phone call, now you can simply text your request via your in-room mobile and await a response. Lighting and heating will be set to your preferred settings and remembered for the duration of your stay, ensuring you have that homely ambiance in your home from home.
Ever found yourself helplessly shutting your room door as you hurry to meet the last few minutes of breakfast service? It’s almost inevitable, but not for much longer. Keyless rooms will soon be a mainstay allowing access via your smartphone which will also provide an effortless checkout service remotely as you head to the airport in your cab.
Know your roots.
One trend likely to continue to thrive in 2019 is the ‘eco’ surge many hotels have been adapting in recent years. As sustainable processes and products become the norm, there will be an increasing ‘local’ feel to properties. With food, drinks and products all being sourced locally, 2019 should also see an increase in ‘local services and interactions’ with more hotels providing local events, talks and social activities integrating the guest experience with the community.
The emphasis on local will extend beyond food and drink, ensuring all hotel services have a localised feel in a push to achieve sustainable targets in the coming years.
Feel at home, everywhere.
The increasingly homely feel won’t just be noted in your room, as more hotels adopt the practice expect public lounges, bars and even lobbies to become much more relaxed with lounge furnishings, snugs and plants providing a comforting welcome to travellers. Board games, local books and local produce will be available more frequently, ensuring guests have everything they need to make their hotel into that all important home from home.
Staff will also be getting more casual, as more hotels move away from the traditional three piece suit uniform and opt for stylish chinos, open collar shirts and causal shoes. After all, a guest can hardly feel at home and relax if they are surrounded by formal attire!
And why worry about your four legged friend when you can bring him with you?! The dog friendly revolution continues to grow and grow with leading hoteliers finding increasingly innovative ways to make man’s best friend feel as at home as his owner (Doggy menus will be a mainstay in any reputable hotel restaurant). Read our Woof’s Welcome blog here.
Need some inspiration?
With this in mind, there are plenty of small and progressive steps hoteliers can make to implement and embrace these trends in 2019. Making the guest’s comfort central to the personalisation approach is sure to reap rewards with more and more visitors opting to use on site facilities and dining options.