According to a Cornell Center for Hospitality Research report titled “Creating value for women business travelers: Focusing on emotional outcomes,” hotels must focus on meeting women’s needs and preferences in order to remain competitive. But, what are those needs? What women want from a hotel doesn’t vary that much from a typical traveler – safety, cleanliness, comfort – but let’s be honest, we’ll often look a little harder to find the details that matter.
While traveling on business, I’ve been shown the room at the end of the hallway because it’s the quietest or offered a parking spot in the garage because it’s less of a wait than valet. While peace and quiet, as well as ease and efficiency, are two of the more important things in travel, these are also some of the riskiest offers for women travelers. The room at the end of the hallway is likely located next to the emergency exit stairs, making it easier for lurkers and thieves to access to your room. The garage, while helpful, is often dark and not well-trafficked. While hotels do what they can to ensure safety and use cameras to monitor activity, it’s equally important that they ensure women travelers feel safe in their surroundings. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when women travelers check in to your hotel:
If there are women-only wings in your hotel, reserve a room for your women travelers! If not, make sure the room you’re designating to your guest is near an elevator and doesn’t open to a first-floor patio or balcony. The elevator ensures there’s always foot traffic, and a room that can’t be accessed from the outside adds an extra level of safety.
One can’t enjoy a little pampering enough. Sure, there’s something to be said for fancy soaps and lotions in the bathroom, but additional amenities for women will really make a difference between the one-night stay and a repeat guest.
For example, placing good hair dryers, a straightener or a manicure set in the room will show your hotel is going the extra mile to ensure your women travelers are prepped and primped for their big meeting the next day. Place magazines in the room that are targeted to women, or offer a discount for a manicure at your spa.
A nice follow-up note from the general manager or front desk manager of the hotel after a stay is always appreciated. It shows you’re taking the time to invest in your guests — women or men — and are eager to welcome them back for a future visit. Make sure to ask for feedback, and give your guest an email address (not a blind form to fill out) where she can get in touch with any questions or concerns. This little extra effort goes a long way in making women feel safe while on the road.