What Every Great Hotel Should Have

January 6, 2011 5:47 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel

As we travel the world we get to stay in some wonderful properties and have had some truly life changing experiences in great hotels. A brilliant property is in fact a world unto itself. And so while we’ve been crisscrossing the globe producing Wine Portfolio my team and I have been keeping notes on the best attributes of the hotels we call home. And so here is our list of the Top 5 things that EVERY great hotel needs.

Number 1: Corkscrew
Ok it sounds obvious that a wine lifestyle brand would want a decent corkscrew in our hotel rooms but you would be amazed at how many 5-star properties fail to provide this basic amenity. In a world where TSA Agents are only too anxious to confiscate anything that looks dangerous, the classic corkscrew has become a checked bag luxury. We particularly liked the Luna Hotel Baglioni in Venice which had a wonderful corkscrew and two Riedel glasses always on the ready.

Number 2: Coffee Maker
It goes without saying that if you spend your days tasting great wines from around the world and still use a corkscrew and glasses in your room at night then you’re going to need a good coffee maker. And that also means great coffee and cream in the room. Kudos here to the Park Hyatt Tokyo which not only had excellent in room coffee but they also had a hot water machine and a selection of teas and noodles. This is perfect for the jet-lagged traveler.

Number 3: Health Club
I hate resort fees and extra costs to use a fitness room. Really? I don’t want to become a member I just want to workout and stay healthy for the couple of days that I’m staying with you. Some hotels get this, others don’t but the Mandarin Oriental Miami was the star here. They had a great pool, excellent workout facilities and extra long hours.

Number 4: Free Internet
I get it WIFI costs, connectivity has a fee, there’s a charge for IT, so just include it in the price of the room and make it an essential element of each stay. Honestly unless your clientele are cavemen or the extremely elderly who doesn’t need/want to check their email, Facebook and Twitter Accounts? BTW Hoteliers search Goggle for the 90 year-old woman who bought an iPad and you’ll see Internet connectivity needs to be seen as a commodity not a luxury. The winner here for us was Holland America Lines. This summer while we were cruising the Mediterranean we were in constant contact with our studios via WIFI. It wasn’t fast but hey we were on a ship and that’s just wonderful.

Number 5: Bathrobe
There’s an unwritten law in hotel operations that says you send the maid, bellman or maintenance man to guest rooms only when the guests are exiting showers. And for this reason alone all hotel rooms should come with large, comfortable and cool-looking bathrobes. Trust me the maids, bellmen and maintenance guys will appreciate it as well. The best we’ve seen so far was at the Meadwood in Napa Valley, a sumptuous Relais & Châteaux property. The bathrobes here were in a word epic.

OK I could go on, but I will save this for another blog. Suffice it to say we love great hotels and always enjoy staying with a world class property. These ideas aren’t meant as criticisms of some hotels but simply as suggestions to help to make the experience even better for the weary or worldly traveler.

So what about you? What do you think we’ve missed so far on this list of what every great hotel should have?

8 Responses to “What Every Great Hotel Should Have”

  1. ruby_80 says:

    Jody, totally agree about the list. But I think you’re also missing a workable alarm clock as I hate getting and worrying about a wake up call, I would rather be in charge of my own destiny. And a generous amount of face clothes. I travel to Europe once or more a month, they still haven’t figured out that woman like to wash their faces at the end of the night.

  2. Cherub says:

    I say add decent pillows and guaranteed non-smoking rooms. I also like a hotel that has a cocktail hour for guests.

  3. Blue_ide1 says:

    Regarding the free internet…I completely agree, but I might add free wireless for as many devices as needed. I was recently in Europe, and they gave me a code for the Wifi, but it was only good for my laptop. It’d be convenient to also have it for the additional devices I had, iPhone, iPad, my husband’s iPhone, etc…This was true for every hotel I went to. Grrr. Love your show, by the way!

  4. Jody Ness says:

    Good suggestions. I certainly like the idea of a cocktail hour. They do that at a lot of smaller boutique hotels and it’s a wonderful way to meet other guests.

  5. Jody Ness says:

    Yes we’ve definitely run into this problem before. Free wifi should be by guest not just one connection. That way you can keep your iPhone, iPad, iPod, BB, laptop and Kindle, etc all up to date and more than 1 person per room can connect at the same time. And THX for the compliment on the show.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Relais & Chateaux. Relais & Chateaux said: RT @wineportfolio: What every great hotel should have – Jody's list of top hotel amenities […]

  7. Cash says:

    I like little things like a hotel in Egypt that had cold towels for the guests when you came back from the pyramids, or a British inn that brought each guest a pint of beer to their room each afternoon and a cup of warm cocoa each night. Also a safari in Botswanna that had pre-ordered wine from every country where guests were from and each night was a tribute to various people’s home countries. It shows they care and are thinking.

  8. Michelle says:

    I definitely agree that free WiFi is a must. Also, after a long day of flying, I appreciate hotels that greet me at the reception desk during check-in with a warm, damp towel and a fruit juice. It provides a nice welcome.