The Sybaritic Single remembers luxury hotels that remember him and take care of his preferences. A welcome card in the room is a strong hint of whether the hotel took the time to explore his persona prior to arrival. Pre-printed cards with pre-printed GM signature are disqualified immediately into the bin. Handwritten cards with business cards attached to them, on the opposite, are kept and taken home.
Welcome amenities are appreciated when thoughtful: a bottle of Champagne is great and somehow ensures that the Sybaritic Single would feel obliged to spend 3X the cost of the amenity at the bar or by the pool during the stay. Many marketers explored “the appeal to the consumer’s guilt feelings through a a small gift, which makes the consumer feel inclined to buy as a response” and some smarter hoteliers took note of it.
However, the Sybaritic Single does not always receive an expensive vintage. Light pastries, local gourmet snacks or extra fruit make good welcome amenities as well. What the Sybaritic Single detests is pedestrian table wines masquerading as welcome amenities. When the room rate soars close to $1,000 a night, a bottle worth $5 is close to humiliating. This is when an extra apple in the fruit basket would make a better impression – or, indeed, a large glass bottle of fine mineral water, a jar of fresh juice or an invitation for an energising massage.
Finally, good hotels remember the amenities the Sybaritic Single enjoyed most, so they place more of them once he returns. Better hotels even take note of his minibar bills and update their records.
However, there is one particular luxury hotel in the Middle East which never gets the art of a considered welcome amenity. The Sybaritic Single has stayed more than 20 times at the establishment. Perhaps, even close to 30. On each occasion, he received a bottle of very affordable red wine with a screw cap. On every occasion, he left the wine untouched – yet, every time he comes back, the same wine is waiting for him, stay after stay, year after year. And yes, the GM got a bit lazy after all these years and now chooses to send a less sophisticated welcome card with his signature pre-printed.
In return, the Sybaritic Single decided that it might be better value to carry his own bottle of Krug from duty free than to feel obliged to order it at the luxury hotel’s bar.