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The importance of hotel amenities

‘Amenities’ is an often-used word in the hospitality industry, with hotels claiming ‘the latest amenities’ or that they are ‘situated close to all local amenities’. But what does that mean? In this article we’ll explore what constitutes amenities in a hotel, and ways to leverage and increase these to enhance bookings and guest satisfaction.
A typical dictionary definition of ‘amenities’ cites ‘the pleasantness or attractiveness of a place’. By that measure, an empty beach on a tropical island could be very pleasant, but does it have many amenities? What we’re talking about in the hospitality industry are facilities and services - the differentiators that mark one hotel out from its competitors.

The number one rule

When defining what amenities your hotel has, and what it should have, the number one rule is to understand the needs of your guests. For example, backpackers or Digital Nomads have a different profile to middle-aged couples, and look for different amenities in their accommodation. Being as clear as possible about the main demographic you either have, or are aiming to attract, is absolutely vital in understanding which hotel amenity will most appeal to them.

Get the hotel amenities in place

There are some basics which few hoteliers would argue against and which are generally expected by guests. These include:

  • Well-functioning wifi internet connection - because who doesn’t want to stay in touch with colleagues, friends, family, and global news?
  • Beverages and snacks - either in-room or in a 24/7 communal area. Many younger travellers really appreciate places where they can hang out communally, with always-available coffee and teas. And whatever drinks your hotel provides, make sure they’re good quality - the days of a cheap sachet of instant coffee are thankfully fading.
  • Of course, there must be towels, but guests also appreciate a bathrobe and slippers. 
  • Then there’s the question of toiletries. Yes, it’s a ‘basic’, but how basic should you go? Think quality rather than quantity. For instance, some really good, fragrant soap is probably better than a whole plastic bag full of ‘smelly stuff’.
  • A dental pack is often appreciated, but consider whether that should be an option available on request, along with other personal items such as a comb. Making these available through reception, rather than in every room, creates the opportunity for hotel staff to be appreciated by guests.
  • Most guests love information, so consider this being one of the basics that you supply, either in-room or in reception. Pamphlets about local attractions, some history of your hotel, or any other engaging stories about the area, can add to fulfilling guests’ desire for ‘the basics’.

Going beyond the basics

Always ask the question, do these basics enhance guests’ perception of my hotel? Go for the best available, rather than the cheapest solution. Partnering with other local businesses often means that the cost of goods or services doesn’t even impact your bottom line if cross-promotional opportunities are created. Going beyond the basics can be the difference between what is expected, and what surprises and delights guests, with welcome packs being a good example of ‘going the extra mile’.

  • Welcome packs are a great way to make guests feel valued and can include all sorts of local ‘goodies’ from businesses in the area. Partner with an artisan soap maker, a baker or a confectioner, and include a bottle of wine from a nearby vineyard. By creatively tapping into local suppliers and promoting their goods or services, you can go well beyond the basics for a great perception of added-value. Ensure that guests know where to get those delicious biscuits in the welcome pack, and you have started a virtuous circle of promotional offers, and the perception of increased luxury.
  • Health and wellness are now very much sought-after amenities and every hotel should have something to offer guests. It doesn’t have to be a fully-fledged gym or swimming pool, but make the most of whatever facilities you have. Depending on your demographic, this could be as simple as having some mountain bikes available, or a croquet or badminton set if you have a lawn space. Whatever you offer, don’t be half-hearted - a couple of kettlebells and some wall bars do not constitute a gym! In short, be appropriate and work to a budget, but make sure that you go beyond the basics with your health offer.
  • The same applies to the related area of beauty treatments, and here you can again include local talent with slots offered to beauticians, masseuses, yoga practitioners, and a host of other solo operators. They win business for themselves, and you win guest satisfaction. Dedicate some attractive and appropriate rooms to health and beauty treatments, invest in the right ambience and some minimal equipment, such as massage beds, and you’re adding a lot of value.
    hotel spa
  • Pet friendliness is a highly sought-after feature in hotels. If you choose to cater to pet owners, it's essential to establish whether you'll accommodate dogs exclusively or welcome all types of four-legged companions. Once decided, ensure your amenities cater to pets, including dog beds, access to nearby dog parks, pet-friendly menus, leashes, collars, and other amenities to make the stay as comfortable as possible. Additionally, consider offering kennel services for guests who may need a break from pet care.

Get the infrastructure right

Is aircon an ‘amenity’ or an essential? Should every guest room have a fridge or a TV? Must there be a lift? Some hoteliers would say these are now absolute basics, while others see them as an added extra. The answer is that it depends: on the type of building, the location, and many other factors. A luxury hotel might offer a personal safe in every room, whereas this would be an extravagance in a backpacker hostel. What’s for sure is that every part of whatever infrastructure you are offering must work. It has to function seamlessly, and well: Taps don’t drip and the remote control isn’t out of batteries. Looking at the hotel infrastructure in a wider and more progressive way, consider the story you can tell:

For most guests now, green is good and people appreciate measures taken to save water, gas, and electricity, and for hotels to have a lower carbon footprint. Telling guests about this enhances the reputation of the hotel, and shows that your whole approach to hotel amenities is comprehensive and well thought through. Ultimately you want your guests to share how great they feel your hotel is, and the ‘pleasure’ of knowing they are staying in an ethical and energy-efficient hotel is part of the amenities package. 

The overall technology package is hugely important as part of the amenities offered by any hotel. Great internet is a given, but get onboard with all the other rapidly trending and increasingly affordable technologies, including:

  • Direct booking through the hotel’s own website and Property Management System.
  • Chatbots which can operate 24/7 in a wide variety of languages.
  • Touchfree self-check-in and check-out
  • Keyless room entry for all-round convenience and guest security.
  • Personalised communication, pre-stay, in-stay and post-stay.
  • Control of room facilities such as lighting and aircon through the guest’s own phone.
  • AI-enabled enhanced reality to inform guests of special offers and events.

These are all technical amenities which are available right now, and which hugely enhance the guest journey.

The power of people

Every hotel has staff with specialities. Obviously, the chef can cook, so offer sessions with them to guests, based on seasonal or national dishes. Find out what other talents exist among your staff, and then invite them - following some customer-facing training of course - to teach or help guests in special activities. You may be surprised by the talents of your staff, whether it’s zumba dancing or flower arranging! And if you have a great idea for amenities or activities, and there’s no staff member who can handle it, then reach out to your local community for someone willing to share their enthusiasm and expertise.

Your amenities differentiate you

‘Think outside the box’ about what you can offer guests that makes your hotel different to the competition. Your amenities might be as simple as a games room with a great selection of board games for rainy day relaxation, or arranging walks to historic spots, or… Whatever you can imagine that will make your hotel stand out from all the rest. Your aim should be to have amenities that make your hotel memorable and different, to the extent that guest comments on social media and Online Travel Agent sites positively glow with enthusiasm.

hotel breakfast

Listing amenities with the OTAs

The most sought-after amenities to display on booking engines or Online Travel Agent sites vary widely depending on the type of accommodation and the target audience. Hostel-type accommodation is different from Airbnb, or Boutique, or Luxury hotels. A hotel in a city centre will have different amenities to those in an area of natural beauty, and will appeal to a different demographic. However what we can say is that there are some commonalities ‘across the piste’ which include:

  • Free wi-fi - reliable and high-speed internet is a priority.
  • Free parking - a highly valued amenity, especially in city centre locations.
  • Breakfast included - can swing it for many guests, especially time-poor Bleisure travellers.
  • Air conditioning/heating is now an essential for most guests, and if they can personally control it from their own device, so much the better.
  • Swimming pool or spa facilities - rank highly, especially for leisure travellers who want to unwind.
  • Fitness centre - is a valuable amenity, especially for business travellers who may be away from their home base for some time.
  • Pet and kid-friendly amenities - are great attractors to families, especially for short breaks and during school holidays.
  • 24/7 service - now possible through automated systems such as ‘virtual concierge’ assistance and multilingual chatbots for booking advice.
  • Shuttle service - especially from and to the airport, or into a nearby town or tourist centre offers a significant draw for guests.

So why are hotel amenities important?

Having appropriate hotel amenities to suit the target audience provides hotels with a competitive advantage, so clearly telling prospective guests about what’s on offer is an essential part of boosting bookings and profitability. The aim should always be to enhance the guest journey, and providing desirable amenities helps achieve that.

Great amenities also help a hotel to differentiate from the competition, making it easier for guests to make an informed choice. Many travellers use filters on booking engines to find properties with specific amenities, so accurate listings increase the chances of a property being discovered online. Once in-stay, guest satisfaction is increased by attractive amenities, leading to positive reviews and recommendations. Examples of amenities by hotel type include:


  • Spa and wellness facilities
  • Fine dining restaurants and bars
  • High-end decor
  • Personalised concierge services
  • Luxury toiletries
  • Chauffeur services
  • Private balconies
  • Exclusive access to lounges


  • Business centre, meeting rooms and conference facilities
  • Executive lounge with complimentary snacks and beverages
  • In-room workspaces and ergonomic furniture
  • Audiovisual equipment for presentations
  • Shuttle services to business districts or airports


  • Stylish interior design
  • Local artwork and decor
  • Trendy bars or lounges
  • Personalised service and attention to detail
  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Themed rooms
  • On-site ‘boutique’ shopping
  • Local and authentic experiences


  • Swimming pools (plural!)
  • Outdoor recreation such as golf and tennis
  • Spa and wellness programmes
  • All-inclusive dining 
  • Entertainment and themed events
  • Kids' clubs and family-friendly activities
  • Beachfront or other scenic locations


  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Some business services
  • Self-service laundry
  • 24-hour front desk 
  • On-site vending machines and snack areas
  • Affordable rooms

Extended stay:

  • Fully equipped kitchenette
  • Laundry facilities
  • Separate living and sleeping areas
  • Complimentary breakfast or social hours
  • Fitness centre and recreational spaces
  • Loyalty programme for extended stay guests

How do we know about the value of hotel amenities?

We are SabeeApp, suppliers of a modern, cloud-based Property Management System, widely-used across the hospitality industry. We work with our partner hotels around the world to understand and fulfil their needs, and to ensure that guests always have the most pleasant of stays. 

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