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Hotels : Home Away From Home

Travelers Search For Luxurious Home Away from Home

Regardless of whether travelers are away on business or leisure, staying one night or five, one of the most important things they look for in a hotel are the comforts of home.

The desire for a more luxurious home away from home has become a global trend, According to — an Amsterdam-based independent trend agency that uncovers global consumer and business trends.

"We have actually noticed two trends and consumer behaviors at work here," said Reinier Evers, founder of "The first is that, for consumers, their home is their castle — a trend we are calling 'Insperiences,'" explains Evers. "Consumers spare no expense to have the best of the best in their home including everything from a home movie theater to a home gym. So, when consumers are forced to leave their homes on travel, they tend to demand an even nicer environment from their hotel, with a touch of luxury one would normally not find at home."

"The second trend we've uncovered is almost the reverse of this," states Evers. "In this trend, we are finding that consumers are also enjoying all the appointments of their 'home away from home' and are looking to purchase the best from the outside, professional world including superior goods and experiences for use in their own homes. Hotels ... are obviously already capitalizing on this by selling customers their ... beds, shower heads and other luxurious appointments formerly found exclusively in their hotels."

Whether it means upgrading or overhauling their appearance or selling their in-room products to consumers, hotels are reading consumer trends loud and clear and are reacting accordingly.

A home-style feel used to be found only at extended stay hotels, and a chic, high-tech, luxurious feel used to be exclusive to boutique hotels. Today, all hotels, from boutiques to national chains, are all looking for ways to make everyone feel like their hotel room is just like — or better than — home.

Comfort Inn in Cincinnati recently completed a renovation, which sought to incorporate the feeling of home with all of the little extras. "Because we are located right near Kings Island, a large amusement park in the greater Cincinnati area, we attract a lot of families to our hotel," said Ushir Patel, general manager for Comfort Inn Cincinnati Hotel. "We recently renovated our hotel to include many of the appointments of home to make families feel at home while they are away."

Although it is not always feasible for hotel chains to overhaul their appearance, there are simpler measures a hotel can take to make guests feel at home. "One of the simplest ways for a hotel chain to make guests feel at home is to use cleaning brands that guests know and trust," said Kate Karazim, P&G's Commercial Products Group brand manager. "A feeling of home means a feeling of safety and trust achieved from a clean, fresh room. With guests seeing such household names as Spic and Span, Swiffer Dusters, Comet and Febreze on the cleaning cart, they can be sure that their rooms and the common areas of the hotel are clean and fresh, and meet or exceed their expectations."

Hotel general managers, many of whom are in charge of the housekeeping function at their hotels, cite consumer awareness and trust as a reason for using household name cleaning brands in their hotels. According to Andrew Crum, general manager of a Hampton Inn(R) located on Cincinnati's I-275 outer belt, using brands that consumers know and trust, but that also provide exceptional cleaning and freshness for rooms and softness for linens means a win for everyone.

"Guests comment on the softness of our sheets and towels and have complimented us on not having towels that feel like newspaper. When we tell them we use Tide and Downy, they are not surprised since these are brands they use at home," said Crum.

Teresa Snyder, general manager of Quality Suites in Lakewood-Denver agrees. "My guests recognize the scent of Downy, Febreze, Comet and Mr. Clean in our establishment and tell us that it makes them feel right at home," said Snyder. "These products, which are so good at cleaning or eliminating odors, have even resulted in a lot fewer complaints about the smells in smoking rooms."

"Not only are these brands recognizable and comfortable to my guests, but they are powerful, effective cleaners, equating to important efficiencies in my housekeeping department," said Snyder. "Because they are powerful, they help save time and ensure a thorough clean in every room which, in turn, leads to customer satisfaction."

Whether it be as large as a massive design overhaul or as simple as a switch to recognizable and trusted cleaning products, one thing is clear: hotels are doing everything they can to make guests feel more at home while they are away.