Admittedly, I’ve always been somewhat of a minimalist. I have no use for clutter, especially unnecessary items that take up space, or require being moved to make room for my laptop or to simply get into bed at night. I’ll also admit that I’m not your average traveler. I travel often for my job, as you might expect, and, also not surprisingly, I spend a great many room nights in hotels across the country. So, I’m pretty accustomed to the drill. So take all of that into account when you read what I’m about to write. Enough with the needless collateral materials laying around hotel rooms.
Collateral materials, such as paper instructions for using the telephone, connecting the Internet, or listing the channels on the television, have become unnecessary in this day and age. Guest services booklets and door hangers for ordering breakfast, have also outlived their usefulness. I say these have become unnecessary because technology today can perform all of these guest service functions in a much more streamlined, and less messy, manner.
Rather than absorbing costs for these materials, perhaps it would simply be better to offer TVs with channel guides. In fact, TVs are becoming central information sources for many guestroom functions, from ordering food and beverage to requesting concierge services. Many of these functions can be performed through smartphone apps as well. When it comes to Internet service, most guests would rather access free WiFi, which requires no instructions, than learn how to log on to an Ethernet-based service.
But the main reason for eliminating collateral from a hotel is that guests come to the hotel experience with their own supplies and expectations. Armed with a myriad of other electronic devices, guest are ready to make the hotel room their own place for their stay. All they need is a little space.
I recently toured new guestrooms designs at the Hilton McLean/Tyson’s Corner, Va. One of the aspects of the design was the intentional elimination of collateral. It presented a very clean feel to the rooms, and it is immediately recognizable that the guest can make the room into what he or she wants it to be.
Luckily that’s a trend I’ve seen developing in many of the new prototype designs that I’ve toured over the last few years. As technology continues to develop, less collateral is needed. That can lead to cost savings for hotels. And, I believe, it’s the space that most guests, especially frequent travelers like me, hold as valuable.