Not long ago, travelers, particularly kids, had simple criteria for selecting a place to stay. As long as there was a pool, other amenities mattered little. Now, guests are expecting much more out of their lodging, even beyond a hot breakfast and in-room Wi-Fi. Hotels are meeting guests' demands by providing unexpected services and catering to niche interests. |
Increasing numbers of travelers are seeking out eco-friendly accommodations when selecting lodging. A recent survey conducted by a leading travel website revealed that nearly 25 percent of Americans report making an effort to behave in an eco-conscious manner during their stay. Most take simple measures, like turning off the air conditioning when not in the room, or reusing their towels and bed linens. Additionally, the same travel website counted more than 200,000 searches for green properties on its site, and more than 20,000 reviewer comments regarding a property's eco-friendliness. Many are going beyond linen reuse programs to accommodate the wishes of environmentally-minded guests. Utilities tracking, recycling programs, and water-efficient fixtures are a few small ways in which properties can reduce their footprint to please green guests. Some are equipped for even bigger changes, such as car charging stations and organic gardens that grow food for on-site restaurants.
For fitness fanatics, a number of hotels now make it easy for travelers to stick to their workout routine. Exercise equipment has come a long way since the days of a single treadmill or elliptical trainer. Some chains provide their guests with workout clothes and shoes with disposable insoles. Rooms can be furnished with basic fitness equipment, such as medicine balls, dumbbells, and yoga mats, and many offer DVDs and even group classes. If you prefer to exercise outside, many offer bicycle rentals, or running groups departing from the hotel for a three or five mile run. Guests who prefer to walk or run alone can request a map with designated running or walking routes and a GPS watch to keep you from getting lost.
A growing number of properties are taking customer service to a new level by offering unexpected amenities. For most travelers, comfort is a chief concern when choosing among lodging options. Sleeping in a strange bed is not conducive to a good night's rest for some guests, so some hotels are offering sleeping aids, such as special pillows, white noise machines, masks, ear plugs, and teddy bears. If you forgot to pack any essentials, like a toothbrush or shaving cream, most places will provide you with a complimentary replacement. Some hotels go beyond the bare necessities and will loan out digital video cameras so guests can capture their vacation on film. If you are missing all of your belongings because your luggage is lost, some places will hassle the airline on your behalf so that you can be free to enjoy your trip, and even provide you with replacement toiletries and clothing items. Selections of reading material or local music are among the services provided by local properties.
Many travel destinations throughout the country are home to forward-thinking hotels. Visit a travel website to get started on your search for the perfect place to stop on your next trip.
In Astoria, Oregon, lodging is provided by Travel Astoria-Warrenton. Learn more about these services at http://www.travelastoria.com/.
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