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Hotel chains are constantly innovating and experimenting with accessories in rooms to give women that comfort zone. Are we women impressed? Well, yes, but there is always scope for more, says Sarah Hussain,Lecturer of Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, New Delhi.

Womenfolk have come a long way as far as travelling and hotel stays are concerned. They form a part of a completely different market segment and are being better understood today, especially by the hospitality industry in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and other accessories.

With changes in fashion, taste, status and technology, changes in hotel services are also expected. A decade ago, hotel rooms were equipped with common shampoo for both sexes, common soap cakes for bathing or washing hands and probably toilet paper rolls. Nobody bothered at reception counters to hand over room keys in a keycard for security issues. There were no preferential rooms assigned for women. They were all the standard hotel rooms.

But today the approach is changing. Safety issues are definitely being addressed. Hotel keys have been replaced with newer and safer keycards that are programmed specifically for each individual guest. In the event that it might be lost or stolen, neither a guest’s name nor a room number ever appears on this keycard. Special services are being provided for ladies to make their stay more comfortable. It starts with exclusive ‘lady pick-up service’ at the airport.

There are special Ladies Floors with facilities like all-lady butler service, unique ‘door-view’ facility (to view the person standing outside the door on screen), lady in-room check in, special toiletries and access to `Point of View,’ the premium rooftop lounge.

Women are more sensitive to hygiene and sanitation. To give complete guest satisfaction, hotel housekeeping goes that extra mile. Earlier, the emphasis was on cleanliness; but today hygiene is the key word.

Keeping the hygiene factor in mind housekeepers in hotels take into consideration matters like air quality and sanitation. Use of sanitizers, detergents and other cleaning agents that protect against microbial attack has become a necessity.

The washrooms are cleaned thoroughly keeping in mind the requirements of the female guests. Even the fixtures, faucets, walls, floors and all surfaces are made free of any bacteria which could be transferred to the next guest. The commodes are fitted with sanitary bands after complete cleaning ensuring that only the occupant guest breaks the seal and uses a fresh bacteria free toilet. Keeping disposable bags along with sani-bins is a very female friendly practice.

Women travellers in fact now have far less to pack as far as accessories go. Amenities have increased across the board and bathroom products are of a much higher calibre. The aromatic conditioning shampoos, lotions, gels and scrubs placed in the amenity basket are inviting. There’s a hairdryer plus make-up mirror too in most bathrooms. For weight watching women, upgraded rooms in most of the hotels include a bathroom scale as well.

We no more have to wait for steam irons to be delivered from housekeeping. Now many hotels provide ironing board and high-quality steam iron in every room as standard equipment.

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