Who wants to stay in a hotel ‘just like home’?

Some of the time-honored hotel-marketing platitudes include phrases such as “your home away from home” or “just like home” or “feels like home.” Some hotels have added “home” to a portion of their name, perhaps applicable to an extended-stay product. I think about this cliché a lot when I ask students to write a new positioning statement for a hotel brand they have studied. A few students will inevitably spin a version of these “home-like” phrases into their suggestions thinking it is expected.

Who wants to stay in a hotel “just like home”? Not me. Even if you have a live-in cook to substitute for room service (or even just use daily), a housekeeper to refresh linens and welcoming greeters at your entrance, travel is not about wealth but about experiencing new things — consuming someone else’s taste and style, someone else’s curation and, of course, service is part of that too. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’d enjoy a few more home amenities, but I also love my hearth and home. We’ve worked to make it comfortable and comforting, friendly and functional. Yet when I read about a hotel that offers “all the comforts of home” I immediately think, “And what else?” When I travel, even for business, I don’t want what I consume my every day — I want better, different, more, new. Don’t you?