How hotels are accommodating female travelers

Female

Solo female travel is on the rise and women are dominating the business travel sector, too. Source: Chris Lawton/Unsplash

THE demands and preferences of every traveler vary either slightly or significantly.

Business travelers may need fast internet and a laundry service, while honeymooners might want a private balcony and heart-shaped bath tub.

However, MGallery, a collection of boutique hotels by Sofitel, wanted to discover the demands and requirements of modern-day female travelers.

Through an in-depth study of close to 3,000 female and male survey participants, the hotel group was able to better understand what women want from their trip.

It then used this information to curate a brilliant Inspired by Her program.

One of the most significant findings from the study revealed female travelers are becoming more averse to the conventional definitions of well-being, such as spas and detoxes, and more concerned with the TLC touches so easily neglected when balancing a career and home life.

The Inspired by Her program focuses on creature comforts and the niceties female travelers wish could feature in their everyday lives.

The majority of women surveyed said forgetting to pack essential overnight items is one of the biggest issues when staying away from home, perhaps because of ‘Mommy Burnout’ or just simple forgetfulness.

MGallery then decided to create emergency kits, which include beauty items, make-up remover, nail polish remover, hair ties and pins, moisturizer, sun cream and stockings.

The hotel group has also worked hard to remove the one-size-fits-all ethos and replace large robes and slippers with more common female sizes for an added personal touch.

MGallery has illustrated how listening to women can achieve marvelous things, but it wasn’t the first hotel to offer women-focused services.

Where did it all begin?

Back in the 1920s, a female-only hotel opened in New York for ambitious women moving out of the family home to chase careers in the big city.

Up until the 1980s, this type of accommodation remained popular but died a slow death as societal views became more liberal.

However, fast forward to 2018 and a world where 47 percent of women who travel do so for business, and these types of hotels are on the rise again.

This time around, female business travelers want their differing needs to be recognized and met, as male business travelers’ have been for years.

In 2008, Carolyn Pearson launched Maiden-Voyage.com after becoming disenchanted with the lack of opportunities around the areas she was staying after the business day was over.

“As a woman traveling alone, my options were limited to room service or dining alone in a restaurant in a strange city, with varying levels of unease depending on the location,” Pearson wrote in the 2016 Women in Business Travel Report.

The report found that 70 percent of women believe travel providers need to try harder to address women’s needs.

Some hotels have responded in awesome ways

The Premier Hotel’s women-only rooms in New York come with curling and flatirons, yoga mats, vanity kits, bath salts and make-up mirrors, all at no extra cost.

The United Arab Emirates has also begun acknowledging female needs beyond those of simply catering to a conservative culture.

Saudi Arabia’s Luthan Hotel and Spa in Riyadh is modeled as a female-only urban retreat. Female-owned and run, the luxury hotel provides 25 exclusive rooms, spa facilities, a restaurant, café and meeting facilities.

In addition, the windows are also tinted so guests needn’t wear abayas or veils.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh also has a floor reserved for females which is run entirely by women.

With more hotels wising up to the needs of female leisure and business travelers, allowing women to feel safe while away from home and able to enjoy a trip without fussing over forgotten items, this offering will hopefully soon become a key priority across all hotel groups.