by Jena Tesse Fox | Oct 28, 2020 1:06pm

Red Roof debuts Alexa skill for travel planning

As guests seek contactless experiences, many will want voice-activated services from providers like Amazon and Google. Photo credit: Amazon

“Amenity” can have a wide range of meanings in hospitality, from services to public spaces to the shampoo in the guestroom shower. Here are some notable amenities, big and small, hoteliers should know about as guests expect new services and products from their stays.

1. Infrared heaters

A high-intensity patio heater heats the air around guests to extend the usability of outdoor spaces and seating capacity during colder weather and increase efficiency. 

2. Keyless entry

Stan Kennedy, COO of Remington Hotels, predicts that more hotels will choose to use mobile phones as guestroom keys to maintain safe distances and minimal contact.

3. Voice activation 

Devices from Google, Amazon and other brands are increasingly common in upscale and luxury guestrooms as guests look to limit contact with guestroom phones.

4. Expanded app capabilities 

Smartphone apps increasingly will control in-room entertainment platforms, temperature and lighting, Kennedy said.

5. Service with separation 

Lisa Simeone of Simeone Deary Design Group expects to see guestroom foyers that guests can close or open for contactless delivery. 

6. Instant libations 

Products like Plum and Bartesian can instantly make cocktails in a guestroom without the need to order roomservice or hire a professional bartender for the evening.

7. Bespoke amenities 

Incoming guests will be able to request individually packaged snacks and drinks, making sure everything in the minifridge is just what they want, Simeone said.  

8. Bespoke bathroom kits 

Similarly, guests can select bathroom products from a menu ahead of time, Simeone suggested, giving guests more personalization options. “This may even be an opportunity for hotels to partner with companies hoping to gain exposure of their products so the cost may not solely fall on the operator.” 

9. Back to single-serve bathroom products 

The eco-friendly trend of large shampoo bottles used by guest after guest likely will slow down while the pandemic lasts, Kennedy predicted. 

10. Rental bikes 

As outdoor activities gain ground—and as guests look to minimize time inside Ubers and taxis—look for more hotels to offer bikes for day trips.

11. Expanding markets 

The erstwhile gift shops in hotel lobbies will continue to expand into sundry and food-and-beverage sales to give guests 24/7 access to fresh food items.

12. E-libraries 

Bedside Reading offers complimentary eBooks and audiobooks that hotels can loan to guests, making socially distant entertainment (and relaxation) much easier. 

13. Clean bags 

Hotel rooms will include a “clean bag,” Simeone predicted, that lets guests sanitize phones/room keys after passing through public areas, as well as wipes in guestrooms. 

14. Bigger workspaces 

As businesspeople turn to hotel rooms as private ad-hoc day offices, look for workstations to become just as valuable a feature as the bed. 

15. Wellness products 

Brands like Westin have made wellness part of their brand, offering complimentary lavender oil in guestrooms to help improve sleep.

16. Upgraded workouts 

Hotel fitness rooms cannot get by on generic equipment anymore. Brand names like Peloton are gaining ground in workout spaces—and even in some guestrooms.  

17. Water bottle refilling stations 

Water fountains aren’t seen as sanitary and disposable bottles aren’t eco-friendly. Refilling stations in the lobby are both, according to Kennedy.

18. Luxury beds and bedding 

As brands and independent properties continue competing for the best sleep experience, expect more rooms to feature top-tier beds and bedding products as a draw.

19. Family components 

With business travel down and leisure travel dominating, hotels will need to add more areas for families to play together, said Kennedy—and will also need to add sanitizing stations lower to the ground for smaller arms to reach.

20. Kid-friendly bedding

Young guests may enjoy a bit of privacy when sharing a room with their parents. The Privacy Pop Bed Tent turns a twin bed—from toddler-sized to queen—into a private space for where kids can sleep, play or read so parents can get some peace.