Staying in hotels is often not quite as exciting as some people perceive. They can sometimes be very few perks yet getting a free pen is a potential perk.
As a business traveller you are away from your family and home comforts. You are sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and some people can find this affects their sleep.
If you’ve taken some long haul flights then you are likely to be shattered and maybe a little bit grumpy. The hotel TV will often only have a limited range of channels so you’ll miss the variety of your satellite/cable package that you’ve paid for back home. So there has to be some perks to staying in a hotel.
Mostly you’ll want comfort and a little bit of pampering. If it is a nice hotel then nice sheeting, bath robes and a suite style room or even a kitchenette is a big plus.
Over the years people used to marvel at comfy bathrobes and towels. It was a sport for some to see how many they could nick. Well I’m certainly not into stealing bathrobes or stealing towels.
There are some customised items or branded products which I feel are fair game to bring home with you. Toiletries are dispensable by the hotel. I can make one of their complimentary hotel bottles of shampoo last a week yet they still replenish them everyday, why?
You can really bring some comfort home with this or so I have noticed in more recent times. The customised toiletries on my recent trips to the US have included Bath and Body Works in both the Hampton Inn and Best Western. And my bride just loves Bath and Body Works.
For me I find the advertising products in hotels that are of most use for the future are the branded pens. I’m not sure if they would qualify as being described as promotional products but they can reflect the hotel chain’s attitude towards you as a customer.
These business logo pens can vary quite a lot in appearance and quality. If I was a collector of pens then I could truly have a field day with my job.
So how do we determine if our expensive hotel is fobbing us off by buying cheap pens in bulk when they all are just custom imprinted pens.
Well the appearance is a first point of query for me. Does it look nice? Does a hotel custom logo pen strike you as appealing to use? If it is tatty and looks cheap I’ll assume that it will not work too well. We all know that frustration of drawing circles to try to get the ink to flow. This often happens with cheap pens.
If they are a standard white plastic cheap pen with a logo attached I’m not overly encouraged. These types of customised pens tend to be present in quite a few chains.
You are moving into a little more luxury though as you move up the scale. If you leave the cheap branded pens with a detachable lid to a twist top pen you are doing well. The twist top will often have an extended clip style lid so you can put it into your pocket. Quite handy for a free business pen.
You know you are in a posh establishment if you see click pens. These are the ones where you push down a button with your thumb to start using the pen to write.
We don’t just have the idea of hotels buying cheap pens with logo imprints on them, I’ve noticed some hotels with branded pencils too. This is all well and good but what if the lead is short and you don’t have a pencil sharpener? You are just as stuck with a branded pencil which can be as useless as cheap branded pens.
From my experience there is little guarantee on the exclusivity of the hotel to the quality of the branded pen. Price paid for a room is not a reflection on writing instruments in your room.
Once I do find the complimentary pen in the room (these are rarely replaced by housekeeping during my stay) I then embark on a new frustration. That is the frustration of trying to find a complimentary envelope so I can not only write but mail a letter. That however is a whole other story.
When you stay in hotels do you look out or even notice the quality of the toiletries and free pens? Can you remember any quality items? Were the cheap imprinted pens just that, cheap?
Here is an example of some of the pens from the range of Hilton hotels:-
What freebies do you like to see in your hotel room? Are branded pens on your hit list? Are you after real quality or will any cheap style of customised pens suit you?