What Women Want: The Key to Attracting the Female Traveler

PARIS—MGallery by Sofitel, in an effort to enhance its Inspired by Her offering, partnered with IPSOS, a global marketing research company, for an in-depth study that examined the habits and requirements of the female traveler. Close to 3,000 participants in four countries—France, Italy, Great Britain and Australia—were surveyed on the specific expectations of women staying at upmarket hotels. Here are the highlights:

Both women and men like the idea of a hotel offering devoted to women: 86% of women surveyed—and 80% of men—were in favor of a female-oriented hospitality program within a hotel, with 36% of women believing that the female focus is a genuine need that is currently unmet.

The study also found that while well-being has traditionally focused on spas, detox menus and fitness facilities, women want a more holistic approach to well-being.

Comfort is key, with 73% of women asked stating that luxury linens, thick towels and other such simple indulgences are among the three main reasons they chose luxury hotels for their stays. The other two main reasons are the attention paid to detail (53%) and the efficiency and perfection of service (47%).
Of the amenities that women really like to have in their room, a shower with massage jets (69%) tops the list. At 65%, the second favored item is a powerful hair dryer, and the third most popular item is a dressing gown in the right size (61%).

As for a specifically “feminine touch” in a luxury hotel, 63% of all women surveyed agreed that this was best conveyed by the presence of fresh flowers (compared to 56% of men) while 43% perceived it in the material quality of the decor (such as the fabrics and carpets) and 42% noticed it in subtle service details. The presence of a spa at high-end hotels seems taken for granted by European women, compared to the 39% of Australian women who feel that a spa is in itself a special nod to the ladies, according to the study.

The study also found that 73% of women systematically forget to pack an essential item. Cosmetics are more likely to be left behind than clothes, with the top three being nail polish remover (32%), razors or sunscreen (tied at 21%) and make-up remover (18%).

Offered a choice of Detox, Continental or Savory menus to start their day, a mere 14% of women said that they would select the often female-targeted Detox option, compared to 12% of the men. Instead, 20% of women (and 21% of men) specifically prefer to treat themselves to the croissants and sweet pastries of a Continental basket while 55% of women said they love it all, including the bacon-and-eggs Savory option.

As for working out, more than half (51%) of women make their way to the hotel gym during their stay, and 60% of women said that they appreciate the availability of small sports equipment in their rooms (like a yoga mat).

MGallery by Sofitel has 90 properties in 24 countries around the world.