Top hotel desires: SKYE Suites survey reveals what Australian travellers really want

by James Wilkinson

Once upon a time, luxury pools and a hotel’s ‘insta-worthiness’ was a dealbreaker for stylish travellers, but now more than half of Australians are prioritising a hotels space and safety features, highlighting the changing travelling preferences in what many are calling the ‘new normal’.

They are some of the findings from the SKYE Suites Australian Hotels Report, which has revealed the top five most important factors for Australian travellers when choosing a hotel to stay in.

Commissioned by leading property group Crown Group, the national survey looks at the top hotel must-haves in the current COVID-19 environment.

According to Iwan Sunito, CEO of Crown Group and its innovative hotel division, SKYE Suites, other key factors that were found to be at the top of hotel wish-lists were location, urban oasis, hotel ratings and service offerings and flexibility and functionality.

“We are really encouraged by the results of the report and to see that we are already leading the way at SKYE Suites, offering these five key qualities across our three properties in Sydney, Green Square and Parramatta,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on designing hotels not only for our guest’s current needs but for what they will need in the future.

“COVID has particularly fast tracked the desire and need for futuristic features but also, as the report supports, a stronger desire for basic needs such as space and safety.

“By offering guests suites that are double the size of an average hotel room and following all COVID regulations we have been able to continue providing guests with the very best hotel experience all year long,” Sunito said.



56% of Australians chose space and safety as a top priority in their hotel decision making process, including facilities such as spacious hotel suites, large balconies with access to fresh air and COVID safety processes. Ahead of the curve, SKYE Suites have worked with internationally acclaimed architects like Koichi Takada and have created a name for themselves in bringing space to their hotels through invisible architecture and design that utilises organic and natural materials. SKYE Suites has also been strategically designed to offer more space in the areas that matter most for example the individual suites and facilities with smaller and more functional lobbies. Going hand in hand with space, SKYE Suites are able to effectively keep guests COVID safe through increased cleaning, sanitising and COVID safe check-ins.


An obvious, yet important factor for Australian’s currently booking a hotel is location. While border and travel restrictions remain up in the air, travellers are nowadays more likely to have an exact location in mind that they want to travel to over casually browsing for hotel packages and specials in unique locations. Proximity to the city, easy access to transport and being nearby tourist attractions and amenities is important for over two thirds (68%) of Australians when booking a place to stay.


Along with the amount of people that mentioned space and safety was a high priority, two fifths (39%) of Australians opted for hotels that offered an urban oasis where everything is on their doorstep and won’t require them to travel far for shops, pampering and restaurants. This is a key point of difference for SKYE Suites who offer all-encompassing experiences for their guests with world-class eateries in the same precinct, secluded entertainment areas and state-of-the-art wellness facilities such as a gym, sauna and in room massage offerings. The report connotes that more and more, guests are opting for hotels that they can, but won’t want to leave.


As travel has been limited this year, the report demonstrates 4 in 10 (38%) Australians are currently choosing a hotel based on the star rating and service offerings meaning guests are looking for a lavish holiday once they can get away, suggesting that a hotel offering services such as parking, concierge and room service will be more appealing to travellers. Offering 5-star luxury without the price tag, SKYE Suites continues to be a perfect getaway for guests wanting a luxury holiday in their backyard, a change of scenery to work from or just a simple all-encompassing getaway that is value for money.


Through COVID, came the evolution of home offices, workplaces and also hotel suites. Now, travellers are wanting flexibility and functionality in their hotel of choice and are looking for offerings such as office facilities, kitchenettes and adjustable bedding configurations. While this is the fifth most important factor for Australians when booking a hotel (36%), it was more important for those with children under 18 at home compared to those without (41% vs 34%).