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5 Ways to Cater to Stressed-Out Hotel Guests

How hotels can provide better service while helping travelers relax.

One key to providing outstanding hotel service is to understand your guest’s state of mind. And chances are good that your guests are arriving at your property in a stressed-out state, due to the pressures of work, day-to-day life and modern travel.

In fact, 89 percent of travelers say travel is enjoyable but also stressful, according to statistics from Travel Agent Central.  And it’s getting worse: in 2022, canceled flights are up by over 10 percent from before the pandemic, according to Travel + Leisure. “Widespread flight issues are becoming a near daily occurrence,” the publication states.

But as a hotelier, you’re in a unique position to be able to help your stressed-out guests relax and unwind. Reducing guest stress can be a way to provide just what the guest needs when they need it—in other words, great service—and also offer a better stay overall. Helping your guests to de-stress can even help to increase your revenue and earn you stellar reviews.

“After the stress of the last few years,” Mel Dohmen of recently told The New York Times, “travelers are looking for stays where they can be doted on.”

Here are five ways hoteliers can better serve stressed out guests in the spa and beyond:

1. Cater to guests who had travel stress

Travel delays and canceled flights are becoming so common that they’re almost routine. That means guests may arrive at your hotel harried, cranky and stressed. Some hotels are easing this stress by offering an in-room meal on arrival to guests who had travel issues, according to Skift, a leading news source for travel executives. “We want a situation where they don’t need to think about those things, and just deal with not getting themselves stressed out,” Kelly Moreton, general manager of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, told Skift.

2. Offer spa services designed to reduce stress

Some hotels are embracing the trend toward wellness and well being, and this may mean offering spa services designed specifically to reduce stress. For example, Skift points out that The House by Elegant Hotels in Barbados offers a jet lag massage created specifically to ease the tension caused by travel. Other hotels are dipping their toes into calming and stress-reducing services like: color therapy, meditation, hydrotherapy and aromatherapy, according to HospitalityNet.

3. Make their stay seamless

It’s true that many guests arrive at your lobby already stressed out. That’s why it’s especially important to review the guest experience with the aim of reducing “friction points” that could occur during their stay and stress them out more, according to HospitalityNet. This includes making your app, chat bots and other technology easy (and not frustrating) to use, communicating clearly with guests before they arrive, letting guests know about your amenities and extras, and offering to “customize” the room ahead of time with special items such as wine glasses or pillow options, HopitalityNet suggests.

4. Offer personalized service

The more you personalize your service, the more guests will feel appreciated, “seen,” taken care of—and relaxed. This includes offering ways for them to communicate special needs before their stay so you can do your best to offer information or accomodate their special dietary needs, travel needs and other needs during their stay. The less they have to think about, worry about and plan, the more relaxed your guests will feel.

5. Soothe with extra amenities

Offering amazing amenities can go a long way toward soothing your guests. Make their room an oasis with amazing smelling soap, luxurious bedding and all the comforts they expect. But also consider some creative amenities, such as deals and “freebies” from local merchants, an in-room cocktail station, room purification and relaxation-inducing amenities like scented eye pillows, aromatherapy diffusers and white noise machines, HotelTechReport suggests.

Consider implementing these ideas to help your stressed-out guests relax and enjoy their stay at your hotel. You may find that helping to de-stress your guests takes your and your staff members’ stress levels down several notches as well.