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:
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
CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom
Can't Be Beat for the Christmas Market. This hotel is actually in the Alter Markt, which is close to the Dom, which was great because we liked the Alter Markt Christmas Market the best. The hotel was clean and friendly. It makes for a good base for sightseeing. You could go from drinking gluhwein then to bed in about 15 feet. Visited: 12/2016
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof
Luxury Stay Near Christmas Markets. Relaxing one-night stay in December, short walk from the train station and very short walk to Romer, the location of the Christmas market. The room was large, the bed was very comfortable. The only thing to note is the bidet, it's best to keep the bathroom door closed when not in use (not unusual). The spa was fantastic and included with the stay. Visited: 12/2016