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10 Hotel Freebies That Make Guests Feel Like Rock Stars

We all know how it feels to dig into a free basket of soft-baked bread at our favorite food spot. Or returning to that nail salon that offers fresh juice or chilled prosecco at no extra charge. Jason’s Deli – a restaurant chain that boasts monster sandwiches and delicatessen favorites – supplies free self-serve ice cream to its customers. Yum!

In the end, it’s the little (free) gestures that bring a lot of joy.

Guests are dealing with high prices everywhere they turn, so it’s no surprise they’re looking for a deal wherever they go – this is where hotels can score big without spending big.

If you scour TikTok, there are plenty of posts about “hotel hacks,” “hotel items to score,” and “how to get free things at hotels.” So why not give the people what they want? Strategic giveaways can actually increase revenue in the form of repeat stays, glowing reviews, and free word-of-mouth marketing.

Guests love to share a deal with friends, family, and whoever else will listen on social media. They are way more likely to brag about their hotel stay if they feel like they’re getting a lot of bang for their buck.

It’s simple to give guests the special treatment they crave with tangible items that give them the sense that they’re getting away with something. Pampering and guided activities also bring a sense of luxury to any atmosphere. It doesn’t take a huge investment to pull off this cascade of complimentary treasures.

Let guests feel like they’re one in a million by making no-charge products and services an integral part of their stay.

In fact, the right freebies benefit everyone. Practicing the art of the giveaway can boost business by convincing customers they are saving money. The sense of saving, combined with the satisfaction from receiving extra goodies, is sure to boost the guest experience.

Here’s a list of the top ten ways to get guests feeling fabulous – and posting about their super savvy hotel finds…

  1. Beverage upon arrival – Flavored water or lemonade in the lobby, or a bottle of water handed over at check-in, or a ticket good for one drink at the bar can all go a long way with a guest tired from traveling. Quench their thirst and make guests feel special at the same time.
  2. Snacks in the room – It’s no secret that mini bars are overpriced. This doesn’t mean they can’t exist in rooms, but it opens up the opportunity to offer guests a fresh alternative that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Feature local businesses that will surely jump at the chance for the brand exposure.
  3. Gift baskets for any occasion – It may seem counterintuitive to the bottom line, but making a big deal out of any occasion (newly engaged, college graduation, or even a dog’s birthday) speaks volumes about how a company cares for their clients. Get creative with inexpensive additions that compliment the event.
  4. A 10-minute lobby massage – Invite nearby spas to set up shop in the lobby and provide a sample of their work. A quick massage is much appreciated but usually never enough: If guests love it, they can book the full experience while they’re in town.
  5. Suntan lotion by the pool – No, this does not have to include the actual application. But offering complimentary suntan lotion equals huge savings for guests. It’s also a major convenience. Limit the amount per guest (dole out in cups so you can buy in bulk).
  6. Popsicles on demand – Who doesn’t enjoy a frozen treat on a hot summer day? Whether it’s for anyone or limited to children, popsicles are quick and easy people pleasers. The Magic Castle Hotel in Hollywood, California has become famous for their popsicle hotline – a red phone that provides instant access to popsicles galore.
  7. Coupons for local restaurants – Restaurants and bars around town are going to benefit from out-of-town guests looking to dine locally, so why not emphasize this and form partnerships? Approach local diners and eateries, and create an exclusive discount for hotel guests.
  8. Breakfast is always appreciated – It can be as involved as omelets and housemade waffles, or as simple as cereal. Even granola and coffee go a long way – whatever form it comes in, it still counts as a free breakfast. Explore what the budget allows and go from there.
  9. Dessert happy hour – get creative with happy hour by offering 2 for 1 desserts. This gets the whole family involved, and it’s a low-cost way to put a smile on guests’ faces. Showcase the in-house restaurant or even offer the deal through room service during slow periods.
  10.  Classes that educate and entertain – Guests will appreciate this steal, especially those who know the pricing of a typical group class. Have instructors lead yoga on the pool deck, or a local artist paint-and-sip class where original paintings can be sold. It’s a win-win for guests and instructors.

Build costs into initial pricing, or use what is already on hand. Either way, offering what you can to guests is an upfront investment that pays big in experience. Deck out freebies with logos whenever possible to get an extra boost of brand reinforcement.

Guests will appreciate every perk no matter how insignificant it may seem – all while hotels grow their business and improve reputation. It’s a freebie win-win.