Every other year, STR does a survey on behalf of the American Hotel and Lodging Association that includes questions about amenities.
Hotels are focusing on making over lobbies to provide more of a social experience and gathering place where guests can meet, hang out or work, Freitag said. Food and beverage service is also changing. In-room dining is going away, and grab-and-go market kiosks in the lobby are coming in.
Internet has, arguably, gone from amenity to necessity. People travel with multiple devices — smartphones, tablets and laptops — and do way more than send emails, such as stream movies and TV shows.
“One of the biggest things — it’s as important or essential as hot water — is good internet access points, but also great bandwidth and strong internet,” Argonish said, which is why Linchris is focusing on enhancing its internet packages and services.
Freitag said there’s a direct relationship between Wi-Fi and room rate. “The more expensive the room, the more likely you have to pay for Wi-Fi.” Hotels are also boosting their loyalty programs by offering free Wi-Fi or superfast Wi-Fi for members, Freitag said.
Another trend is that most new hotels are being built with limited or minimal meeting space; “they’re not building ballrooms anymore,” Freitag said.
But the good news for the motorcoach market is that limited-service hotels “are everything you need, nothing you don’t,” he said. If a group needs comfortable beds, a nice, well-lit bathroom, a coffee bar, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, “those limited-service hotels are making choosing a hotel or new hotel easy because they’re popping up everywhere.”