What women want (and 10 ways to give them just that)

My dear bride of some 34 years travels with me for leisure, and sometimes business. To be expected, my work activities tend to be carried over into dinnertime conversations so this hybrid mode of travel makes sense. With her as critical input, we’ve come up with a short list of ideas that focus on women’s hotel needs.

Travel research indicates that the female head of household makes the bulk of leisure travel decisions – either directly or through “grocery list” male counterparts. So, while we’re fussing over our operating costs to the barebones, we may be cutting corners that really cost occupancy and loyalty. In particular, if you are targeted the premium/luxury segment, or are a fully independent operator, you can easily capitalize upon these suggestions. (These are not presented in any order of importance or cost to your operation.)

1. Choose your bathroom amenities carefully. Whereas most males can’t tell the good from the ugly, women know instantly. It’s more than improved packaging; it’s what’s inside those mini-bottles that count. Great brand names are not privately labeled – they don’t have to be! Brands like Clarins or Molton Brown charge more for their amenity programs because they provide instant recognition. Lastly, size does count. Make sure the bottle size is at least enough for two. A 30mL bottle should be the minimum. 

2. Fresh flowers make a statement. Flowers are more than just lush colors and pleasant fragrances. A single fresh flower in a bud vase indicates a degree of care for the room and a link to nature. Plan at least one floral display for the bathroom and another for next to the bed.

3. Make sure there are enough hangers. Somehow there are never enough hangers for all of the suites, skirts, pants and other items that spring out remarkably from a single suitcase. Whereas most guys will hang up a suit, leaving everything else in a suitcase (how barbaric!), women will want to place everything in drawers and the closet so that there are fewer fold lines and so they can better coordinate apparel for the next event.

4. Source high quality bed sheets an ensure beds are made properly. There is no excuse for an improperly made bed, except a lack of training of your housekeeping staff or poor supervision. As for bed sheets, the quality is immediately noticeable. Better sheets will last longer and finish better, giving you a further return on your investment.

5. Bathrobes that fit. I tend to agree, the opposite way. Too often bathrobes in hotels are one size fits all, which really means that they are one size fits nobody. For those who haven’t met me, I’m 6’3”. What works for me is too long for my wife. Ever consider two sizes per bathroom or, at the very least, the ability to call the front desk and request different sizes?

6. Where is the tray to store jewelry? I take off my watch and place it bedside. My wife has earrings, a bracelet or two, watch and necklace that all have to find a home in the wee hours of the evening. Yes, they are placed in the safe when at the pool or when not being worn. Some room safes have velvet trays to place these items. On the other hand, many hotels overlook this nuance which adds the constantly gnawing stress of losing an earring to the experience.

7. Towels that have not died in the laundry.  Towels have a laundering life. Don’t try to squeeze the last few uses out of an old towel. Simply replace it.

8. Provide a bag for a wet swimsuit. You go for a swim, and then you have to leave the next day but the swimsuit has not dried out yet. Thank goodness you can take a laundry bag. Wait, that’s for your dirty clothes. So, where does the swimsuit go? Help!

9. Housekeeping that is flawless. Nothing is a greater turnoff than a room that is anything less than perfect in this regard. Any variation here cannot be tolerated for the simple reason that it presages deeper problems under the surface. Make a good first impression with your guestrooms and don’t give anyone a reason to doubt your services.

10. Make up mirrors need to be illuminated and ideally magnifying. While this one will require CAPEX, complaints nonetheless mount when the makeup mirror lacks adjustability, magnifying and its own illumination. There are many brands available, and costs have gone down considerably, so the choice is yours.