What do Americans expect from a premium hotel room? Depends on whether you ask a man or a woman
March 30th, 2023, Clifton Mark

What do Americans expect from a premium hotel room? Depends on whether you ask a man or a woman

When guests walk into a hotel room, which amenities do they simply expect as part of a standard hotel experience? Which convey that they are in a premium or luxury hotel?

In a recent survey, YouGov polled 1173 Americans about what amenities they expect to see in both basic/standard hotel rooms and premium/luxury hotel rooms.

Wi-fi is the amenity expected by the most Americans, with 72% expecting it in any standard hotel room and 74% in any premium room. This is followed closely by toiletries (66% in standard v. 71% in premium). Moving down the list, the differences between different room grades becomes more apparent. In a premium room, guests are about twice as likely to expect personal care items such as combs and shower caps (60% v. 27%), room service (70% v. 32%) and mobile check-in (53% v. 25%) than they are in a standard room.

The items that most set the different room grades apart are the slippers and robe combo and the Bluetooth speaker. Only one-in-ten Americans expect slippers and robe in a standard room, but nearly six times more (58%) expect to find them in a premium room. While far fewer consumers expect a Bluetooth speaker, the ratio is about the same with 36% expecting to find one in a premium room compared to only 7% in a standard room. This suggests that these items may evoke a luxury experience to guests. Conversely, if guests cannot wrap themselves in a plush hotel robe, they may feel that they’re having a sub-premium experience.

Breaking the data down by demographic groups reveals some significant differences, particularly when it comes to the premium/luxury hotel tier.  As the table below shows, some demographic categories have consistently higher expectations than others.

For example, in premium hotel rooms, women have higher expectations than men by a significant margin in every category of amenity. Similarly, older consumers tend to have higher expectations than younger ones. The 55+ age group has the highest expectations in most categories. One exception is the Bluetooth speaker: 42% of 35-54-year-olds expect to see this in their premium room versus 32% of those aged 55+. When expectations are broken down by race, white people have the highest expectations across most categories. When it comes to in-room tablets, however, 31% of white consumers expect them, which is slightly below the average of 34%.

Putting these broad differences together, it may be that white women above the age of 55 are the most difficult consumers for hoteliers to please. The chart below, arranged by the difference between demographics shows that the in-room tablet is the only amenity for which this demographic has lower-than-average expectations.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online in March 2023

with a nationally representative sample of 1173 adults in the US (aged 18+years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race to be representative of all adults in the US. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.