Things hotels need to do to keep up with millennial travel expectations

Tate Modern - millennial travel expectations

As JustLuxe says: “Millennials are a fascinating study of contrasts: creatures of habit and lovers of change; warriors for social consciousness and aficionados of self-promotion; innovators and philanthropists.”

What this means is that although the perception of the millennial, particularly with regards to travel, is largely related to an obsequious nature, the average person within this group can be fussy to the point of discerning.

As such, there are many high standards that a millennial will expect – if not demand – from their travel experience, especially in relation to what they want from any hotel they stay in.

For this reason, it can be quite difficult to run a hotel in today’s world, seeing as the largest part of the market is driven by millennials and their habits and interests. It’s usually in the best interests of the company to appeal to this group, as they are the ones who are going to be most vocal in shouting about how great – or how bad – things are.

Anticipating what this group of people are going to want from you can seem like a tough task, but the idea is really to aim your message at a group, instead of on feedback from a few individuals. Once you have done this, it will become much easier for you to work out what your hotel is, or isn’t doing to get the largest part of the travelling audience through your doors.

According to The Herman Group, 20 per cent of global tourists are millennials, which is a massive amount for hoteliers to be working at keeping happy. The silver lining here is that because it’s such a large group, when you promote a message, it’s going to be aimed at a lot of people, instead of watered down to a few sub-sections.

The real work isn’t so much in reaching the millennial age group, instead it’s about retaining their interest by constantly evolving what you can offer the people in this section of society. Their tastes are always developing, thanks largely to cultural changes, etc. and so you have to become part of this organism, growing with it, whilst keeping it stimulated simultaneously.

Brands are working really hard at seeking out and keeping their millennial audience’s interests by focusing on a few key things that this group of people are powerless to resist.

As such, there’s strong competition in the hotel world just now, and if you’re a millennial who is reading this, you’ll know just how true that is.

But, what are some things that millennials love to see and expect to find at hotels? We’ve outlined a few that M by Montcalm does, to ensure that we’re always meeting the travel expectations of this modern group of people.

Amenities and technologies

Millennials love freebies, anything that they can get without paying is going to go a long way to creating a happy customer who will tweet or Facebook about how great your hotel is and get you that all important word-of-mouth.

Although freebies such as warm cookies in the room and such can be great – it’s a brilliant way to win over anyone, even those who aren’t millennials – our target group is more interested in technology.

The world we live in is a completely digital world now and millennials are the main consumers of technology. They will rely on it for everything, from an alarm in the morning, to turning the lights on and off in their houses, it’s a big part of their lives.

In all M by Montcalm hotels the Wi-Fi is complimentary, which is a complete non-negotiable for the millennial customer.

It’s no longer a bonus to have free Wi-Fi in hotels, it’s expected to be there along with the bed and the bathroom. Charging for internet access isn’t going to fly with millennials, and it’s going to cost you more in the long-run if you try to set a price that people don’t want to pay for something that’s literally everywhere all the time.

M by Montcalm Shoreditch is right in the middle of Tech City, and it’s perhaps one of our best examples of how a hotel can be technologically integrated.

The hotel is modern and looks like it’s part of the offices and start-ups that help to create the aesthetic of Tech City.

Don’t forget that many millennials use the technology that’s in their hands all the time, so you might also want to think about setting up smartphone check-in at your hotel.

Not only is this a good way to get your millennial audience on your side, it’s also easier for you because you don’t have to contend with lots of people at reception during your busiest times. Nothing gets rid of queues easier than this feature, which incidentally will also make your guests much happier from the outset.

Prosecco is one of the main beverage choices for the millennial, so offering a glass of this as a gratuity to the start of a meal, or as part of check-in is going to go down very well. You might even get a hashtag of appreciation for such endeavours.

Don’t forget that it’s all about the little touches with millennials, as we said, they’re a discerning group of people so things like having staff who are knowledgeable about things to do in the area will go a long way to impressing your guests.

Millennials are keen on exploring and having authentic experiences everywhere they go, there’s nothing they hate more than looking like a tourist – unless they’re being ironic. As such, when they ask your staff for bar and restaurant recommendations, they’re going to be interested in places when Londoners go. In our case, we always keep on top of what’s new and what’s underground in Shoreditch, and our guests really appreciate it.

Dining is an art and millennials love it

As we’ve already alluded to, the millennial isn’t so much fussy about food, as they are particular about how they want things to be.

Local and authentic is king with this group of diners, as well as certain health trends that are sweeping their way across the Twitter universe. You’re going to be getting on particularly well with your millennial guests if you have some kind of green juice that’s freshly made as a breakfast option. Similarly, a healthy avocado and kale salad will be popular too.

It’s all about staying on top of what is popular in the mainstream, but what is pretending that it’s different from what other people eat. A quick look around the neighbourhood at pop-up restaurants and independent cafes will tell you all the things you want to know about creating a suitable menu.

Tonic & Remedy is one of the most popular eateries in our M by Montcalm Shoreditch Tech City hotel, regularly housing the neighbourhood of people at its tables.

The menu is designed to be comforting, while still using seasonal ingredients, and then complementing the meals with the perfect cocktail.

Our restaurant features a Josper Grill, which is one of the most popular – and delicious – ways to prepare burgers and really good quality steak. When millennials aren’t eating kale, they love a high-quality burger or steak and we have one of the best grills in the city in our arsenal.

Some highlights from the food menu include, a shared chateaubriand, heritage tomato and basil pappardelle and homemade popcorn and bread, which are a tasting of the snack section of the menu.

When it comes to drinks we have an amazing range of homemade curing and reviving liqueurs, including Ginger Jamaica, Hoxton Cure and Slack Off. These are strong, invigorating, delicious and unique, everything that a millennial expects from their hotel experience.

Another restaurant in the M by Montcalm Shoreditch Tech City hotel is the Urban Coterie, which is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass, flooding the space with natural light and giving a unique view of London.

One thing that we’ve noticed is that millennials love brunch, so Urban Coterie boasts a Bottomless Mimosa Brunch.

This features scrambled duck eggs, french toast with mascarpone and blueberries, steak and eggs and lentils.

You can choose three dishes from the menu, which is then accompanied by two hours of unlimited mimosas, tea and coffee and of course, panoramic views of the city.

Honestly, what could be better? This is basically taken the magic of afternoon tea and brought it to breakfast, it costs £32 per person and you’re guaranteed to leave full and ready to experience the day on a high.

When it comes to general bar snacks and drinks, again it’s best to stick to what’s local or what seems to be making a splash. While you want to represent the interests of your target audience, you also want to be unique.

For example, if you’re going to stock I.P.A, which is fast-becoming one of the most popular beer choices for the millennial, then you could look to stock one that’s made by a local brewer or micro-brewery.

This is not only great for the benefit of your customers, but you’ll also be supporting a local business, which is great for the economy of the area, but your millennial audience is also very likely to be impressed with your efforts.

We dare say that the brewery will thank you for it too, because it’s like to garner them some extra attention or business – forming partnerships like that can be a vital way to improve the amount of new and returning visitors that you see coming through the doors of your hotel.