|Westin Hotel - Downtown Denver|
I just got back from a trip to Washington State, and during my stay at a Ramada hotel (which is not ordinarily high on this Chicks list of places to stay), I noticed some items that luxury properties could definitely take a cue from.
Now, when I lists these items, please be aware that I realize that every property can not be all things to all people; therefore, numerous chains (Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, etc) have different properties within their brands, in order to accommodate a large demographic of people.
|Westin Upstairs Area By Bar|
I have included the photo of the Westin property in Downtown Denver in order to make a point (also, my camera was not working very well on my most recent trip, so I was unable to get a lot of photos). The Westin properties, and other high-end properties within the Starwood brands, tend to have lovely and inviting seating areas within their establishments; however, like most high-end properties, you can sit in their lobby areas and utilize their internet service, but they charge for internet service in your room - that's amazing to me, and not in a good way.
Now, take for instance, the Ramada in Olympia, Washington, they don't charge for internet service in your room, and I'll list some other items that were offered that travelers tend to like a lot, but are not (typically) offered in most luxury properties:
- Free Parking - Yeah, it's free.
- Complimentary Breakfast - Ok, this has -0- appeal to me, but a lot of travelers love the idea of a "free" meal. And despite the fact that I am definitely a room service type of Chick, I have to admit that it was nice to go down and grab a complimentary bagel and orange juice before I hit the road in the mornings. By the way, their breakfast was not just a box of cold cereal and stale pastries. They had a waffle maker with waffle mix; fresh fruit (whole fruits as well as cut up pineapples, peaches, strawberries, etc); fresh (not stale) pastries; scrambled eggs; bacon and/or sausage; gravy; a juice machine that had cranberry, orange and apple juice, as well as one of those coffee machines that had the French Vanilla Coffee, and other coffee flavors too.
- In-room mini-refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and a desk with ample amount of electrical outlets to plug in every conceivable device you may be carrying with you.
- Free Cookies - Yes, I had one peanut butter cookie when they just pulled them out of the oven one evening ...mmmm, yummy!
- Friendly Staff - Well, that may be something that is standard at most luxury properties, but it was worth mentioning.
- Oh, and just to mention it again - free internet in your room.
I will say that I was impressed by the service I received, the cleanliness of my room, and the overall accommodating feel I had during my three night stay at the Ramada in Olympia, Washington. With that being said, you know I have a thing for sexy, boutique type properties, and while this hotel was completely respectable, (and I won't have a problem staying here again if/when I am in the Olympia, Washington area), it isn't sexy. But, that's my thing, and fortunately for the Ramada, I'm sure most of their guests could care less about the zero sexy factor!
*photos taken by That Chick Té