Food For Thought…

In June Wendy Perrin, Condé Nast Traveler’s Director of Consumer News and Digital Community wrote about the “18 things hotels could do to be truly brilliant”in the online version of the magazine.

In the comments related to the article a common thought emerged: customers truly value individuality and the idea ‘treat your clients as you would like to be treated’ could not come closer to what the expectations are.

We all are different and value some things more than others, but a small personal touch, a certain level of flexibility and making it clear to the client where to find what and how everything works are appreciated by most people.

Wendy also said that some hotels are engaging in very futuristic projects, but first and foremost the most important thing would be to ‘get the basics right’.

I think it’s all about remembering what hospitality, as a word, is all about.

Here, Wendy Perrin’s 18 points of her personal wish list:

1. Free Wi-Fi. A strong signal and fast connection would be welcome too, including on the exercise bikes and by the pool.
2. No hidden add-on fees—and by that I mean no “resort fee,” parking fee, gym fee, mini-bar re-stocking fee, early check-out fee, etc.
3. An alarm clock that doesn’t wake me up at 5 a.m. because that’s the hour that the previous guest set it for. Failing that, an alarm clock that I can quickly figure out how to turn off (rather than merely re-set to snooze) in the pitch dark at 5 a.m.
4. An in-room lighting system that doesn’t take a degree in engineering to operate.
5. I don’t need 17 pillows on my bed. It would be nice if one pillow—just one—were the correct thickness.
6. A power strip at desk level so I don’t have to crawl beneath the desk, with enough outlets that I don’t have to recharge my smartphone at the bathroom sink.
7. Outlets on the nightstand in case I want to use my laptop in bed or use my iPhone as my alarm clock (thus saving the next guest from 5 a.m. misery).
8. A window I can actually open, for a little fresh air once in a while.
9. A mini-bar with healthy snacks at street price. (Note to hoteliers: A trend that we atCondé Nast Traveler are seeing at our favorite new hotels? Free mini-bars.)
10. A view that’s as advertised. “Ocean view” should not mean having to stand on the radiator and crane my neck just to glimpse the water.
11. In the bathroom, good lighting by the mirror, as well as a dim setting for the middle of the night.
12. A shower with strong water pressure, a showerhead high enough that I needn’t crouch, and a curtain that prevents the bathroom floor from flooding.
13. More hooks for hanging towels or clothing on. Because why would my husband be any neater in a hotel room than he is at home?
14. In addition to the typical toiletries: earplugs—in case of noisy neighbors or street construction.
15. A climate-control system that doesn’t sound like a freight train running past the room.
16. As hotels do away with (ludicrously priced) room-service breakfast, how about replacing it with a Starbucks (or similar) in the lobby that will deliver a vanilla latte and hot breakfast sandwich to my room?
17. A key card that does not get mysteriously deactivated (whether through proximity to my cell phone or some misunderstanding about my check-out time), forcing me to trek all the way back to the front desk.
18. An in-room safe that’s actually large enough for my most valuable possession: my laptop. Place an electrical outlet in that safe, and you’ve got my business.

In addition to Wendy’s wish list I would like to share something I recently experienced and which has become one of my absolute favourite concepts: “breakfast anytime, anywhere”. I was staying at Fusion Maia in Da Nang and guests could enjoy their breakfast right on the sandy beach, or in the comfort of their room, or at the pool bar, anywhere, at anytime. What an amazing feeling not to have to wake up in time for breakfast! Read more about the relaxing features of Fusion Maia in the article about the resort in this newsletter!What do you think of this wish list? Are there any other things you could come up with? What do your clients value?
It would be great to receive your suggestions and comments!