Tastes change and industries catch-up. Hotels have generally become increasingly more thoughtful. They are finally starting to provide the better user experiences that big tech has been riding. The ACME Hotel Chicago charges $2 for a bottle of VOSS water in the room, it charges $2 downstairs in their cafe. The hotel doesn’t beat you up on mini-bar purchases. They know that making someone find a Walgreens at 11 a.m. for a bottle of water isn’t a good guest experience.
Aloft Chicago O’hare caters to busy business travelers. Their hotel cafe isn’t staffed. Coffee and tea are free. If you want anything just walk past the circular front desk and say “I’m taking this, room 201.” That’s it, they say thanks and there isn’t a big conversation about it, just a nod that they heard you. No lines to buy a granola bar.
If you’re a hotel guest or a hotelier yourself, I am seeing a rapid change in the hotel landscape. Step up your game hotels, your competition is.
My 3 favorite recent hotel stays:
The Joule, Dallas
Pool Time. In this visit we spent a considerable amount of time on the pool deck. The bartender took good care of us. The room and experience of the hotel were just as good as last time. This hotel will remain our favorite place to stay in Dallas. Visited: 5/2017
JW Marriott Austin
Fantastic All Around. In every way, this hotel is top-notch. The location is great. The pool area is great for hanging out (not great for kids) and they serve you drinks to the pool. We spent a considerable amount of time in the pool on this business trip. The restaurants in the hotel and the hotel bar are excellent. Visited: 9/2017
Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges
Another Remarkable Stay. I had been two years since we visited and it's still just as great. The breakfast is still one of the best hotels buffets we've had. We spent a lot more time in the hotel bar and sitting area this trip. We were well taken care of. Next time we are in Bruges, GCB is where we will stay. Visited: 12/2016