What do luxury hotel guests want?


What do luxury hotel guests want?

hotel bedroom

Guests seeking luxury are after the finer things in life and they’ll pay a premium for it. But what makes these establishments worth paying extra for?

There is no definitive answer to what luxury is. Every guest is different and so is their definition of luxury, which is a challenge in itself. While luxury hotels no doubt have outstanding amenities, luxury is increasingly being defined by the experience rather than the facilities on offer.

Fame Element

The rise of social media sites, particularly Instagram, has created a new class of guests who are inspired to stay in a hotel because so called ‘influencers’ have made it famous as the place to be seen. Influencers are part of a growing breed of marketers who are using their social media clout to appeal to guests who want to incite envy among their friends and followers by being seen at the best venues in the most luxurious places.

A recent study by travel site Expedia found that the biggest priority among 18-34 years old was how instagramable the destination is, with men more likely to select their holiday spot based on this factor alone.

So, while this is indeed a great way to stand out from the competition this only works to a hotels advantage if the perception lives up to the reality.

Anticipate needs

The ability to foresee any guests needs before they do, will undoubtedly create a great impression. Having a system in place that enables you to record your guest’s preferences and use them to enhance their stay will allow for a more personal touch.

A recent HGEM survey highlighted that 68% of guests would be happy to provide additional information if this was used to enhance their stay.

For a first-time guest, personal information could be limited to what is needed to make their booking, however if your hotel is part of a group, encouraging guests to sign up for a loyalty card allows for a seamless service when booking and checking in at your other venues as you will already have the guest’s data.

Use your intuition - if guests are travelling with young children, think about what they will need prior to their arrival. If they are on their honeymoon or celebrating a birthday, what could make their stay even more memorable? When we asked our panel of guests what constitutes going the extra mile, 48% said a welcome or birthday gift in their room would do the trick – often, it is the little things that are overlooked.

For returning guests, making sure you provide them with their preferred newspaper, extra pillows in their room or their favourite table for dinner?

Deliver the impossible

Exceptional service is all about going above and beyond for guests. Luxury hotels are known for delivering on difficult requests and having the ability to give guests exclusive access, whether that be to popular restaurants or the must-have theatre seats.

And don’t forget to consider technology. Many hotels are now using apps to improve the efficiency of their services, for example providing guests with a live-chat concierge service, in their rooms which can provide information and recommendations for the local area instantly and at any time.

But don’t all guests want a personal touch? Of course, this will always be important and there will always a balance to be achieved between using technology to improve a guests experience without becoming to automated and impersonal.

In terms of the check-in and check-out procedure, the personal touch always wins, with 78% still wanting a warm welcome, and 57% seeing a “thank you” and “safe travels” as the perfect way to end an incredible stay. But surprisingly, 59% of guests we surveyed, felt that tech could still be personal, particularly when it comes to booking activities, dinner and spa treatments.

HGEM’s Head of New Business, Matthew Smith, shares his latest experience of a hotel stay, in which the luxury venue was matched perfectly with a first-class service:

“My wife and I stayed at the Firmdale Charlotte Street Hotel in London recently and everyone we came into contact with was a credit to the Firmdale brand. Our conversations with staff were genuine, and they were always smiling. Of course, there were other guests for them to see to, but with every interaction, we were made to feel like we were their most important guests, with plenty of time to speak to us and nothing too much trouble.”

While every guest is different, taking the time to get to know your guests and making them feel valued is what will make their experience memorable.

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