In one sense, hotel rooms are not very different from each other.
If you look beyond the brand and things like signature color schemes, that is. So hotels try to differentiate themselves – especially with high margin business travelers and price insensitive leisure travelers (the thinking of course being that for budget travelers, a room is basically a place with a bed and a bathroom).
For the last few years, with rising health consciousness in the public’s mind, hotels and especially higher end chains have been trying to not only spruce up their gyms, but have also been trying to bring “healthiness” to the rooms (and increasing their pricing power) – primarily with in-room exercise kits and equipment (subject to space constraints).
(Pictured above: A room at an exercycle equipped Westin in Atlanta, GA)
I wonder though how successful those types of rooms are…if they were, wouldn’t we have seen most major chains adopting and promoting these amenities more widely? Perhaps the vast majority of travelers are not that interested in exercising while traveling…
Now, someone called Delos Living (who has a number of high profile advisors, from what I can tell) is bringing us their first hospitality centric offering in the form of “Stay Well” rooms at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (of all places) – rooms that offer more “healthiness” than your average room for $30 more a night, according an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Some of the features of course should probably be standard in every room in every decent hotel – lights that promote sleep, anti-microbial coating on door knobs and furniture and better room air filters. Some of the others like EMF shielding (?!!) may sound good on paper only though.
Of course, like many innovations, the MGM is launching this as a pilot project – since only 41 of its 5,044 rooms are going to be converted into this new format. But with Vegas’ casino and convention goers, I wonder if the industry and even the MGM can really use this as a barometer of guests’ valuation of these features and their willingness to pay $30 more a night for them.
Or maybe Delos hopes that this partnership and the resulting publicity encourages other chains try this model out in other major business and/or leisure destinations. My guess is that in the long run, customers will not pay $30 or whatever more for these types of rooms. Instead selected features from such experiments will most likely trickle down to standard rooms everywhere.