More for guests as rates rise

According to a recent analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers, guests at hotels across the U.S. are now greeted by an myriad of new amenities

Ranging from increased choices for methods of checkout to higher quality bath amenities and in-room exercise equipment. Hotels are adding amenities to achieve incremental revenues and to respond to increases consumer expectations.

In the US hotel industry sector the national average for room rates was $86.21 in 2004 (based on Smith Travel Research); it will increase to $90.67 in 2005 and is forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers to increase to $95.31 in 2006.

‘As hotel rates increase so do guest expectations for their hotel experiences,’ said Bjorn Hanson, global industry leader and partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Hospitality & Leisure practice. ‘Hotels are responding with amenities that are generally better in quality and often offer guests more than they might expect at a particular price level.’

Among the amenities offered, PricewaterhouseCoopers has identified the following, many of which are new to the industry or certain price levels:

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Irons and ironing boards at limited service hotels
Wireless high speed internet access at no charge
Flat screen televisions
Choice of traditional bedding or duvets
Top sheets
Bottled water at ‘reasonable’ prices
24-hour business center services
Triple draping window treatments
Kiosks and in-room check out options
Enhanced quality bath amenities such as status branded items and larger soap bars
Cordless telephones
More premium branding of food, beverage and other consumables ? Quality sound system (radio and CD player)
Delivery of faxes to guest rooms
Easy-to-use clock radios
In-room exercise equipment (treadmill, exercise bike, stair climbers)
Solutions to the problem of food and beverage items being kept too warm in the cabinet next to the refrigerator (due to the heat from the refrigerator unit)
Enhanced lighting (greater lumens and make-up lights) in bathrooms
Less ‘clutter’ of advertising and other materials
More intuitive controls for lights, in-room entertainment
Areas for guests to cluster and meet
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