From sticky fingers to brand evangelists: The case for lost hotel amenities

Slippers, Towels and Branding: The Case For Lost Hotel Amenities


There’s a scene in the movie Casino where a high-stakes gambler is preparing to leave his Las Vegas hotel room. Despite having won over $2 million on the casino floor, we see him filling his suitcase with towels and shampoo. After that, we see him boarding a private jet for the ride home.


Apparently, even the super-rich find those little extras difficult to resist.


Why is this? Maybe it’s the idea that hotels have endless supplies of such things, and taking them does no harm to anyone in particular. Maybe it’s the feeling that, since hotel rooms are ‘home’ for a day or two, everything inside is fair game. Maybe it’s as simple as wanting a souvenir of a pleasant stay. A keepsake that offers a sense of place. 


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AirBnB vs. The Hospitality Industry: Creating an Unified Experience

Like it or not, AirBnB is changing the hospitality industry. Not temporarily, not in a small way, but permanently and significantly. Is this a bad thing for traditional industry players? Not at all—provided they pick up the clues that AirBnB is giving about the future of the industry.


In part one of this series, we discussed how AirBnB is spearheading a trend toward the personal in hospitality. People are connecting with this service because of the personality, warmth, and authenticity it promises. It’s now possible to rent a fully furnished loft in Paris, or a luxury apartment in Melbourne, directly from the owner. Instead of being a “guest” in a “hotel,” people are looking for a genuine experience of place, often with highly personalized guidance from the owner of the property. If all goes well, AirBnB’s customers almost feel like they’ve gotten away with something.

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AirBnB vs. The Hospitality Industry: A Trend Toward the Personal

The most recent valuation of AirBnB is over $13 billion, putting it in league with the world’s largest hotel chains. If current rates of growth continue, the peer-to-peer network will soon be worth more than Hilton Worldwide Holdings, which is currently valued at nearly $20 billion.


What does this prove? First, that AirBnB can no longer be described as a thorn in the side of the hospitality industry. And second, while AirBnB can never completely replace the traditional hospitality market, it can certainly show it how to evolve.

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