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It’s been a very long two years for the travel industry as people cut back on their adventures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. But the good news is that hotels have taken advantage of this downtime to focus on keeping travelers happy. For 2022, this translates directly into exciting changes to hotel rooms, spas, entertainment and recreation, dining options and customer service.
“Traveler preferences, especially when it comes to hotels, have changed significantly over the past two years,” says Melissa Dohmen, brand PR manager at Hotels.com. “The demand for outdoor recreation, road trips, and pet- and family-friendly accommodations has increased. Hotels, for their part, have quickly adapted to the changing nature of travelers throughout the pandemic. Many properties offered “work from hotel” packages last year as people adjusted to virtual and remote working. And they also have enhanced cleaning measures and contactless check-in and check-out features.
To get an idea of what to expect for everything from romantic getaways to family vacations and mini-vacations, we consulted with hotel experts across the country. Find out what to expect when we can all finally take the trips we’ve been dreaming of this year.
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Rolling out the red carpet for pets
According to the ASPCA, 23 million U.S. households acquired a pet during the COVID-19 crisis, and the majority of pet owners surveyed are incorporating pets into their lifestyle, including taking their dogs to the hotel on their next vacation. For hotels, this means rolling out the red carpet for four-legged travel companions. “Today’s travelers are looking for accommodations that are 100% ‘pet-friendly’ instead of just ‘tolerating pets’,” said Matt Schuyler, Hilton’s Chief Brand Officer.
Some highlights we saw: a collaboration between Hilton’s Home2 Suites and Homewood Suites and Mars Petcare, a first-of-its-kind program that connects guests to pet experts for questions about health, welfare or behavior of animals that may arise during their stay. Canopy by Hilton welcomes pups with a “Paws in the Neighborhood” program, where all pets have access to a dog bed, food, water bowls, treats and a guide to friendly neighborhood activities to pets.