Always in a hurry, business travelers demand even faster hotel services

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Business travelers have long expected their hotels to offer good food, a range of fitness options, and, perhaps, a spot for a haircut or manicure. But lately travelers have been pushing to speed up these services.

So hotels started to introduce offerings like take-out outlets, short workouts and express beauty treatments. In many cases, the equipment is free or at low cost.

“In an increasingly busy environment, business travelers increasingly care about fast and convenient hotel services,” said Sean Hennessey, hotel consultant and assistant professor of hospitality at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism in New York. University.

Part of that is because they’re used to instant gratification, he said. “They have access to many services directly through their mobile phones, such as food delivery and banking services. This, he said, “also translates into their professional life.” But it’s also true that business travelers are more pressed for time because, he said, unlike previous generations, they’re supposed to be on call around the clock and respond immediately to emails and the like. work requests.

Scott Berman, the U.S. hospitality and leisure industry leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the expedited services come as hotels compete more intensely for the loyalty of business travelers. According to the Global Business Travel Association, total spending on business travel in the United States reached $ 292.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.1% from the previous year.

“Business travelers,” said Mr. Berman, “spend more, but they have so many hotels to choose from and they want properties that offer them efficiency and value.”

Much of the new emphasis on speed places an emphasis on exercise, and perhaps that’s because exercise is a priority for many business travelers. In a recent survey of 16,000 business travelers, travel technology company Travelport found that nearly two-thirds said they were more likely to stay at a hotel with a full range of discount options. in shape.

To this end, several hotels have recently introduced free fitness programs that offer more choices. Hotel RL, a brand with eight national hotels, for example, began a partnership in October with the audio fitness app Aaptiv which gives guests free access to more than 2,500 workouts – most 20 minutes or less – that go from yoga to outdoor running to strength training. Customers receive a code upon registration which they can use to download Aaptiv to their phones; the app typically costs $ 14.99 per month, but they can continue to use it for five days after they leave.

Yvonne Choi, senior vice president of management and global brand strategy at Hotel RL, said the company partnered with Aaptiv because its customers said they wanted more ways to make money. ‘exercise effectively. “We tried to find a creative and fun way to give them what they asked for,” she said.

Also in October, Hyatt Place launched a partnership with spa and fitness company Exhale to deliver free on-demand meditation, strength and interval routines on room TVs at its 136 nationwide hotels. The routines are of different lengths, including less than 10 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, and 20 to 30 minutes. Some require fitness bands, which the property’s front desk staff have available and loaned to guests.

Dream Hotels, with five properties in the United States, is launching fitness initiatives at several of its establishments. His Hollywood-owned property begins a collaboration in January with acclaimed personal trainer Gunnar Peterson, who is designing a series of seven-minute workouts that will be illustrated on a card and delivered to guests as a prep convenience each evening.

The Dream property in Manhattan’s Meat District has a new partnership with yoga and Pilates instructor Melissa Wood-Tepperberg to bring on-demand workouts, ranging from 20 to 30 minutes, to TVs in the room. bedroom.

Danielle Kam, an East Village resident who works for dating site Tinder, said she performed two of these routines when she stayed at the hotel in early November for a work-related research project. “I like the basic workouts, but I can get lazy doing them, but here I was able to get out of bed and do them in 20 minutes,” she said.

Short beauty services are another new service at some hotels. Nine nationwide properties, including the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif., And Loews Miami Beach, have opened Glam & Go blow-dry bar outposts in recent years.

All salons open at 7 a.m. and offer 15-minute express brushings for $ 25 that stylists do without getting their hair wet, and 30-minute brushings with shampoo and conditioner for $ 45. (Several more hotels will open in 2019, including at Dream Hollywood in January.) Glam & Go owner Erika Wasser said the lounges are busiest in the mornings when women on business trips dry off beforehand. work.

Marisa DiLemme, a label lawyer from Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, goes to Glam & Go in Santa Monica when in Los Angeles and books both the express and the 30-minute blowouts.

“I’m in the entertainment industry and always go to events where I have to look polite,” she said. “I love how quickly I can get a blow-dry at Glam & Go without feeling ripped off.”

Manicures and massages are also part of the faster beauty services. Edgewood Tahoe, in Stateline, Nevada, has a new spa that offers a 25-minute express manicure for $ 25 where nail technicians shape, polish and polish nails and give hand massage. And the spa at Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif., Offers several beauty treatments that take under 25 minutes, including a 20-minute foot bath and a massage for $ 55.

Hotels are also starting to offer an option other than room service, which can be an expensive proposition and not the ideal way to get a quick meal. Instead, they are opening take out outlets that serve tasty food at reasonable prices.

The Viceroy Snowmass, Colorado, which serves a significant number of business travelers, this summer opened a café, Café V, in its lobby that serves hot and cold coffee drinks, baked goods at hotel, granola and panini.

“A good portion of our business travelers have let us know that they don’t want to wait for a long breakfast or lunch before or between meetings,” said Robert Purdy, hotel general manager.

Late last year, Hyatt Regency opened a quick and casual dining establishment, the Market, in the lobbies of a handful of its national properties and rolled it out to 41 locations this fall; 11 are open 24 hours a day. While menus vary from establishment to establishment, all feature salads, regional specialties like New Orleans-owned donuts, and portable, made-to-order meals like personal size pizzas.

Gary D. Mote, a program manager from Hartselle, Alabama, is a frequent guest at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and said he discovered the market while on a work trip this year. He has become a loyal customer and has said he’s a fan of his chicken pots for dinner and donuts for breakfast, which he picks up at 5 a.m. on his way to the airport for take his flight home.

And then there are the hot chocolate chip cookies he often craves at 2 a.m.


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