What women want from their hotel experience
 
What women want from their hotel experience
16 JUNE 2014 6:15 AM

The trend of catering to women is a budding phenomenon across the globe, and the list of hotels offering such personalized service and amenities is growing.


GLOBAL REPORT—Hoteliers are paying attention to what women want from their hotel experience going the extra mile with a little bit of  sensitivity and care, according to sources.
 
According to a Cornell Center for Hospitality Research report titled “Creating value for women business travelers: Focusing on emotional outcomes,” hotel companies to remain competitive must develop and focus their services to meet the needs and preferences of women business travelers.
 
“Although the question of what women want has sometimes proven elusive, women business travelers have begun to define the hotel experience with a clear and consistent message about the need to feel safe, comfortable, empowered and pampered,” according to the report.
 
“As women push through to higher rankings in the workforce they are naturally traveling more and in some areas are making up to 40% to 50% of all business travelers,” said Carolyn Pearson, CEO and founder of maiden-voyage.com, a social network for female business travelers. 
 
“Hotels who are taking note of this trend are cashing in by appealing to this market and working hard to delight the female traveler to retain loyalty and referrals. Women control up to 80% to 85% of travel purchases,” she said.  
 
Herta Hieslmair, VP of sales & marketing for Europe at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, agreed.
 
“As more and more females are entering the mid- and senior-management levels, more and more female business travelers will be staying in hotels,” Hieslmair said. “For the European MH&R hotels, a major share of the business derives from business travelers and meeting guests; and therefore it is certainly a growing trend.”
 
Feeling secure
Taking a cue from in-house feedback, Rahul Pandit, president & executive director of New Delhi-based Lemon Tree Hotel Company, said when it comes to women travelers, two things are happening today: Women are more empowered economically, and there is a need for extra security to ensure women’s safety. That’s why Lemon Tree created women-only wings in its hotels.
 
“When we decided to introduce women-friendly floors in all our Lemon Tree Hotels we had based our decision on an internal survey of our guest profiles that showed single lady travelers constituted 16% of our customer base,” Pandit said.  
 
Lemon Tree recently partnered with ixigo.com, an India-based travel planning and search engine, to conduct a survey of more than 550 women. Of the respondents, 18% suggested separate floors for women would make their stay safer and more comfortable.
 
“A hotel that really gets this right is the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester, U.K. A number of our hotel partners such as the Four Seasons Riyadh, Georgian Court in Vancouver (British Columbia) and the International Hotel in Calgary do have women-only floors, and these rooms have additional amenities,” Pearson said.  “In India, Taj Hotels have a number of hotels with women-only floors.” 
 
Amenities and services
The trend of catering to women is a budding phenomenon across the globe, and the list of hotels offering such personalized service and amenities is growing.
 
Pearson said Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently introduced programs for women as a result of its own research and focus groups.
 
According to a news release, Hyatt found that women want the following from their hotels:
  • assurances that their guestrooms have been cleaned and an ongoing dialogue with the hotel to provide feedback;
  • an easy way to obtain items forgotten at home;
  • to maintain their health and well-being on the road; and
  • high-quality bath products.
 
Mövenpick’s Hieslmair said women do not want to be treated differently but do have specific needs when traveling on their own. Some of these needs include: security; not being bother when eating in restaurants alone; good hair dryers and lights in the bathroom.
 
Pearson said many women look for the same basic facilities as men, including:
  • a safe, accessible area close to where they do business;
  • secure locks on guestroom doors;
  • a quiet room; and
  • not to have their room number announced out loud during any point of their stay.
 
Pandit said some of the features in Lemon Tree hotels include: enhanced security in public areas and near rooms; screening of phone calls; specially designed and decorated rooms with a range of women-oriented amenities such as cosmetics, robes and jewelry boxes; full-length mirrors; facial steamers, foot massages and spa facilities. Additionally, some select hotels offer the option of booking cabs driven by women, which is outsourced through a vendor.
 

7 Comments

  • Male Interpretation of Women ??? June 16, 2014 8:38 AM

    It is disconcerting to see that women want security. Our male counterparts are desirous of fighting their way to their rooms? Pampering on a business trip? Who, that is productive, has time for all of that - spa is sufficient. What women want is the same functionality and amenities as their male counterparts on a business trip for the most part. Women, as a general rule, have more hair than men, but live on the same schedules. More water pressure (ungreen) helps meet this requirement. I would pay $20 more to be able to get the shampoo out of my hair when on the clock for an early breakfast meeting.

  • Caroline MacDonald June 18, 2014 7:13 AM

    Get the basics right and you will gain fans of your female travelers. I travel 10 days a month and would appreciate the following: A good hairdryer (not attached to the wall) Full length mirror A stool or chair to use in front of a mirror to blow dry your hair (standing or dragging a chair from the room does not work and is too low) hotels who place large mirrors above the desk can be doubled for a vanity to get ready. Good water pressure Bar Soap (not just shower gel) Good lighting for makeup Decent counter space in the bathroom to get ready and place makeup, brushes etc (pedestal sinks do not work) An empty refrigerator to put snacks etc. A vessel to put your jewelry in at your bedside table.. water glasses work but those who do this are thinking ahead. Tea Kettle (coffee pots do not work they taste like coffee) (front desk to have extra brushes, toothbrushes, hair spray, mouthwash, hairbands) in case you forget Enough outlets for hair dryer/flat iron etc. near the mirror you are using to get ready. Thanks, great topic....

  • Anonymous June 18, 2014 11:15 AM

    Interpretaton, I think the point is that most men feel comfortable walking down a hotel hallway. Many women want the security of extra lighting or even a physical security presence. A safe, secure environment is desired by all; women in general want that extra feeling of security when in unfamiliar surroundings. It is a generalization but something that hotels can most certainly provide.

  • Good topic! June 22, 2014 12:37 AM

    Caroline, I (we) understand your needs. eom. But the issue with the hairdryer has to do with the amounts of hairspray used. Housekeeping can clean more efficient in the bathroom - it's amazing how hairspray does affect your walls (and the furniture surrounding the "hairspray area" - and it's easier to wash down bathroom walls than in the suite...

  • EG June 25, 2014 4:10 AM

    I don't think strong, independent and successful female executives walk around in fear and want women only floors. We can take care of ourselves. What is disconcerting are hotels filled with trucks and truckers, hotels across from porn shops or strip clubs, not having working locks or having staff untrained on security items such as saying room number out loud. I am sure that is disconcerting to anyone. Catering to women travelers would primarily be about location, a properly trained staff and well maintained facility.

  • Carolyn Pearson July 20, 2014 8:33 AM

    Caroline, you are a woman after my own heart! in fact our hotel checklist pretty much comprises most of the items you have mentioned alongside the safety features mentioned by other above. We do have an inspection app which members can use to let us have feedback, good and bad on their hotel experiences. it's always exciting to hear what's happening around the world.

  • Cornelia January 11, 2015 8:33 PM

    Security and lights are a must, but high quality foods and other than the traditional Club sandwich and Ceasars Salad are highly welcome. Bathroom Lighting, Bedcomfort including downies and cleanliness are a must. WIFI is a must with an easy access and an opportunity for direct dialogue with a person on site at the hotel, in case there is something missing, is indeed helpful.

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