As a growing number of independent Chinese travelers head abroad in search of unique experiences, small boutique luxury hotels are in an especially good position to cater to them. According to the results of a new survey by independent hotel brand Small Luxury Hotels of the World, there are several features and services that Chinese travelers expect—beyond the special amenities that have become commonplace at many hotels around the world such as slippers, tea kettles, and Mandarin-speaking staff.
For example, the survey found that getting away doesn’t mean unplugging for Chinese tourists. A total of 65 percent of Chinese respondents said they want free WiFi in their rooms—a higher percentage than any other market. In addition, 29.2 percent of them want an iPod/iPhone docking system, which is likely due to Chinese tourists’ high rates of mobile usage. Like WiFi, this high-tech room feature was also the most popular among the Chinese travel demographic.
When choosing a luxury hotel, Chinese travelers listed “personal experiences” as an important characteristic at a much higher rate than respondents from other countries. This came in second to “character and charm,” which was the most important characteristic among all traveler groups looking for boutique hotels.
Quality food and beverages are also important for Chinese travelers: 51.5 percent said they want a Michelin-star restaurant onsite, while 48.5 percent would like a rooftop bar. They also like to consume wine, beer, and Champagne at their minibars over snacks, but they also want soft drinks: Coca-Cola was their favorite minibar brand.
The survey also found that a small but noticeable contingent of travelers (7.3 percent) want to bring their pets along on vacation—and expect hotels to provide special amenities. The survey notes that one Chinese dog owner wanted hotels to provide “pata negra ham and caviar” for her pampered pooch.
Boutique hoteliers looking for the next big hotspot for Chinese luxury travelers should consider the Maldives, which was listed as the favorite destination among Chinese respondents. For those hoping to boast shopping locations nearby, Hermès was listed as the favorite brand among Chinese respondents.