As hotels continue the march up the sustainable innovation curve, they just get better and better, don't they? My current hotel started out as a motel on a strip development, but looks more like an oasis for road warriors now.
In-room amenities include a two-tiered desk suitable for a laptop as well as the piles of paper we all still seem to need. A giant Philips flat screen TV looks almost like art. [I'm here working at a trade-show type of event, and looking forward to the design innovations I'll get to see later on.]
Such pedestrian items as a blow-dryer, in-room coffee maker, and luxurious bed are now pretty much mandatory to stay in the game. Free parking and free in-room internet are among the distinctions between this kind of a place and a major downtown hotel. Even the quality of the restaurant food has improved, no longer smacking of diner-with-a-garnish entrees.
But I had a genuine surprise when I logged in to the internet this morning. Charming post-cards you can customize and send! [I suggested just such an application to a business a couple of years ago. Too bad they didn't try it to support their hair care product line. But I digress...]
These postcards could charm the kids you are traveling with, or the road warrior keeping in touch.
The insight: when you are traveling, you are either having an adventure with family and friends, or you are lonely and missing them - or perhaps just knowing that they are missing you. The postcards neatly nail this insight and speak to it. So they win on two counts: they show that the hotel 'gets it', and they give you something nice to do with those emotions.
I was also pleased to see a truly useful web site, with things like 'check your flight' and 'local dining'. Best I have seen in quite a while. Good on you, Holiday Inn. Or should I start calling you Holly, to reflect your new sensibility?