According to a new survey of hotel guests and team members released today from IHG’s® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] Candlewood Suites® brand, nearly 60 percent of extended stay hotel guests say they miss something from home when traveling, and the ability to borrow a larger item or appliances during their stay makes it easier and more enjoyable. Many travelers have a certain item or two they wish they could take on the road with them, but luggage size and weight limitations may not always make that possible. From a reading lamp to a favorite board game or appliance for the kitchen, guests – especially those who are on the road for extended periods – miss the comforts of home.
Understanding guests’ desire for such items, the Candlewood Suites brand introduced the Lending Locker, a place within the hotel where guests can borrow common household items to use during their stay. Available items include things not found in typical hotel rooms, such as desk fans, blenders and crock pots, small hand tools and games. Guests need only fill out a Lending Locker check-out form and drop it at the front desk to borrow an item. They are then free to use the borrowed item for as long as they need it, and return it for another guest to use.
“One of the brand hallmarks that has long defined the Candlewood Suites brand is our Candlewood Cupboard®, which operates on the honor system,” said Robert Radomski, vice president, Brand Management, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. “Our guests know and appreciate that our hotel teams treat them like trusted members of the family. With the Lending Locker, we are expanding that notion of trust, and further demonstrating that our hotels are like home for our guests by offering complimentary use of a variety of appliances, games and other items they normally use at home.”
Other key survey findings include:
- Among guests who borrowed games, MONOPOLY® is the overwhelming favorite, borrowed by 43 percent of responders.
- Guests are most likely to borrow kitchen-related items.Nearly 50 percent said they borrowed an item to use in their in-suite kitchen. Common items included blenders, George Foreman® grills and crock pots.
- 30 percent of hotel team members say that the Lending Locker has allowed them to start a conversation and learn something new about their guests.
- The majority of guests (68 percent) borrow items for more than one day, and almost half – 49 percent – borrow items for 2-3 days.
- Team members shared stories about guests using kitchen equipment to make food including chili and cookies to share with fellow guests and hotel team members, adding to the home-like environment.
Piloted in 10 properties for over a year, the Lending Locker generates high guest satisfaction and increased guest and team member engagement. Unlike anything currently offered by the brand’s competitors, the Lending Locker is a unique, differentiating signature amenity for the Candlewood Suites brand. The Lending Locker is currently rolling out to all 304 Candlewood Suites hotels, and will be a standard hallmark in every property by spring 2014.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.