Trends: Jump on the Bandwagon or Jump off the Cliff?

In our industry, trends are often shared about anything and everything to try to impress the customer.  Some are great!  Some are, well, a bit over-the-top (i.e. installing sensory deprivation tank for wellness treatments…1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, free of sound, free of gravity, total darkness, just you and your thoughts, floating in the water, promising total-body rehabilitation).  Everyone wants to offer ideas on what will bring in the most customers.

Trends or Gimmicks?

So how does one decide ‘what are valid trends that will make a difference when a customer is choosing where to stay, book their event, or host their meeting’, or ‘are they just fly-by-night gimmicks’?

Recently I read an article by the “TREND WHISPERER” (Sherri Scheck-Merrill, VP, Amenity Services, Tustin, California).  Her blog identified the Top 10 wellness warrior essentials that hotels should consider adding to their amenity line-up.  While I get she is a salesperson in her own right and works for a company that sells such amenities, I do respect the general premise that being a ‘horse of a different color’ and standing out from the crowd is what will differentiate our hotel from the one next door.

Of her 10 trends listed in the article, I think the following have might have some merit (in some way, shape or form):

  • Expand your fruit line-up (on the breakfast buffet) while keeping low-sugar options in mind.
  • Establish a smoothie bar with healthy ingredients ranging from leafy greens, cucumbers, avocados, berries, bananas, almond milk, carob and vanilla powders. (start with one day per week on the breakfast bar)
  • Convert traditional daily happy hours into once- or twice-weekly local tasting opportunities. Invite local coffee roasters, food vendors, breweries, wineries, and distilleries to provide tastings. (maybe once a month)
  • Offer in-room yoga packages focused on clearing jet lag and stress anxieties.
  • Offering spirituality and inspiration-based books at your front desk for guests to borrow.

Books to Borrow. Trends or Gimmicks?

I do recognize that adding any of the above ideas requires some sort of a capital purchase and/or investment and we must do our due diligence if we want to try one of these (or your own) suggestions.  But will adding one of these experience-trends actually make the customer say yes to your hotel?

Do your homework and start asking customers what might make a difference.  Ask them what they like about your hotel and the one next door.  If they like the fact that they can book an in-room yoga package, then maybe it is time we elevate our offerings and follow the trends.

With countless tranquility-related experiences available
to help guests unplug, it leaves me to wonder when hotels
will officially be termed as “a place to make us healthier.”
More than likely, the term’s adoption will occur shortly
after “guestroom” is replaced with “sanctuary.”

Let’s talk about your sanctuary.

Happy trending!

Linda

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