Frequent travelers have an incentive to stay loyal thanks to extra perks and amenities once they reach hotel elite status. But what about travelers without top-notch status or whose travel patterns prevent them from being brand loyal? Hotels are getting creative when meeting frequent travelers’ needs; here’s how.
There’s definite “fear of missing out” when travelers are tied to laptops instead of enjoying the hotel pool. Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California, has a “workation” package with a business-friendly pool cabana including power outlets and wireless Internet to help avoid “FOMO.” JW Marriott Palm Springs offers something similar.
Guests at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport have access to a private security checkpoint directly to avoid lines, and at London’s St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, suite guests enjoy complimentary fast-track access to St. Pancras train station.
Convention goers often find large ballrooms get cold quickly. No need to worry at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, which provides complimentary pashminas for use in the conference rooms upon request.
Mexico’s Velas Resorts help time-strapped executives with a “cell phone concierge” service, handling personal and business calls on travelers’ phones while they’re in meetings. The concierge filters specified calls and only interrupts meetings for something urgent.
Select Crowne Plazas such as the Denver Downtown property have implemented the “Plaza Workspace” design pilot. This flexible meeting solution offers everything from solo soundproofed pods to sound-buffering sofa nooks for up to four people to gather in semi-privacy with touch screens for on-demand food and tech support.
Even if you can’t make it to the ballroom after a lively night with colleagues, Marriott Hotels want to make sure you stay inspired with new ideas via its curated TED Talks business- and creativity-themed presentations, available free via in-room TVs or logging onto hotel Wi-Fi.
Learning regional etiquette is no problem at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, which connects groups with Suzanne Pollak, dean of the Academy of Domestic Pursuits, for lessons on southern charm. The Palace Hotel Tokyo offers an etiquette guide on local business best practices. The Lanesborough in London even offers guests personalized stationery and business cards to use during their stay.
The Epiphany Hotel in Palo Alto has a dual-purpose bedside table that swivels to become a desk and includes a built-in charging station. There’s also a high-design Revo Radio channeling Internet radio stations all over the world.
When it comes time to do laundry, Hotel Jen properties across Australasia let guests stuff a bag as full as possible for a flat wash-and-fold fee instead of charging for each piece to clean. Las Alcobas in Mexico City lets you leave dirty laundry behind with its “Second Home” service for repeat visitors. The next time frequent travelers return, laundry is clean, folded, and waiting in the room. Forgot your jacket altogether? Suite guests of London’s Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Berkeley hotels can borrow tailored, classic Burberry trench coats hanging in their closets.
The Westin Buffalo is New York state’s first hotel with Amazon Echos in each room for guests to ask Alexa about local sights and hotel amenities; it is even connected to Chip, the hotel’s on-call robot butler to bring guests requested amenities.
Residence Inn by Marriott properties offer free grocery shopping to stock your fridge before you arrive. Barbecue fans can use Weber grills and grilling tools at TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotels.
Rocco Forte hotels will replace your minibar with items chosen by a local nutritionist, including coconut water, cold-pressed juices, and kale chips. In New York, Omni Berkshire Place helps guests in its eight private outdoor terrace rooms or suites to jump-start the day with free coffee set up on the terrace; on the public terrace in the summer, guests are offered free evening movies with popcorn.
Hyatt Centric hotels partner with online food ordering service Grubhub; guests can order food using the hotel’s Wi-Fi and website to have local meals delivered and charged to the room. That way, you can sample the local food even if you’ve been in the office all day—or you can grab a to-go container for your inflight meal.
EVEN Hotels offer in-room fitness equipment and more than a dozen instructional workout videos for those super-slammed business travelers (don’t worry, there’s still a full-service gym for something more strenuous). Have trouble sleeping? There’s also a nighttime tea service and bedding crafted from eucalyptus and natural fiber providing a cooling effect.
INNSIDE by Melia properties in Frankfurt and Hamburg offer hundreds of fitness classes from global trainers via touch screens in their 24-hour gyms. Sessions as short as 15 minutes are perfect for breaks between meetings.
The Miami Beach EDITION offers in-room yoga videos by bicoastal duo “Yoga For Bad People” plus two free hours to decompress at its own in-house ice-skating rink (yes, you read that right!). In London, The Rubens and Hotel 41 offer local “sports buddies” to show time-pressed guests good jogging routes combined with some sightseeing.
Missing Fido? The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea in New Brunswick, Canada, has a canine concierge. Sydney, a trained guide dog that was too friendly to make the cut, nuzzles up to travelers to help relieve stress or calm nerves before a big presentation. Hotel Preston in Nashville will send a pet goldfish to your room if you have some unconditional love to give.
Since working parents often don’t get a summer break from travel, many Holiday Inn properties are offering a creative solution during its Summer of Smiles program. Parents can pick up a Scholastic children’s book from the front desk lending library and a tablet stand to virtually read a book to their kids at home via their device’s Skype or FaceTime functions. Perhaps the best business travel perk is to pretend you’re not even traveling at all.