Hotels are Getting Back in the Game With New Amenities


If you had the means to continue traveling through the recession, you probably noticed the dwindling selection of amenities, supplied in hotel rooms.

The lotions and potions that were once supplied for every possible need, were replaced, for a time, by a lonely little bottle of inexpensive goo; meant to wash your hair and body from top to bottom.  And once you’d dried your skin with cheap soap, you would discover that moisturiser had become a casualty of the hotel’s cost cutting measures.

As the economy has started its recovery, people have emerged to travel again and, in turn, hotels have started to return to a higher level of service.  But, the form of the services and amenities has evolved and has, in many ways, changed the face of the 21st century hotel experience.

The hotel vanity is once again stocked with the essentials of travel.  Gone, however, are the shoe horns, polishing mitts and sewing kits.  These have disappeared in favour of higher quality basics.  Shampoo, conditioner, bar soaps, shower gels and moisturisers are back in ample supply; all with sophisticated and luxurious fragrances.  The higher end the hotel, the higher end the toiletries, with establishments often forgoing their own labelling in favour of showing off the expensive spa lines they have purchased for their guests.

Outside the bathroom, things have changed too.  Gone are the clunky CRT TVS of yesteryear.  As hotels renovate they bring in flat panel televisions.  The most recent trend is to install TVs that are compatible with smart phones and tablets, to make it easier for patrons to stream video.  That makes it easy to entertain kids who are unsettled in a strange room.

The modern hotel room is all about gadgets.  New, in room safes have holes bored in the side so customers can charge their devices while keeping them secure.   Work stations have been redesigned to accommodate all the latest technology.  Even the old clock radio is an i-pod docking station now.  Hotels, across the board, are out to prove that they are ready for the modern traveler.

Even the beds have had a techno-makeover.  Radisson hotels offer a selection of rooms with Sleep Number Beds, so visitors can have a custom night’s sleep.

While we’re on the subject of beds, a change that I have been pleased to see is the elimination of the multi-coloured (read: stain hiding) Petri dish bed spreads as more and more hotels opt for clean white duvets.  As a mom, it makes me feel a lot better when I walk into a hotel room and I don’t have to peel a layer of bedding off and toss it in the corner.

As hotels clamber for patrons, some are offering a more personal experience.  The ‘personal pantry’ has replaced the old-school mini bar, in many hotels that continue to offer a mini bar at all.  As patrons arrive, they are asked to select items that they would like to have stocked in their room.  They still charge mini bar prices, but as parents, we know that sometimes the price of convenience is worth paying.

Life has changed a lot since we were kids, and the hotel industry is keeping pace.  Imagine the changes are kids will see in their lifetimes. – Jen R, Staff Writer.

Photo via Interior and Exterior Design &