This article was modified from Oyster's blog.
As we’ve investigated hotels across the globe, we’ve found that oftentimes, it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact on a stay, from the toiletries to the gym passes to the free snacks. So we compiled a list of 10 basic practices that significantly improve a guest’s experience.
1. Kid-friendly extras
Traveling families have a lot of special needs — ranging from cribs for the room, to electrical socket protectors, to video games. The whole place doesn’t need to be kid-friendly all the time (otherwise guests would have gone to a resort that was), but having little things available really help make the whole vacation relaxing for you. For instance, keeping the kids busy at check in with a coloring book or have hook ups to the TV for video game systems.
2. Distinct categories for their tiniest rooms
We appreciate it when a hotel puts its tiniest rooms into a clearly branded category and charges less for them. No one wants to find out later that all the rooms in a category aren’t the same, otherwise they feel tricked (not the best start to a vacation).
Plus, there are some guests who would be more than happy to book the small room if it means a little less money spent.
3. Free passes to off-site features
Amenities aren’t always possible. In some cities the hotels themselves are tiny with just a few dozen rooms, let alone a spa or gym. But it’s always nice to have the option of pampering yourself or keeping up with your workout. Sometimes hotels will offer free passes to amenities at nearby hotels or even local businesses.
4. Brand-name toiletries
Many hotel-brand toiletries aren’t very good, and guests know this. They pack their own shampoo and conditioner so they can avoid having starchy hair in the morning. But isn’t nice when you don’t have to pack those things because the hotel carries a brand like L’Occitane?
5. Lots of TV channels
Admittedly, you’re not going to spend all day inside watching TV, but maybe you will just before going to sleep, or while waiting on someone to get ready. Nothing is worse than having a beautiful HD TV and nothing to watch.
Coffeemakers aren’t an optional amenity (though a few hotels seem to think they are). Some smart hotels offer not only coffeemakers, but fancy coffeemakers, such as Nespresso machines.
In fact, according to Anthony Melchiorri on Hotel Impossible, 78% of travelers expect a coffeemaker in their guestroom.
7. Free Wi-Fi
What’s $10 extra, right? As it turns out, that extra fee could end up costing you more than it earns: It’s one of the most common things guests complain about.
A study showed that 86% of guests expect free Wi-Fi. In fact, guests would prefer you include the price in the room rate so they’re paying front rather than feeling like they’re getting nickel-and-dimed at the end.
8. Free snacks and drinks
Guests love free food and drinks just as much as they hate paying for Wi-Fi. Evening wine and hors d’oeuvres hours are always popular.
9. Zero hidden fees
We know we already talked about Wi-Fi — but some hotels take hidden fees to a whole different level, charging for things such as toothpaste, lotion, and even coffee pods. (Having coffeemakers and then charging for the coffee might be worse than not having coffeemakers at all.)
Resort fees are also no fun; as with Wi-Fi, most guests would prefer these fees to be lumped into the nightly rate.
10. Room service
Travel-weary guests might just want to stay in to eat, so they like when hotels without restaurants at least have room service. Other fun options hotels sometimes provide are arranging delivery from nearby restaurants.
But a good minibar works too.