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How to Use Hotel Amenities to Spruce Up Your Rooms

Guest Amenities On Hotel Bed

Creating an exceptional guest experience in your hotel doesn’t have to ruin your budget. There are some low-cost strategies you can use to enhance your guests’ stay and boost your hotel’s reputation and profitability.

If you focus on your hotel’s amenities and supplies, you can make your rooms more inviting while keeping your budget intact. By putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes, even small adjustments can earn stellar reviews and repeat business.

In this article, we’ll debunk common myths about hotel supplies and present practical room setup ideas shared by experienced hotel managers. Whether you’re managing a boutique inn or a cozy bed and breakfast, it’s the thoughtful guest amenities and little touches that truly make a difference.

Three Myths about Hotel Amenities to Reject

First, let’s establish why you should care. Why are these small, low-budget hotel room supplies even important?

Hotel amenities are essential for ensuring guest satisfaction and repeat business. When guests feel comfortable, they tend to stay longer, spend more, and return more frequently. Offering amenities that evoke a sense of home can help to relax travellers far from their native surroundings. Providing self-accessible supplies can preserve the ‘home away from home’ experience without disrupting guests’ autonomy.

Optimizing your hotel amenities can lead to positive reviews, increased occupancy rates, and higher room revenues. Given that hotel rooms typically yield a high return on investment, improving amenities can significantly boost your bottom line.

You may be thinking, “How can I achieve this on my limited budget?” You may even be wondering how you could provide all the options to make your varied clientele feel at home. Let’s address these concerns in the following myth-busting section.

Myth #1: You Need to Have All the Options

When hotels like yours try to adapt their amenities to attract customers, it’s easy to lean into extremes. You might view customers as a homogeneous set who all want the same thing, but this view can lead to a generic approach that ignores your customers’ preferences. Or you might think every guest is completely different and needs to be addressed individually, which scatters your focus and causes inefficiencies.

The best way to enhance your guest amenities is to find a happy medium between the previous extreme views, by identifying your hotel’s ideal customer. Segment the mass of your customers into pieces, like slices of pizza, and choose the one that best suits your hotel’s identity. That way, you’re not overwhelmed by the sheer uniqueness of humanity, or seeing everyone as the same – you’re deliberately choosing to cater to the most valuable customer for your business.

One hotel that has targeted a customer segment is the Holbrook Hotel, a boutique regional hotel and pub in the middle of the Sydney to Melbourne travel route.

The Holbrook Hotel’s 2022 renovation showed off the building’s iconic façade and restored staircase while adding modern comforts like ensuites and high-speed wi-fi. But they’ve retained their ‘classic charm’ with carefully chosen décor and elegant guest supplies like custom-printed crockery and quilted napkins. They’ve targeted an older tourist clientele attracted to the historic venue’s luxuries and nostalgia.

The Holbrook Hotel has invested in custom-printed plates featuring their logo.

It doesn’t matter where you’re located or what you offer, you can tweak your hotel room amenities to appeal to your most valuable customer type.

Myth #2: These Improvements Will Cost Way Too Much

Improving your guest amenities doesn’t need to mean cutting costs and getting rid of options when you’re struggling to keep occupancy up. You can keep within your budget or even decrease costs while improving your customers’ experience, just by making careful procurement choices.

Consolidate your guest room supplies by ordering from one or two suppliers at most. This way, you can take advantage of any package deals or volume buys while decreasing the time you need to spend buying consumables.

Consolidating your purchases may require some negotiation with your preferred supplier. You should pay careful attention to details like minimum order quantities to gain the best prices possible. But make sure your supplier knows you’ll continue buying from them, so they’re motivated to provide what you need and give you the attention you deserve.

The Remington Orange employs this clever buying behaviour by purchasing a full spectrum of consumables – everything from toilet paper and hand towels to cookies and chocolate – from one supplier. And they’re still able to be choosy about the quality and type of their guest room amenities, buying little luxuries like tealight candles and shortbread to enhance their sophisticated atmosphere.

While you’ll need to match the hotel amenities you choose to the intrinsic atmosphere of your hotel, you should be able to achieve a complete experience for your ideal guests while staying within expense limits.

Myth #3: You’ll Have to Spend a Lot of Time to Set This Up

As a busy hotel manager, you don’t have a lot of time to take care of hotel improvements. Here’s why improving guest amenities is the most time-efficient way you can improve your guest experience.

Think of the usual advice on how to wow your hotel guests, like ‘offer coworking spaces for business travellers’ and ‘install free gym rooms and relaxing infinity pools.’ Large installations or refurbishments like these have prohibitive costs and take a lot of time. Each of these big-budget items could disturb your hotel operations and decrease revenue for six to 12 months.

On the other hand, if you go the route of small, continuous improvements to supplies your guests interact with every time they stay, the most time you could spend would be a couple of weeks testing out different amenities. You wouldn’t even have any interruptions to your well-ordered service schedules.

To get a start on testing new hotel amenities in your rooms, you’ll need a method to brainstorm what works and what needs fixing. We’ll cover a simple solution in the next section of this article.

How to Use Your Senses to Improve Your Hotel Room Amenities

Your customers decide what your hotel ratings are, and their satisfaction is paramount.

How do you put yourself in their place? The method we’re suggesting is simple. Take a few minutes to experience what they do – use your senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch to increase your awareness of your guests’ supplies and amenities. Ask a friend or colleague who doesn’t see the rooms very often to enter the hotel room and give you their first impressions.

What Does Your Hotel Room Look Like?

The first sense that your customer will use is sight. So, you’ll need to see what you can improve in your room’s visual appeal. Does every single item in your hotel room match what your brand represents?

When you were building, renovating, or even first managing the business, you probably put a lot of thought into furnishings, wall décor, and other high-cost items. But inevitably we get used to the small things that make a room more than a sleeping cell.

When a guest comes in or looks at room photos on your website – what do they see? Do your floors look clean? Are the carpets spotted, or is the tile grout slightly off-colour? To resolve these small maintenance issues, you could try another cleaning method or chemical on your surfaces.

Let’s say your brand is one of luxury. Look around – does everything suit the image you’re trying to present? Perhaps your paper napkins could be upgraded from a simple lunch type to a quilted fold, or even to a washable linen design. If your bathroom needs to look modern, are all your soap dispensers matching, sleek, and functional?

These examples are not the only ones you’ll see if you take five minutes to inspect a room that’s ready for a new guest. Even small, seemingly inconsequential trimmings can cement the right impression in a customer’s mind.

A case in point is the Dubbo International Quality Inn, which focuses on classic comfort and family friendliness. One small item they use that carries nuances of traditional quality is the Botanical Toilet Seat Seal, which cleaners put in place once a toilet has been cleaned. It’s a simple choice with little impact on their budget, yet it conveys volumes to the customers who recognise and value it.

The Dubbo International Quality Inn uses toilet seat seals to show their commitment to cleanliness.

What Does Your Hotel Room Smell Like?

Another powerful sense to manage is your customer’s sense of smell. We all know how smells can evoke vivid memories – even scientists agree that smells are closely associated with emotions and memory. This means your customers can be very easily disturbed by unpleasant odours, but their experience is significantly improved with the right choice of scent.

One of the sources for blatantly offensive smells is, of course, the bathroom. When you step inside an ensuite or shared facility in your hotel, what do you smell first? Is it a good, clean aroma, or are there nasty undertones? The quality of your cleaners’ products and work will have the biggest impact on bathroom odours, but there are steps you can take, like installing urinal screens or deodorising toilet clips.

If you’ve got a heritage building or even one dating back to the 90’s, you’ll be able to attest to the fact that some smells (like cigarette smoke) stay in the walls. When you walk through your facility, are there errant odours that could be an issue? You might need to invest in some odour control.

On the other hand, if your rooms are free from bad smells, what do you want your hotel’s scent to convey? Pleasant smells can be a smart way to subconsciously relax or rejuvenate your guests and create a welcoming atmosphere. In the US, one hotel chain has been using scent branding to distinguish their hotels since the early 2000s. For example, your ideal customer might prefer simple and elegant shampoo scents over stronger florals and fruits.

One Australian hospitality business that’s keenly aware of the impact of smell is the Albion Hotel in Cootamundra. As they provide both a full bar, restaurant menu, and contemporary accommodation, they spare no effort to ensure the smells from each stay in their proper places.

The Albion’s solution has been to consistently use the ElimO odour eliminator, which bonds with odour molecules to neutralise them, rather than just mask the smell, and leaves a clean, refined scent in the air. Their attention to this detail makes an impression of cleanliness, quality, and first-class service.

Four varieties of ElimO odour eliminator - Original, Floral, Citrus, and Holiday.
The Albion Hotel uses the ElimO odour eliminator to remove unpleasant scents.

What Do Your Guest Amenities Taste Like?

Snacks and beverages are a universal way of putting customers at ease, and a hotelier’s best way of addressing guests’ sense of taste.

Those who have restaurants and bars attached to their accommodation can convey their brand through the quality of their food and drinks, but it’s also common to have snacks and hot drinks available in hotel rooms for guests’ convenience. What isn’t common, however, is putting care into the choice of these amenities.

Take a look at the refreshments you provide, from the mint on a pillow to the juice in the mini fridge. Do your customers consume them? Are they complementary, and do they fit your brand? Do your guests appreciate classic snacks like Arnott’s biscuits, or are they more into crunch and flavour like Kettle chips?

If your hotel aims to provide home comforts and nostalgia, you might choose a brand of shortbread that reminds your ideal customer of their grandma’s cooking. Alternatively, a key indicator of a luxury brand could be champagne stashed in the mini-bar, or a gift hamper of dark chocolate left on the dresser.

Most accommodation facilities serve coffee – perhaps you could make your hotel unique with a special blend of coffee created for the discerning coffee enthusiast.

Even providing choice is a point of difference in the taste area. For example, the Wagga RSL Motel and Apartments offer barista-made coffee from their associated restaurant, as well as hot chocolate and a range of teas including Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Green, and Peppermint. Their customers can be confident they’ll get their preferred taste choice.

What Do Your Guest Amenities Feel Like?

The final sense that you can use guest amenities to influence is touch. To find potential improvements to customers’ touch experience, you’ll need to interact with your hotel room supplies first-hand. It might even be useful to take some amenities home to try out since a lot of the interactions will take time.

One of the most impactful elements for a guest’s comfort is their bed. Feel the coverings, sheets and pillowcases – are they rough, slippery, or a little starchy? You might need to fix that with a laundry softener, either in your on-site laundry or by requesting it from your launderer.

Hotel maid making bed with clean white sheets
Hotel maid making bed with clean white sheets, iStock by Getty Images

Another item that may not register to you as a key part of touch is toilet paper. Do you have a variety that is rough or will fall apart easily? You might want to replace it with 3ply toilet rolls, which provide a much better experience.

One detail that Romano’s Hotel in Wagga Wagga uses for a rich touch experience is cut-glass whisky tumblers. When customers hold these and feel the notched pattern, their drink seems more sophisticated than it would be in a plain glass. This touch of finery elevates the Romano’s atmosphere to luxury dining.

Explore Options to Improve Your Hotel Room Amenities

Play a game of ‘pretend’ to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Walk into one of your hotel rooms and look around like you’ve never been there before. What do you see? Does anything clash with what you expect, or does everything look great?

Close your eyes. What do you smell? Is it pleasant, or are there odours left over from earlier guests? Eat a cookie, and drink some of the beverages provided – what do they bring to mind? Do they have a bad aftertaste? Lie down on the bed, and handle all the items in the room and bathroom – what do they feel like? Are there harsh textures? Are the sheets soft? 

Only when you feel all of these can you truly understand the comfort of the customer and make your hotel the home away from home that it should be.

Veridia can help you improve your guests’ experience – view our accommodation products and services to find out what’s available.

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