No one at the top of the food chain in the lodging industry wants to admit it but inflation has hit the lodging industry. It is also post-pandemic. Lodging fell into two categories during COVID: the hotels where no one wanted to stay because of the contact risk and small entities that were naturally social distanced (remember that term?) with little or no contact. The former lost money and the latter made money.
Starting with the big hotels, etc., they started cutting amenities, services and staff. Daily housekeeping was traditionally their big amenity, so was on-site parking and 24-7 front desk personnel. Housekeeping was one of the first cuts and along with it pets were no long welcome because they present additional cleaning time. Next, the daily parking fees. Sometimes there was a charge every time you took your vehicle in and out. Room service became a thing of the past because of staffing in the food service area. Post pandemic when travel to the hotels returned, they increased their prices to make up for losses but overlooked reinstating their basic amenities.
The latter, the lodging entities that made money, got heady with their success and increased prices. Most were overwhelmed with occupancy and unable to always keep up with adequate staffing so they too cut amenities. It became a situation where desirable lodging thought they could charge just about anything and people desperate for a change of scenery or fun distraction would pay it.
So, travelers now find themselves in a marketplace with higher lodging rates and disappearing amenities. If lodging does offer amenities, there is often an additional charge. Most travelers are aware of the heated media coverage of Airbnb hosts giving guests a Chore List. We also started seeing Short Term Rentals that did not provide linens, towels, coffee, even toilet paper. THESE ARE NOT AMENITIES! When guests will accept this inhospitable approach to hospitality or pay a premium for basic amenities, it perpetuates the practices and takes the luxury and joy out of affordable travel.
When you start looking for places to spend your vacation, schedule a getaway, even just book a restful place to stop when traveling or a required business trip, start looking more closely at what is included and at what price. The Online Travel Agencies (Booking.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Airbnb, VRBO, Hotels.com) all charge someone a fee …. The host or the guest or both. There is no other reason for them to be in business except to make money. What they are generally selling is price. However, as the guest, you need to also be looking for what is included in the price.
The most expected and basic amenities that should be included in any price are:
Tick these off your Must Have Checklist before booking. Next, look for the basics to be a notch above basic such as high speed internet and Smart TV with premium channel streaming or 24-7 Self Check-in and Checkout.
Next, look for luxuries that support the cost of the lodging. Make sure you, or the OTA, are comparing apples to apples. For Example, if the rate is the same or within a reasonable spread, does the price included:
Bare bones travel or inflated prices rob travelers of the relaxation and re-charging that most of us need from leisure travel. There is also travel that is related to stressful situations and business. In these instances comfort and stress-free accommodations are essential. There is more than one way to look at “getting your money’s worth”. I think the added elements of luxury, charm and nurturing should be part of every lodging experience. Make this happen for yourself!
Rosemont Arch Street
For Reservations Call Stacie
Rosemont 15th Street
For Reservations Call Susan