TORONTO—Global travellers are looking for a home-away-from-home experience when they stay in a hotel, according to research from online accommodation booking service Hotels.com. Topping the list of must-have hotel amenities are free Wi-Fi and free food and beverages, with caffeine a must.
- 34 percent say free Wi-Fi is the number one factor in choosing a hotel even on leisure stays.
- 56 percent of respondents said free Wi-Fi was their number one must-have when travelling for business.
- 66 percent indicated free Wi-Fi is the amenity they most wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013.
Free Wi-Fi trumps free parking and complimentary breakfast when it comes to choosing a hotel for both leisure and business travel, the survey said, showing online access is a necessity for modern-day travellers with over a third looking to stay connected on vacation. Just 11 percent said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel. For Canadian travellers, standardized free Wi-Fi tops 70 percent of their wish lists.
The perk of new technology
- Technological creature comforts of home are also high on the priority list for travellers with 23 percent choosing high-end coffee makers as their top modern in hotel room amenity.
Totally wired rooms which are completely controlled by one remote for any need took 20 percent of the vote. Guests also indicated they would like to enjoy free Wi-Fi on hotel-provided tablets for guest information, room service and local guides (15 percent). While this also stands for Canadian travellers, they are also interested in relaxing during their travel, with 13 percent hoping for massage chairs added to their rooms.
The most appreciated dimple amenity
- A total of 43 percent choose complimentary bottled water as the most appreciated simple amenity.
Only respondents from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Brazil rated free power adaptors above bottled water. Although Canadians love the simplicity of a refreshing bottle of water, they also want to feel secure when on the road and 13 percent said they would like their room to come with a safe for their belongings.
- Free breakfast ranked as the favourite (31 percent) non-tech item global travellers want to see become standard at all hotels in 2013.
- Happy hours, wine tastings or any other time with free food and drinks is 42 percent of global travellers’ favourite newly offered hotel service amenity, with international breakfast options coming in second (19 percent).
- Travellers cite unlimited free food and beverages as their most (23 percent) missed comfort from home when travelling. Another 14 percent said they miss access to cooking in their kitchen the most.
- In terms of the mini-bar, 35 percent think they’re too expensive to use.
- 26 percent say their favourite amenity while staying at a luxury hotel is the high end fitness centre and spa, while designer toiletries also rank high (21 percent).
- The promotion of bath menus/bath butlers (26 percent) and turn down service (24 percent) as amenities aren’t of interest, according to survey respondents.
- More than half (54 percent) chose the complimentary use of a Rolls Royce Phantom as the “outrageous” luxury hotel amenity they’d most like to experience. The surreal car ride beat out access to a tea sommelier (9 percent), in-room mixologist (9 percent), and fragrance butler (5 percent) among other lesser desired extreme amenities.
- For Canadians, the use of cabanas and pool towels (24 percent) was a popular perk of luxury travel.