Female travelers want what everyone else wants
Female travelers want what everyone else wants
19 AUGUST 2016 7:15 AM

While smaller slippers, fresh flowers and women-only spas seem nice, all we really want as female travelers is a good night’s sleep, safety and the amenities we have at home.

This might be surprising to you, but I’m an almost 30-year-old, and I prefer magazines over the internet. Take that millennial stereotype. Or is that even a thing?

Because I have such a love for magazines, I always end up with several subscriptions. Sometimes I order them myself. Sometimes they come as a reward for racking up loyalty points (Thank you, Hilton). Sometimes friends and family gift them to me. I promise this has a point.

One of my favorite magazines to read is Shape. It is the perfect intersection of two things I value most: living a healthy life and loving me. And occasionally, they will have an interesting travel feature.

In the September issue of Shape, the travel section featured a slew of urban adventures that catered to the female traveler. One in particular caught my eye, and that was the roundup of activities in Toronto. Two reasons I love Toronto: Drake and Drake—but that’s neither here nor there. I noticed that in the blurb about this city, the magazine’s editors suggested booking a room at Ivy at Verity where you can relax at the woman-only spa and take a dip in the ozone pool for just $399.

I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but as a millennial, that price caused me to raise my eyebrows. So, that got me thinking. Do women really pay for amenities like woman-only spas? My internet search then took me to a recent CNBC article about how top hotels hope to attract the female 1%. The piece focused on high-end hotels and luxury tour operators that are trying new things to help attract the growing pool of boss ladies around the globe, in other words female millionaires and billionaires.

Let’s talk about that growing pool of ultra-high net worth women. The number of female ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) grew by an average of 5.3% between 2010 and 2014 in countries with large populations of the very rich, according to data provider WealthInsight. Side note: UNWHIs are people with net assets of $30 million or more, excluding their primary residence). In the Asia/Pacific region, that number grew by 9.1% between 2010 and 2014, and is expected to climb 5% more over the next decade.

A source in the CNBC article said that women from these countries may have different expectations from hotels than Westerners. And hoteliers have responded. For example, Dubai’s Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel offers a ladies-only floor for women seeking “sophistication, luxury and exclusivity,” the article stated. Guestrooms on these floors come with cosmetic refrigerators and are serviced only by female staff.

The Dukes Hotel in Mayfair, London, offers female-only roomservice, smaller slippers, fresh flowers and a complimentary fruit bowl. These amenities seem like a safe bet and something that women would enjoy.

But I think this is something hoteliers should be doing for women of all backgrounds, not just the wealthy.

We all know how much information our hotels know about us as guests. While it’s not feasible to think that every single hotel will have the resources to treat female solo travelers with care, it’s feasible to have options. Case in point, what’s so hard about having smaller slippers for women? A complimentary fruit bowl? Fresh flowers?

Catering to female travelers is nothing new in the hotel world, but it seems to have become more prevalent. When I first started covering the hotel industry five years ago, women-only floors seemed to be a new topic. Now, it’s not unlikely that a hotel has a women-only area, which I think is pretty cool. There are also more female C-level executives popping up around the industry.

I think it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, female travelers are like everyone else. We want decent sleep, safety, all the amenities that we have at home and healthy food options. Oh, and wine. We love wine.

What are some activities or amenities that you look for as a solo female traveler? Send me an email or find me on Twitter.

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