For the expecting guest, provide the unexpected
Traveling often comes with a few bumps in the road, but expectant mothers on the go face a unique set of challenges. As I near the end of my own journey to motherhood, I’ve been reflecting on my experiences traveling while pregnant and pondering ways hotels can better provide for the comfort of guests who are expecting, and go the extra mile to make them feel special as well. A few thoughts:
There’s no such thing as too many pillow choices. For the mom-to-be, few things are more important, and nothing more elusive, than a good night’s sleep. A pillow menu, ideally with a body pillow among the options, will allow pregnant guests to choose just the right balance of support and softness to get them through the night.
Keep it cool. A pregnant woman will want a cooler room than the typical guest. Have the heat turned down, or the air conditioning cranked up, before she arrives, and be sure to ask if she would like the temperature adjusted further. Our Trump Attaché team reports expectant guests often request lighter coverlets as a more comfortable alternative to heat-retaining duvets, even in the heart of winter.
Treat her feet. I’ve learned that nothing is more rejuvenating at the end of a day of travel than a foot massage to combat the soreness and swelling that goes with pregnancy. If you know beforehand that a guest is expecting, offer to schedule an in-room foot massage for shortly after her arrival, and otherwise make the offer when she checks in. This is especially important for guests arriving after a long flight. An ice-water foot dip is another nice touch.
Have prenatal massage on the menu. If you have a spa, include prenatal massage, and be ready to recommend other treatments on the spa menu that are safe and enjoyable for pregnant women.
Help her hydrate. Staying well-hydrated is key for the mom-to-be. Stock the in-room refrigerator with plenty of water and fresh fruit juices, and make sure it is replenished regularly.
Support her snack habit. Alongside the water and juices, stock the refrigerator with her favorite midnight munchies. Throw in a few pints of ice cream, too. (She’ll appreciate the reference even if ice cream isn’t her particular craving.)
Make her feel special. This is a very special time in her life, so give your expectant guest the VIP treatment. It can be as simple as serving her a glass of fresh juice in a champagne flute — a little unexpected touch that I guarantee will delight her. One of the most popular requests our Trump Attachés report is an iPod downloaded with classical music and a tummy amplifier. If you know a guest is pregnant, consider having this waiting on her bedside table at turndown with a short note. And at one hotel I recently visited, I was delighted to find a book on baby names and a very cute rattle and blanket waiting for me on arrival. By acknowledging this milestone moment in my life, it told me a great deal about how committed the hotel was to catering to the individuality of all its guests. And I promise you, it left the kind of lasting impression for which all of us, as hoteliers, strive.