You Can Take Them with You: How Hotels Cater to Working Mothers
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts report that 35 percent of their business clients are women. On its website, Wyndham tries to reach out to prospective female clientele with planning tips and destination profiles.
The Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco reports that the mix at this property is even higher, with women accounting for 40 percent of its business travelers. The hotel's Perfect Pair program offers a two-room combo where a woman can have a separate bedroom and office space or, if the kids have joined her on the trip, a second bedroom. Additionally, the hotel's "bath butler" service features a menu of salts, oils and other bath products to try to cater to female guests.
Get more tips and advice on women's travel at PeterGreenberg.com.
As if unconsciously announcing their pursuit of women business travelers, when Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City reopened after completing an extensive remodeling project, the front of the hotel was draped in a giant, 16-story pink bow. The hotel's interior redesign was also conceived with the female traveler in mind. The glass-walled lobby and restaurant area have been renovated with an open feel, decorated in a clean, modern style with vibrant colors in greens, reds, yellows.
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."
Hotel management understands that good service when combined with safety is very appealing to women travelers. For example, when a meal is ordered from room service at a Wyndham hotel, a call is made to the room to say the food is on its way, so guests can be aware a staff member will be ringing the doorbell.
Some hotels are going even a step further to accommodate women travelers. A common lament of many women traveling by themselves is that they feel uncomfortable eating alone. They don't want to be the object of unwanted attention or appear to be lonely. Taking that concern to heart, as part of the remodel in Amsterdam, Novotel created a section of booths in the restaurant with a flat screen television embedded in the wall of the booth so that when a woman wants to have a meal, she can catch up on the news or watch her favorite show.
Hotels targeting female business travelers have modified the message. Stay at the hotel, get your work done efficiently and comfortably. Then, instead of rushing home, have your family join you and stay for the weekend so you can find that balance between work, family and play.
Read more by David Latt online at MenWhoLiketoCook.com.
Are you a business traveler? What would make your frequent travel more appealing? Share your comments below.
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