What women want

By Larry Mogelonsky, P.Eng.

My dear bride of 34 years travels with me for leisure and sometimes business. With her 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 lists’ given to male counterparts. So, while fussing over our operating costs, we may be cutting corners that cost occupancy and loyalty. In particular, if you target the premium/luxury segment, or are an independent operator, you can easily capitalize on these suggestions.

1. Choose your bathroom amenities carefully. It’s more than improved packaging; it’s what’s inside those mini-bottles that count. Great brand names are not privately labelled — 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 30-millitre bottle should be the minimum.

2. Fresh flowers make a statement. Flowers are more than just lush colours and pleasant fragrances. A single fresh flower in a bud vase indicates a degree of care for the room and a link to nature. 

3. Make sure there are enough hangers. Somehow there are never enough hangers for all of the suits, 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, women may want to place everything in drawers and the closet.

4. Source high quality bed sheets and ensure beds are made properly. The result of poor training or supervision, there is no excuse for an improperly-made bed. 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. 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 six foot three. What works for me is too long for my wife. 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 morning. 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 almost 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. Flawless housekeeping. Nothing is a greater turnoff than a room that is anything less than perfect in this regard. 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 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.

Larry Mogelonsky (larry@lma.net) is president and founder of LMA Communications Inc. He is also the developer of Inn at a Glance hospitality software. His work includes three books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012) and “Llamas Rule” (2013) and “Hotel Llama” (2014). You can reach him at larry@lma.ca.