In another appeal to women travelers, hotel chains are upgrading to higher-quality toiletries and deluxe shower fixtures. Whenever possible, baths have been added during a remodel. The front desk might have a supply of curling irons on hand to complement the hair dryers in every bathroom.
At the Hotel Monaco Seattle, a Kimpton property, a yoga mat is waiting in the closet next to the leopard skin-patterned bathrobe. In some hotels, exercise rooms have been rebranded as "wellness" areas, with smaller weights more appropriate for women. Yoga classes and meditation sessions are offered, along with aromatherapy baths.
In the global market, hotel executives have seen they can attract women business travelers by amping up their family-friendly quotient. In Mexico City, the Four Seasons gives young children gifts when they arrive, a strategy also employed by the Novotel hotels, where, at check-in, each child is given a special gift. Baby equipment and use of the children's play area in the lobby are offered without charge.
When a woman wants to bring the kids along on the trip, staying at a Holiday Inn, she won't pay extra if they're under 19 and she doesn't mind sharing her room. At Novotel hotels, the age is 16 years and under, with breakfast in the restaurant thrown in for good measure. If the kids want their own room and they're between the ages of 8 to 16, Novotel cuts the room rate by 50 percent. Late checkout up to 5 p.m. on Sunday is available, also at no charge, so families can enjoy a full day before they leave.
Traveling with kids? Get more tips and tricks at PeterGreenberg.com.
In 2009, WomanRoadWarrior.com did a survey of women travelers, asking what they look for in hotels. Kathleen Ameche, founder of the site, noted, "Interestingly, the survey responses indicated that the amenities and other features that hotels are offering to appeal to women are less important than the hotel basics: safety, service and cleanliness."