How do you surprise your hotel guests? We live in a time of many restrictions, and the options to stand out to bookers and guests seem limited. Although we agree that the options may be more basic nowadays, we still see plenty of opportunities to increase the guest experience. If you need some ideas and tips, you have come to the right place. We’ve put our (digital) heads together and come up with six simple and budget-friendly ideas for your hotel. Curious? Then continue reading and ensure an unforgettable experience for your guests.
Tip 1: Breakfast in bed
Do you usually serve breakfast in the restaurant area? Think about serving breakfast in bed for your guests. If you ask us, breakfast in bed is the ultimate Sunday feeling. Instead of one person having to sacrifice themselves to prepare breakfast, both guests are now allowed to stay in bed. Who doesn’t want to be pampered like that?
The breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated: a cup of coffee or tea, fresh orange juice, croissants or toast with a selection of jams and a boiled egg will do. To reduce the food waste, you can also ask your guests a day in advance what they would like to have for breakfast. This way, you can serve a tailor-made breakfast.
Of course, you can also turn it into a breakfast-in-bed package by charging a small fee. However, we recommend that the prices should stay balanced. After all, there is no point in offering something that nobody wants because of its price.
Read more: 5 tips to impress your hotel guests
Tip 2: It’s wine o’clock!
If your accommodation has a minibar in every room, this might be an idea for you. Transform the minibar into a “wine o’clock” bar, so that guests can have an alcoholic beverage with some snacks at four in the afternoon. The great thing about the “wine o’clock” bar is that it can generate extra revenue for you!
Don’t have minibars but would you like to offer drinks and snacks? Offering a package on your website can be the solution for you. Guests can pick up their wine and snack box at the reception and enjoy it in their room.
Do you find it too much hassle to arrange such a package yourself? Ask local restaurants or catering companies to put together boxes for your hotel.
Tip 3: After-dinner time in the hotel room
We´re a big fan of long evenings at the dinner table or in the lounge, enjoying good food and company. However, this is not necessarily an option anymore. For example, in the Netherlands, we´re currently not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks after 8 PM. Do your guests have leftover wine or have they not had dessert yet? Offer guests the option to have the drinks and dessert delivered to their room. This way, the evening doesn’t suddenly end for your guests, and they can still enjoy after meal conversations. The advantage for you is that you can still serve a full menu in a shorter period.
Unfortunately, this idea does not apply to every hotel. If you don’t have a restaurant in the hotel, then it’s an idea to join forces with restaurants in the neighbourhood. Allow guests to order takeaway at a restaurant of their choice and offer to pick up and deliver the orders yourself. To make it fancier, consider providing plates and cutlery with it. This way, your guests will have the feeling they’re on a night out!
Tip 4: Movie night in the conference room
The conference rooms are now often empty. Make use of that space by creating a hotel cinema. Get a film projector, a good film, blankets and popcorn, and the movie night can begin.
Don’t have an empty area available? Then check out the possibilities you can offer in the hotel room. Offering a film via HBO or Amazon can be perfect as well. Of course, you can also think of Netflix, but keep in mind that most people already make use of this service and can stream it themselves via the Wi-Fi network.
Please note: make sure that your hotel cinema complies with the coronavirus restrictions that apply at that time in your country.
Also interesting: 3 tips to upgrade your hotel guest communication
Tip 5: A stroll through the park (and picnic)
Taking a walk through the neighbourhood is always a good idea, it doesn’t matter if your hotel is in an urban or rural location. Take some time to create a customised walking route for your guests or choose an existing one. Add a filled picnic basket to that, and you’re good to go.
To make the walk a bit more exciting for children, think of organising a treasure hunt in the area. Work together with shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood, where children can collect something nice or yummy.
Idea: offer the walk in the form of a package deal!
Tip 6: Playing old-fashioned board games
What could be cosier than spending an afternoon or evening playing old-fashioned board games? Stock up on the most popular games (e.g. scrabble, backgammon, etc.) so that your guests can play a game in the lobby or their room. Do you have a small budget? Visit the thrift shop nearby; they have all kinds of games for a few bucks.
More inspiration: Being original? This is how it's done!
As you can see, there are plenty of easy options to offer guests some extras, even in these crazy times. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be very special or unique, it’s already a bonus for your guests to be in a different environment, this is just adding to that experience.
Another bonus tip from us: bookers nowadays are looking for packages and last-minute offers. Keep this in mind when you start promoting the extra services.
- COVID-19 update: a late summer evaluation
- Hotel packages: why are they (especially now) important for your revenue?
- Tips from the expert: how to create the most profitable hotel packages
For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at email@example.com or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.