We know that bathrooms are a potential gateway to negative hotel reviews. After all, comments about bathrooms appear 2.24x more often in negative comments from guests than in positive ones. Ranking right up there with overall room size and hotel location, baths can be considered a vital element in how your hotel guests evaluate your hotel.
So why ARE hotel guest baths so important?
In reviewing a discussion thread on Trip Advisor, “Hotel Bathrooms – Size Does Matter,” a few common themes kept reappearing:
Modern Travelers Carry More Stuff. Granted historically this may have been divided by male/female, but overall we are seeing a growing trend as more men are investing in personal care products to hygiene/health/well-being as well as a growing population interested in physical appearance improvement. Women on average use 12 products/men use average of 6 products daily. So it’s safe to say that typically, people today have more “things” in the bath: toiletries, makeup, appliances like hair dryers, curling irons, shavers, etc.
Further emphasizing the need for bath design attention, as one reviewer notes, when you’re at home, you have places to put thing away, “everything you needed within reach.” This harkens to some similar sentiments we’ve seen in hotel guest reviews that guests want at least what they have at home… if not better.
And as families travel together, the need for counter space to accommodate everyone’s personal care items only multiplies.
Plus, as some reviewers note, spaciousness — as in extra counter space, drawers, shelving (all which allow a guest places to put their accoutrements) — contributes to the overall feeling of luxury, accommodation and roominess.
Granted, there are some people who will complain out of sheer sadism. There are also those who are/were confused about your offer/what they thought they would be getting. However, researchers at MIT’s Sloan Management school found that the majority of customers write bad online reviews out of sheer desperation – because they have typically tried to get resolution to their problems offline, first.
So how can you address this? Do an audit of your baths, with the modern traveler in mind.
- If you typically have 2 people staying in your room, don’t assume everyone is “low maintenance.” Plan for the “high maintenance” traveller who brought their own hair dryer, a curling iron, and 22 beauty regime items.
- Don’t assume your guests will keep their toiletries in their little “ditty bag” or “kit.” Some guests will like to spread some things out on the counter to be able to get to the items easily.
- Now: put two people in the room. Can you and one other person “get ready” in the morning easily? Comfortably? Are you both fighting for the outlets so he can trim his beard, while she curls her hair?
- Now, throw in a monkey wrench: what about kids?
Go back to an earlier statement: hotel travelers expect at least as much as what they have at home. If the average American family is 2.54, and is used to having 2600 square feet, with 1.05 people per bath (or, virtually no one in a family having to share a bath anymore). Single family homes average 2.56 baths.
Not only are hotels “asking” guests to share baths with their fellow travel companion(s), but they are also typically doing it in smaller spaces. Even if it’s a short trip (1-2 nights), that could become uncomfortable quickly.
Consider redesigning your baths with your modern traveler in mind. You may be surprised at the impact to your hotel revenues and reviews!
Read More About Awesome Hotel Baths:
- Hotels: Create Spa-Like Get-a-ways… Just Don’t Unplug Too Much
- Hotels: It’s Not Just a Stay – It’s an “Experience”