What is the one thing a frequent traveler wants from a hotel during a business trip?

Of course a clean hotel, a nice room, a great flat-screen TV, a shower with amazing water pressure and other things. But all this is of no avail if one cannot have a good night’s sleep. Some of us like me are fortunate that we can fall asleep anywhere anytime. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most frequent travelers.

Research International conducted an online study among 1,000 overnight and international business travelers who took at least 2 trips in the past year. 25 percent of travelers said they have fallen asleep in a meeting due to sleep deprivation, 70 percent felt less productive after traveling, and close to 20 percent had a presentation go badly or lost business as a result of poor sleep due to traveling.

So what can a hotel do? How far should they go?

In a recent trip to the DC area, I stayed at the Lorien Hotel and Spa in Alexandria, VA. As my teen marketing team and I walked into the hotel, I realized this would be a “different experience“; but was not sure if that will be different good or different bad. As I was checking in, we saw a living area on the right with tons of books, all in white covers. More strange stuff I guess.

The rooms were nice, the beds were comfortable. There was a fresh and clean aura in the room. But what I saw next completely startled me. Next to my bed, on the bedside table, was a brochure called “Sweet Dreams Made Easy”. Inside the hotel had three pages of stuff, mostly free, to make sure that I had a good night’s sleep. They offered pillows of every kind that ranged from snore-no-more pillows, a body pillow, a neck pillow, a bed wedge, water pillow, magnetic pillows to contour pillows. To unwind, they offered lullaby library songs, ear buds, sleep masks, bedtime stories, a soothing sound machine, diffusers or a humidifier. Of course if I was a tad hungry, they would bring milk and cookies for me for a moderate charge. And if all this fails, for $20, I could get my own teddy bear.


I thought for a second and felt WOW (again). I had previously resigned to the fact that there could be no “really new” wow ideas in a hotel. Hotels to me have become transactional experience providers, but this was a case where a hotel really knew the most important thing I needed and went all out to make sure I got a good night’s sleep. This is the perfect inspiration behind a WOW guest experience.