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:
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
Word-Class Beach Hotel. Beautiful hotel with a dedicated bridge to the beach. My room had a private patio and was updated. The hotel restaurant was awesome, they have many hot tubs and they have poolside service for drinks. I came here for work but it's on my radar for my next fun trip. Visited: 2/2018
The Algonquin Hotel Times Square
Signature Cocktail. Pros: great service, fantastic bar (try the signature drinks), great customer service, historic hotel, the lobby cat. Cons: Small rooms and noise due to being a historic hotel. Visited: 2/2018
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