What do women want? We like fresh flowers. We like Wolford tights. We like feeling safe and undisturbed in the tranquil havens of our hotel rooms. And yet, women are hardly a homogenous group, so marketing ‘women-friendly’ hotel services is trickier than it looks. Efforts to market specifically to women have been labeled sexist. A Copenhagen hotel lost a legal battle when its women-only floor was ruled to discriminate against men. Yet if a man checked into a hotel room with luxe shaving supplies, a big-screen TV with a gaming console, golf mags in the loo and a room-service menu that included nachos and beer, would he make a fuss?
A few years ago, hotel brand MGallery by Sofitel surveyed its female guests and loyalty club members. They found women’s concerns while traveling fall into three areas:
- Feeling safe and comfortable
- Peace of mind and well-being derived from suitable amenities
- Healthy and varied food and beverage choices
MGallery then created its ‘Inspired by Her’ program at select hotels in France with services that include: choice of room location; robes and slippers that fit a woman’s body; skirt hangers; yoga mats and hand weights; a supply of items for purchase that include Wolford tights (!), manicure kits, face and body care products; and, menus based on light and healthy fare.
And Sofitel is not the only one seeing opportunity in specifically catering to women clients. Calls to several hotels in Canada showed that most will accommodate any request or concern a female guest may have. “Just tell me what you want,” said one front desk clerk.
Here are a few hotels in Canada that are clearly in touch with their feminine side…
- The Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver has carved out ‘The Orchid Floor’ for female business travelers. The 18 rooms of this luxury boutique hotel feature handy amenities such as flat irons, curling tongs, emergency kits designed for women, Aveda products, yoga mats, satin-padded hangers, women’s magazines and of course, orchids.
- In the past, The Park Hyatt in Toronto reserved its 10th floor solely for women travelers. It’s no longer exclusively so, but it’s still the go-to floor for the feminine touches such as fresh flowers in the hall. The hotel also ensures that shower curtains are left open by housekeeping.
- The Ivy at the Verity in Toronto is a rare example of a hotel designed by a woman, for women. Men are welcome in the four oversize guestrooms, but not in the women-only spa. Each room has a private terrace, heated floors, deep soaking tubs, and breakfast is automatically delivered to your room.
While this is far from an exhaustive list, it shows that, whether a hotel markets itself as specifically female-friendly, the majority of better quality hotels will do whatever they can to ensure that a female client feels safe and pampered. All she has to do is ask.