When you are going away or traveling with a hotel stay, it’s normal to get excited about so many different things. You want to see this, go there, spend time with this person. For many people, including myself, getting excited about a good hotel stay is sometimes half the fun.
That is because today’s hotels, whether boutique hotels or large chains, work very hard to ensure that their guests’ needs are met. The way this is done is through the provision of amenities and facilities.
Amenities and facilities are what a hotel provides to make a guest’s stay more enjoyable. There are many different kinds of amenities, and facilities offer additional services that can help an overnight stay feel more like a vacation. Amenities can range from in-room items like a hair dryer or a robe to a full-service spa that puts a hotel on the map.
You might also find unique turn-down service at some locations that make a guest more likely to book there. The range of amenities and facilities for any hotel can be significant. Learn more about the different kinds of amenities and facilities that hotels are offering today right here.
The amenity defined, your vacation just got better
There are different kinds of hotel stays. There is the kind where you get your room with your bed, and it’s fairly affordable, and there is not much to it. Most hotels like this might offer a few different things to make the stay feel better and more enjoyable, but some just don’t.
Still, even having a pot of coffee in the room for the next morning can make a hotel room feel a little more like home. And that is what an amenity is. It is an item or service that is provided to make the hotel feel more like home or even better. Every hotel guest is just that, a guest. Hotels today work very hard to make sure that every guest feels that way.
You are going to see standard in-the-room amenities like a hair dryer or Wifi access that may come with most hotel rooms today. You might have additional amenities listed at the time of your booking like a safe for the room, laundry bags for in-hotel laundry service, and a variety of toiletries included in the bathroom.
The most common toiletry set for a hotel includes shampoo and conditioner, mouthwash sometimes, a variety of soaps, and shower caps. You might also see sewing kits in the toiletry kit that is typically found in the bathroom.
Additional in-room amenities that are becoming more common include coffee and tea for the morning, a bathrobe, ice buckets, and a fridge. In some cases, the fridge will include drinks that you can pay for over time. These personal care items are always helpful and can be useful in the event that an item is forgotten by the traveler during the packing process.
A guest might choose a hotel with these types of amenities because they will already feel more comfortable before they even go. When you know there will be a bathrobe and coffee for your mornings, you are more excited about going. To the hotel, that means you are more likely to book with them as well. The drawback for you will be that the hotel room cost will be higher, but it may be worth it for the extra comfort.
At the same time, there are additional amenities that you might find in a hotel that takes your guest experience above and beyond the traditional or standard hotel stay. Hotels offer services that can extend outside the room, such as a spa, pool, sauna, hot but, or other recreational activities. Hotels are getting more creative about what to offer their guests upon arrival.
You’ll also see more in-room hotel amenities that you’ve never seen before. Cocktail bars, relaxation devices, and sometimes full-service technology that replaces the business center of the average hotel.
Standard amenities you’ve come to expect to see on listings
When you are looking for a hotel room to book, you have an idea of what to expect and what you are looking for. There are some standard amenities that you might just expect to have in a hotel, and use during your stay. In addition to toiletries, you are going to see things like free breakfast, complimentary WiFi, parking, and other services.
1. Nobody hates a free breakfast, even when you don’t like it
The free breakfast has become a common amenity with most major chains. It is typically what was once called a continental breakfast, but some hotels can go above and beyond this. The continental breakfast typically includes a very light pastry or bread source with coffee, tea, and a variety of juices.
So you might see English muffins or bagels with jams and cream cheeses. Toast, muffins, and pastries might also be included. Some hotels will offer a huge spread of light pastries or bread items to choose from when you are enjoying a continental or free breakfast. Others will make a large hot spread that includes pancakes, eggs, meats, and other items to enjoy as your free breakfast.
The plus for any free breakfast is that you cannot have to worry about additional expenses or traveling to get food when you are on vacation or traveling. It’s just there, and it’s convenient. The drawback is that it can be built into the cost of your room. You’re likely to see more affordable rooms when they do not offer free breakfast.
2. Free WiFi and parking are amenities that could make you book faster even with an added cost
You might come to expect free Wifi when you are staying in a hotel, but it isn’t always offered. There are still some hotels that are expecting up to $20 daily for the use of Wifi in the room. If you see free Wifi on the hotel listing, it really is an amenity or perk.
When you check in to a hotel with free Wifi, you will be given the instructions to access the Wifi. You will want to check with the hotel prior to booking how the free Wifi works. Many hotels offer free Wifi for a certain number of devices only.
This is a major drawback with hotels with free Wifi for many families that travel. You might only get free Wifi for two devices for example. After that, you’ll have to pay extra. Check with your hotel before you take advantage of free Wifi that may cost you.
Free parking has become a standard amenity with hotels, and there is not much wiggle room here. Unlike free Wifi, free parking is typically just that, free parking. You might be limited to the number of vehicles that you can park for free, so you may want to check with the hotel ahead of time on that as well if you are traveling with a large group.
At the same time, if parking is not free, the costs can be prohibitive if you are on a tight budget. Check on the costs of parking and, if the hotel room is cheaper, add that to the cost of the room and compare the overall costs of your hotel stay with a more expensive room that may offer free parking and free breakfast.
In-room amenities you’ve never heard of before but make you want to go on vacation, today
Today’s hotels are getting inventive about how to keep their guests happy in ways that other hotels can’t. Some amenities are all about getting the star ratings, and others are about offering something that no other hotel can to ensure the guest books with them first.
3. The future feature is now a thing and you’ll love it
One amenity that keeps guests coming is the in-room tablet. The one drawback here is that this is not like a tablet you can play games on and stream with, Instead, it takes the guesswork out of what is offered in the hotel and how to order room service or extra towels, its biggest benefit.
It also makes it easier to look for things like other amenities, attractions in the area, and things that make your travel experience easier or more fun. For the business traveler, you want an easier stay. For the vacationer, you want a fun stay, that is also affordable.
Another feature you are going to see in more hotel rooms today and in the future is the future. In addition to tablets that help you to help them understand what you need, gaming and hobbyist technology might be in your room when you arrive. For some hotels, you can request this in advance. For others, it is part of the package.
Gaming consoles are becoming much more popular today. Some hotels will advertise this, and some will tell you at the time of booking if you are the kind that calls to reserve. They may not always be in the room but may be available upon request when you check-in.
Other tech that will have some appeal for the golf crowd is the golf simulator tech. Some hotel rooms will add square footage to their rooms so that they can install a golf simulator. This is typically used by the business traveller that has nothing else to do on their hotel stay or for the traveler that doesn’t want to be seen in the hotel gym.
4. The twenty-first century mini-bar has arrived
The mini fridge is always a nice amenity, but it’s a little stale in its trendiness. Cue the cocktail stations coming to a hotel near your next vacation spot if they haven’t already. There are many different ways that this amenity is offered. In-room beer taps are now a thing.
The pros to this are obvious. You can grab a beer and have a little more fun when you do it than you can by opening the door on a mini-bar fridge. There may be some added expenses here in the hotel bill that you won’t mind, at first.
5. Turndown services are getting more creative
Turndown service is a historic tradition meant to honor the reason guests are staying in a hotel. It’s a way of finishing a day as a guest as you head towards a good night’s sleep. It involves turning the top cover down of the bed for guests so they have the bed ready for them when they are ready to turn in for the night.
The tradition entails leaving a gift such as chocolate mints on the pillow so that the guest enjoys a sweet treat from their host.
You can’t really get creative with turning the bed down, but hotels are getting creative with what they are leaving for guests. One hotel in Salisbury Mills, New York offers the pie turndown, leaving fresh pie for the guests with the turndown service. Another leaves legends of worry dolls on the pillow with tiny worry dolls to help travelers enjoy a worry-free stay.
The benefits are clear, you get a special touch from a special hotel, and you know you’ve picked the right place. There aren’t any drawbacks to a special touch like this.
6. Stay on Broadway, be on Broadway, it’s almost the same thing here
This one hotel is just one example of a hotel taking an amenity to the next level. The Chatwal in New York City is not that far from the city’s theatre district, and it offers a Broadway package that will inspire all ages. This theatre offers a Broadway package that goes beyond leaving your tickets with the concierge. The Broadway experience here is in the room with a trunk full of dress up game and inspiration for anyone to try on.
Costumes and props like wands and magic rugs can be found here. We know you’ll want to try on the crown from “Frozen” too, yes, Elsa’s. You can also participate in the afternoon tea that is Broadway-inspired. The pastries here pay homage to Broadway in a way that literally nothing else in the world ever will.
The benefits here are obvious. Where else can you be Aladdin or try on Elsa’s crown? Maybe Disney, but that’s a theme park with its own wide range of amenities that are just as creative, and just as inspired as this hotel in New York.
The service amenities you’ll never want to stop having, eat, spa, love
Service amenities are unique amenities that add to the guest experience by being a service rather than a product or item in the room. These go beyond free parking or free WiFi services and instead offer more recreational experiences for guests in the hotel. Additionally, the more service amenities a hotel offers, the higher its star rating will be.
For example, a hotel with dining options beyond free breakfast and a pool could be rated a 3-star rating, or even higher, depending on the quality of the amenity. Hotels with gourmet dining and more pools might get a 5-star rating. Adding elements like a full service spa or retail store will help a hotel’s rating as well, and in some cases, are required for a hotel ratings to be higher.
For you, the enjoyment comes from knowing what the amenity is and how that will enhance your stay.
7. For the people that want to work out when they are on vacation
The fitness center is a very common hotel amenity and one that many hotel guests need when they travel. The fitness center can be large and spacious and offer additional services beyond cardio equipment and weight, such as a sauna or pool. The more offered in a fitness center, the higher the quality hotel. It won’t necessarily mean a greater star rating here, but it can help.
If a hotel has 5 cardio bikes and 5 treadmills over 3 of each piece of equipment, their rating won’t change. It is the specific service the hotel uses that contributes to its overall rating. So you might see 2 bikes and a sauna instead of 10 pieces of equipment in a hotel fitness center or gym.
This is for guests that need to work out when they are traveling or just want a place to relax. It can also inspire some travelers to engage in fitness when they are traveling, even if they can’t attend a gym regularly at home.
The only drawbacks to a hotel with this amenity are that this will be built into the cost. So, if you are choosing a hotel with this service amenity, you may want to take advantage of the fitness center in order to get your money’s worth at the hotel.
8. Wellness amenities that you won’t expect but will make you come back for more
Many hotels are really contributing to the overall guest experience by adding wellness amenities. There are many different kinds of that available in some hotels.
A room purification device is a device used to create a sense of calm in a hotel room by sanitizing the air. This is an amenity that offers a cleaner air that can help guests with health or breathing problems. It can also just keep a room feeling nicer if a guest has been smoking in the room prior to the next guest’s arrival.
These contribute to wellness by offering healthier air and also a more relaxing room. They are particularly useful in hotels in larger cities that have a lot of noise and air pollution.
Relaxation tools are also getting more common in hotel rooms. You might find massage balls, massage tools, eye pillows, aromatics, or other soothing items in the room to create an oasis in the guest room. Again, you might pay a little more for these, but you might not mind it if a massage ball can help bring the stress level down on your vacation or business trip.