In a world becoming increasingly homogenized, successful hotels typically stand out from the pack. If your hotel’s services and amenities don’t resonate with the guest, nothing else really matters.

And, with so many brands jockeying for position, today’s guests are in the driver’s seat, putting pressure on hotel operators to create a point of differentiation.

Differentiation is being achieved just as much through decor and design as through the technology being employed and, to a lesser degree, the type of foodservice being offered. Interestingly, there’s been a great deal of talk in industry circles about whether hotel room service will go the way of the dinosaur. Given there’s not a great deal of money in room service that would be an easy assumption to make, but does it really have to be that way? Perhaps the problem with room service is that the price point and the offerings are out of sync with today’s sophisticated customer and their changing lifestyle.

The managers heading the room-service realm need to recognize how the market is shifting; it’s something hotel companies like Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Four Seasons have done well, making changes such as adapting to local and healthy-eating trends. Still, more hotels need to follow suit. Just recently, the U.S.-based Trump Hotel collection introduced its “Wellness” triad of programs designed to support guests’ healthy lifestyles. “The first program, Nourish, will enhance each hotel’s in-room dining menu with a range of options, providing guests with vegan, gluten-free and organic selections with complete nutritional values,” reads a company statement. Trump’s culinary teams are partnering with organic certifying companies to develop the program with certified organic ingredients sourced locally. What’s more, the brand has introduced a healthy kids’ menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner for kids as well as a revamped mini bar with healthier snacks than the standard fare. As part of its new mandate, at least one-third of choices at each hotel will fit into a healthy-food category.

And, the changes don’t end there. Trump has also introduced Quick Bites, an express in-room menu with healthy items and guaranteed delivery in 15 minutes or less. And, for those interested in keeping in shape while away, Trump has introduced “Travel Fit,” which allows guests to maintain their workout regime while travelling, whether they choose to exercise in their guestroom or in the fitness centre. Equipment like yoga mats, stretch bands and light weights will be available upon request, making it easy to stay fit without leaving the room. These days, it’s all about customization. Game on.


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