5 Must Have Hotel Amenities

by Kay Lynn

The Doorman at the Ritz in LondonI probably spend a couple dozen nights in hotel rooms each year primarily for business travel.  Over time I’ve learned what makes the trip more comfortable and productive and a lot of it has to do with lodging choice.

Hotels come in all price ranges and brands, but there are certain perks that make or break the stay for me.  Some people might say I’m picky, but I like to think of it as being discerning!

Free Internet Access

One of my travel pet peeves is paying for internet access.  When the norm is to offer free wi-fi at coffee shops, airports and fast food restaurants, why do I have to pay at a hotel?  It should be built into the cost of a room because nearly every business  and most leisure travelers will use it.


One of the pleasures of travel is trying local specialty foods but I don’t want adventure in the morning.  Give me a free continental breakfast or reasonably priced buffet and it’s a great start to a productive day.  Hoteliers shouldn’t even bother if their idea of breakfast is danish, coffee and a cup of Tang.

Guests want variety, hot food and real fruit juices and we want it quick.  Being from the West coast, an 8 am meeting feels like 5 am to me.  I don’t want to have to get up hours earlier for the privilege of eating.  Make it something quick, tasty and reasonably priced.


When I’m exercising regularly it’s important to be able to continue while on the road.  Work-out room should have more than 1 bike or treadmill.  A room with a variety of equipment in good repair is essential.

Even if I’m not going to exercise, hitting a pool and jacuzzi after a long day is very relaxing.  It is surprising how many hotels in cold locations don’t have indoor facilities.

In-Room Coffee

I’m one of those people who don’t want to talk before having one or two cups of joe.  Having a in-room coffeemaker lets me inbibe while getting ready.  Hotels that offer name brand coffees with liquid creamers get extra points.


A car alarm left guests, including yours truly, bleary-eyed on a trip last month.  Problems with noise is more common than you think.  My sleep has been interrupted by partying guests, noisy air conditioners and more.

One way to avoid these problems is requesting rooms away from elevators, ice machines and vending areas.  The room overlooking the pool might have a great view, but it can be noisy  and might not close until 10 pm or later.


My husband’s list would include a TV with lots of channels  while I don’t even use it on many trips.  What are you must have hotel perks?

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Mrs. Accountability December 13, 2010 at 7:10 am

I don’t travel a lot, but I have noticed that the higher end hotels are usually the ones to make you pay for Internet while the lower end ones provide it free. The lower cost is already a perk, and having free Internet definitely makes me want to stay there. I only recently learned that there is such a thing as a full kitchen in some suite-type hotels, and this is important for me as I am on a special diet. It makes the trip much less stressful for me if I know I will be able to make my own food instead of having to eat out and wonder if the food is going to end up making me ill. So the full kitchen is a perk I look for. And I agree, I think you’re discerning! Nothing wrong with knowing what you want, and getting what you expected to be paying for!

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Mrs. Accountability, I can see why a kitchen would be important to you. I normally only use the coffee maker when staying at a all-suites hotel.

Buck December 13, 2010 at 11:58 am

I absolutely need free internet! I was fine in the states and Asia, but Europe charges for everything! I was on a no choice internet fast because every hotel I stopped at charged for internet. I tried hitting a McDonald’s in Switzerland and they charged, too. I finally caved and paid five bucks just to catch up on some items. It just felt wrong!

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

My last trip to Europe was some years ago so we went to internet cafes in the major cities (London, Dublin, etc.). I would, and have, paid for internet especially in that circumstances. Just think, it was a lot cheaper than phone calls!

Car Negotiation Coach December 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I agree, paying extra for Internet is ridiculous.

One little trick I use to help with the sound is to bring a white noise machine. I crank it up just loud enough to block out slamming doors, ice machines etc.

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Coach, good idea about the white noise. I actually have an app for that on my phone. I just gotta remember to use it!

Bret @ Hope to Prosper December 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I used to travel a lot for business. Now, I mostly travel for pleasure. I always look for hotels with Internet, coffeee and breakfast. It’s worth it to pay a little more the room and not get shaken down for all of the necessities. Marriott Courtyards are my favorites. Not only do they have all this, plus a gym, happy hour and a jucuzzi, they are comfortable and affordable.

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Bret, that was the brand I stayed at last month and with the exception of the car alarm noise, it was a very good stay.

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com December 14, 2010 at 6:37 am

Like Bret, I am a veteran traveler.

I like the Marriott Residence Inns for their kitchen(ettes).

For me my top 5 are:
2. Free Internet — big deal when you’re working.
3. Centrally located — 10 minutes away from work/sights is the best
4. A kitchen(ette) — to heat up food, cook, etc. Handy when on vacation
5. Elevators. You’d be surprised how many are walkups. Ugh.

I don’t care about the breakfast because I buy my own. Whatever they give me is usually not what I’d eat, so it’s a waste.

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm

FB, I’m surprised there are so many hotels without elevators. Is this in North America or Europe?

DoNotWait December 14, 2010 at 7:11 am

I agree with all the ones mentioned above. Even though it’s not truly a must-have, a balcony makes a difference to me. Sipping coffee on the balcony is something I really enjoy. And a 24-hour room service is really a plus side if you travel somewhere you’ll have good chances to suffer from jet-lag.

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 7:02 pm

DoNotWait, I would like balcony if I’m somewhere scenic (Hawaii?), but not just to look over the parking lot. However, thanks for the reminder about 24 hour room service. I have gotten to many a hotel after the restaurant has closed with no nearby alternatives.

Freddie @ Real Estate Investing December 14, 2010 at 11:09 am

If there is no Internet, there is no me!

I have to have the most comfy pillows and bedding available. There is just nothing like laying a fresh, clean, comfy hotel room for the night. As long as it is not too many nights in a row it can be a great outting!

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Freddie, I do like having a relaxing sleep without sharing my half with the dog and cat!

Everyday Tips December 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I hate paying for parking or internet, but I understand in some cities, you just don’t have a choice.

I couldn’t agree more about the noise. I am the lightest sleeper ever, and paper thin walls drive me insane. I also want a comfortable bed and a variety of pillows ‘depths’. (I need a thin pillow which is almost impossible to come by at a hotel. I usually bring my own, but once in awhile, I forget.)

I actually go to a Hilton Garden Inn when I have a choice because I love their breakfasts. They aren’t always free unless you get a special, but they are just delicious.

Kay Lynn December 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Everyday Tips, you need to get that white noise like Car Negotiation Coach mentioned. In addition to a machine or smart phone app, there’s a website for it: http://www.simplynoise.com. I’ll have to pick the Hilton Garden Inn next time it’s an option. You got me curious about the breakfast!

Stephanie Mojica December 15, 2010 at 1:08 am

High-speed Internet is definitely a must; I’d rather not pay for it but sometimes I go on press trips to higher-end hotels and believe it or not a few times the room was free but NOT the Internet.

I also like free parking, free breakfast (especially when it’s deluxe continental or full hot breakfast buffets), indoor pools, and hot tubs. But I don’t always get everything I want! The Internet is key, followed by breakfast, parking, indoor pool, and hot tub.

I also realized on a recent trip that an entirely non-smoking hotel assures I get a better night’s sleep; nothing worse than smelling smoke from a nearby room.

Good post; thanks!

Peace, love, happiness, and prosperity,

Kay Lynn December 17, 2010 at 5:08 am

Stephanie, good point about the smoke-free rooms. I’ve noticed that more and more hotels are non-smoking throughout which is a nice thing. Living in the west, I always do a double-take when I see someone smoke. It’s that unusual, as least where I frequent.

Mandy December 15, 2010 at 10:06 am

Most of my hotel stays now are for pleasure but I still look for free-internet when I’m choosing where to stay. I won’t make coffee in the room but I would make tea – that however requires a kettle – running the water through the coffeemaker doesn’t produce hot enough water for a decent cup of tea and I also like milk with my tea – not creamer and no powdered stuff. I know, I’m picky and that means no tea most of the time.

I’m on a mostly gluten free diet so need to have protein for breakfast such as scrambled eggs. Having a reasonably priced breakfast buffet is important.

I’ve always had good stays at Hilton Garden Inn.

Kay Lynn December 17, 2010 at 5:10 am

Mandy, during my one and only trip to Great Britain, I remember having an electric kettle in most of the hotels I stayed in. Now, I know why!

Another vote for the Hilton Garden Inn means I’m choosing it next time it is an option.

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