Best Western

Best Western

September 17, 2012 02:00 ET

Comb My Hair: Room Service Requests Are Getting Stranger Says British Hotel Chain

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2012) - It's no longer just a whim of film stars and famous divas, ordinary British hotel guests are now asking for more and more extraordinary room-service requests on a daily basis, a new report has revealed.

Best Western - Britain's biggest group of independent hotels - has so many unusual requests that it has now compiled a report detailing the weirdest and most wonderful received this year across its 280 hotels.

UK hotel guests are clearly becoming more demanding, asking for staff to go the extra mile in ways they'd never expect, with animals, religious statues, dolls, ferrets and ghosts all featuring in the report.

EXTRA PERSONAL SERVICE

The usual demands for extra pillows and spare towels are frequent at UK hotels, but other requirements are getting much stranger - like the hotel worker who was asked to attend a bedroom in order to comb a guest's hair!

Underwear and deodorant are now everyday requests in 2012. But the guest who wanted a sea salt scrub to remove her fake tan that had gone wrong, pushed it slightly too far when she asked for a member of staff to come to her bathroom to scrub it off.

Ties, cufflinks, shoes are understandable as requests from wedding parties, but more unusually one couple asked for a fight to be recreated at their wedding breakfast.

MORE SPACE PLEASE

Earlier this year, one Best Western hotel had a guest request for a meeting room for four people and insisted it must have a bed. Then there were the guests who wanted to sleep seven people in one room - they were very disappointed when the request was politely refused.

A nun requested a place at breakfast for her religious statue. She also asked bewildered hotel staff to carry the statue to bed.

On another occasion, an extra bed was requested for a couple's doll, though that was topped by the guest who specifically wanted staff to send a ghost up to his room in the night.

One guest requested a large room on the ground floor so that he could leave his expensive motorbike in the room, while a hotel receptionist received a booking for a hotel in Birmingham, asking for a sea view.

Staff couldn't help but giggle when a husband and wife, arguing furiously over what they wanted to watch on TV, called room service to demand a second TV be installed immediately in their room so they could both watch what they wanted. Staff, courteously, obliged.

ANIMAL GUESTS

It seems that guests have no shame in requesting the more bizarre items, although they don't mind either when they are refused. Such as the guest who asked if he could bring his pet hamster to the Christmas day party at one hotel, a request which was also politely declined.

Another occasion, when a small animals show was taking place near another Best Western hotel, one guest thought he should not go to the show unaccompanied and asked if they hotel could provide some ferrets for him to take along with him.

A number of other requests about animals have been made including the guest who asked whether the bed and breakfast deal included breakfast for her dog.

Tim Wade, director of marketing, said: "We place the utmost importance on customer service and ensure that staff treat guests the best possible way, however, it would take a lot of training for them not to have a smile on their face sometimes when the more unusual request comes through.

"Our hotels with personality appeal to guests who have a bit more get up and go and so they are not shy about coming forwards with requests for what they need. We will try and accommodate most queries and will only turn them down if they affect the health or safety of other guests."

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

Special dietary requirements for guests are becoming more common place with gluten free being the most popular request, almost found on a daily basis.

It is the older generation in particular who ask for the more unusual items according to Best Western staff - they are also more used to having their demands met and expect that they can be catered for, no matter how unusual their request.

On average 25% of hotel guests regularly ask for room service, with 65% of those aged between 31 and 45. Some 65% of guests requesting room service are solo business travellers. Room service is more likely to be ordered by women than men (54% versus 46%).

Top 10 Most Unusual Requests:

  • ferrets
  • a ghost
  • spare bed for a doll
  • comb my hair please
  • place at breakfast for a hamster
  • staged wedding fight
  • member of staff to scrub a guest's fake tan off
  • meeting room for four people and a bed
  • place at breakfast for a religious statue
  • fresh bin to dispose of dirty socks

Top 10 Most Common Room Service Requests:

  • room service (alcoholic drinks)
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • razor
  • spare towels
  • dressing gown
  • guide book
  • sewing kit
  • iron
  • shoe shine

For more information about Best Western or to book a break log onto www.bestwestern.co.uk or call the reservations team on 0845 33 00 120.

Notes to editors

Best Western

Best Western is the largest group of independently owned and managed hotels in the GB and worldwide. Member hotels maintain their independence, charm and personality, whilst benefiting from being part of the Best Western brand. Hotels benefit from sales, marketing and distribution activity available to them by joining with like-minded independent hoteliers.

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