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 Holiday Gift Guide for Luxury Travelers

2017: An Open Letter to Luxury Hotels Around the World

2017: An Open Letter to Luxury Hotels Around the World

April 3, 2017
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Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. –Maya Angelou

Dear Luxury Hotels of the World:
Consider this an open letter from your esteemed guests all over the world. For the love of all that is good, please stop:
  1. Assuming that the person I’m with is my husband or that we have the same last name. I often travel with friends, my boyfriend, and family — it’s never appropriate to assume that everyone in my party has the same last name or that the only relationship I could have with the male next to me is a romantic one. On that same note, stop assuming I’m a Mrs. in emails and correspondence. Sexism is so passé.
  2. Training your employees to engage in perfectly scripted conversations to the point they seem like robots. Keep the personal touch and have a real conversation so the interaction is memorable.
  3. Placing one-size-fits-all robes and slippers in the rooms. As a 5’5″ woman, I am most certainly not the same size as my 6’5″ boyfriend. I understand it’s impossible to account for all sizes, but having at least two options would be grand.
  4. Charging for WiFi. There are no ifs, ands, or buts here. On the same note, don’t try to fool us by advertising free WiFi but providing incredibly slow, choppy service and then forcing us to pay for your paid option with more bandwidth. It’s 2017, for god’s sake — we pay enough to stay here to begin with. Also, don’t require my email to sign in and then spam me with your promotional material later.
  5. Overlooking the power of social media or pre-arrival correspondence in customer retention and acquisition. I have started deciding where to stay based on how active a hotel’s social media accounts are. Interacting with me before, during, and after my stay is crucial — a luxury stay is all in the details that starts well before I click “Purchase” and doesn’t end the moment I check out of the hotel. Hotels ought to use social media as a way to humanize their brands — find out if I have any special requests, the reason for my stay, etc. Realize that the luxury hotel market is supremely saturated, but I chose to stay at your property out of all the others I could have chosen — get to know me.
  6. Charging for water. On sheer principle, this is simply unacceptable in 2017. This signals to me that you’re more interested in nickel and diming your guests instead of providing a top-notch experience. It shouldn’t be your goal to be memorable for the wrong reasons.
  7. Decreasing room sizes, removing tables, and designing rooms with no convenient outlets. If you think that’s what millennial luxury travelers want, think again. I am also in the millennial camp that would prefer that luxury hotel experiences not resemble communal hostels and be stripped of their air of splendor.
  8. Removing the minibar, stocking only junk foods, and using hyper-sensitive sensors. Staying healthy while on the go is hard enough as it is, so I appreciate it when hotels have healthy food options on the menu, especially on the late-night menu. I love a juice bar for breakfast and quick healthy bites after a long day.
  9. Designing rooms without doors to the bathroom or separating the room and bathroom with a sheet of glass without shutters — not every stay is a romantic getaway with my beau. A little privacy, please.
  10. Installing lighting in the bathroom that resembles a dungeon. There’s a time and place for low ambient lighting, and getting ready in the morning in the bathroom is not one of them.
  11. Starting housekeeping service before 10am on the weekend. Unless it’s a wakeup call I requested or it’s an emergency, breakfast and housekeeping service can absolutely wait until I’ve decided it’s time to get out of bed. I understand if I’ve forgotten to place the “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door and it’s 11a, but I am much less understanding when it’s 8am on a Sunday morning and housekeeping is pounding on my door.

Related — 2016: 10 Upgrades Luxury Hotels Need to Make

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