Hotel Guest Expectations & How to Exceed Them

Every single holiday goer or business traveller has their own sort of guest expectations. But meeting those standards isn’t enough anymore. You have to exceed them.

A barely satisfied guest may potentially return, leave a mixed review online or simply forget about your hotel.guest_analysis

But a satisfied guest will become a walking, talking brand ambassador for your hotel.

All it takes to use this advantage is to exceed those guest expectations. So let’s examine how you can make your guests feel valued along every step of the booking process.

Why is it Vital to Exceed Guest Expectations?

The Top Guest Expectations

What Do These Guest Expectations Have in Common?

Why is it Vital to Exceed Guest Expectations?

If you’ve travelled quite a bit, answer this question – do you remember every hotel you’ve stayed in?

Chances are that you don’t.

Those memories in hotels that slip your mind don’t necessarily mean that they were bad hotels. They could have been adequate value for money, had fair hygiene, and provided food that was decent.

hotel_locationBut the hotels you really remember are the ones that exceeded your expectations. They made you feel special. They provided an experience. One that went beyond a simple bed to sleep in for the night. 

They paid attention to your needs and took care of everything before it became a problem. You remember them because they are hotels that you want to return to! You probably crowed about their service to your friends and family for the next few months (if not years) after your returned from your trip.


It is, when you think about it, one of the most cost-effective methods of marketing your hotel. For the minds of potential guests, it’s also the most trustworthy! There’s no referral money changing hands – it is just an honest person’s opinion.

This is why exceeding guest expectations can have a ripple effect that will see your rooms remain fully booked.

The Top Guest Expectations

As well as having a positive effect on your hotel bookings, reputation and more, by fulfilling guest expectations you can safeguard yourself against problems.

Let’s not generalise particular people under a certain “K” label, but there are guests that can be argumentative, demanding and well… spoiled.

By exceeding guest expectations you can stop a number of these issues arising. After all, they can’t complain if there’s nothing to complain about, can they?

Strong Communication

Staying at a hotel can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re unsure what you’re walking into. Depending upon the individual, reactions can vary from anxious to downright aggressive.

After the booking phase and before the check-in phase you need to have set in place some email communication. This can be manually done or automatic (it’s easy-peasy when you know how) but you still need to maintain contact with your guests.

hotel receptionist

The content of these emails can be used for several different reasons. 

Sometimes it’s just a reminder that they’ll be there in X number of days. They can be used to upsell packages, drinks and activities. But most of all they are there to make sure that the guests feel attended to before they have even set foot in the hotel. You are already preparing for their arrival well in advance.

Technologically Adept

In this day and age, it goes without saying that good WiFi is now an expectation rather than a bonus. After all, how could guests work on laptops or geotag your hotel location? Imagine if they couldn’t scroll TikTok every 5 minutes!

So we aren’t talking about WiFi, we are talking about being technologically available for those tech-savvy guests.

Self-service kiosks and online check-in can help your hotel’s appearance and improve guest stay. Not only are you offering a modicum of control to guests (it was useful when Covid restrictions came along) but you are also streamlining the check in process.

Quicker, smoother check-in means fewer guests cluttering up the lobby. It means less work for your staff so that they can focus on other matters, and it generally makes the entire stay much more pleasurable for those customers who take advantage of it.

After all, how much did your hotel service improve once you had the right channel manager? Your entire hotel wins!


The list of potential amenities can be incredibly long. It’s no longer just about mini bottles of shampoo anymore.

But to exceed your guest expectations you need to be clever. Obviously soap, shampoo and conditioner are excellent starts, but what do your guests really need? That depends on your star rating, location, climate and activities available around your hotel!


Hair dryers if it is wet, complimentary sunscreen if it’s sunny, bath robes, slippers… the list is endless. Only you as a hotelier can anticipate your particular guest needs and see them fulfilled. It’s a little extra work, but if that’s all it takes to ensure a returning guest and 5 star recommendations – then it’s worth it!

Be Personal

Engaging with guests on a personal level is something that you can’t put a price on.

It’s a difficult concept to fully pin down as well, but nevertheless it is bog standard practice for successful hotels. A personalised stay transforms a hotel into an experience. It provides a comforting level of communication. A rapport that simply cannot be replaced.

It makes guests feel valued. You can make it easy by providing small notes for each room with the guest’s name before check-in. Staff can (and should) make an effort to get to know each guest, atleast within reason.

At its base form, you create your hotel brand. This is the reputation that guests will spread far and wide with their holiday stories and high-ranking reviews. If you increase guest satisfaction levels, you increase your own reputation.

What Do These Guest Expectations Have in Common?

Well despite our breakdown and categorisation of guest expectations, they all have one individual thing in common. It’s a trait that runs through the heart of each one and should encompass your entire hotel service.

It is attention to detail.

It should be applied across all of your hotel management obligations, and we apply it in our hotel digital marketing agency projects too!

Whether it is ensuring that sheets are spotless, anticipating guest needs or a secretary remembering guest names, it all comes down to the details. That kind of service makes us feel wanted, welcome and special. It makes a hotel memorable.hotel marketing audit

You wouldn’t settle for a messy hotel website that didn’t seem to care whether guests booked or not would you? We create stunning hotel websites because we understand the value that it provides to guests. Once they are in your hotel you should do nothing less. 


Get in touch with one of our specialists today to discuss a brand new website for your hotel that fills your rooms. We’ll also throw in a completely free marketing audit for your entire online presence – no strings attached!

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      Let's talk Hotel Marketing

      FREE of charge in just 30 minutes

      Just fill in the form and we'll arrange a brief meeting to discuss your current marketing efforts.

      Feel free to ask us anything that you're having trouble with and we'll do our best to provide exact recommendations on how to improve.