Redefining the traditional nightcap – business travellers now prefer personal nightly rituals away from the hotel bar

There has long been a stereotypical image of a businessman sat alone in a hotel bar drinking away the stresses of another day away from home. While, that was a fairly accurate view of the past, things have now significantly changed and you are more likely to find business travellers out enjoying the destination or the comfort of their hotel room.

A new survey released by Cambria Hotels, an upscale brand of Choice Hotels International, backs that view and highlights that the behaviours of travellers have changed, particularly when travelling for work. It says that the “once-iconic coalescence of drinking a nightcap has come a long way since its heyday in the ‘mad men’ era of the 1960s”.

“A modern nightcap is a way to treat yourself and celebrate your accomplishments. Just as the definition of the nightcap has evolved, Cambria is evolving to offer business travellers more personalised options to help our guests travel like a boss”
Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands, Choice Hotels 

Its research identifies that more than 70% of surveyed travellers believe the nightcap — traditionally regarded as an after-work cocktail — has evolved. Business travellers have now recalibrated their definition of the nightcap to now include health-and-wellness or spa products that help them celebrate a day well-spent.

The survey also found that almost half of business travellers are drinking less alcohol than they used to when travelling for business. Travellers still value a night-time ritual, it shows, with nearly 85% agreeing they would like to enjoy a “modern nightcap” during their hotel stay at the end of the day.

To support the findings of its research and what it describes as an “emerging trend,” Cambria Hotels has launched a new programme at select hotels to provide guests with a couple of new ways to enjoy a personalised end to their day.

The Cambria nightcap programme will launch at properties in Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, and Pittsburgh and will offer Choice Privileges loyalty programme members with a range of complimentary nightcap options as well as introducing a new nightcap bar menu.

Choice Privileges, the free loyalty rewards program of Choice Hotels, will offer members the option to choose one of several complimentary modern nightcap options at check-in, such as an eye mask or shower burst spa product, a beverage voucher or a loyalty point reward. Meanwhile, the new nightcap bar menu will enable any guest to order products such as herbal tea, milk and cookies, a custom cocktail, or craft beer flight.

“A modern nightcap is a way to treat yourself and celebrate your accomplishments. Just as the definition of the nightcap has evolved, Cambria is evolving to offer business travellers more personalised options to help our guests travel like a boss” explains Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “With careful research, we’ve compiled a collection of guilt-free indulgences to delight all Cambria guests.”

The nationwide survey to explore the wants and needs of today’s modern business traveller was completed in collaboration with survey platform Pollfish and surveyed 2,000 business travellers across the US who travel for business at least three times a year. It uncovered some interesting insights into travellers inclinations and which helped to drive Cambria’s new nightcap programme. These include:

  • More than 65% of business travellers surveyed prefer to end the day by winding down in their hotel room;
  • Over nine out of ten travellers’ night-time rituals change if they’re travelling for business, as opposed to when they’re home;
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of business travellers indulge more on work trips;
  • More men than women believe the traditional nightcap is outdated;
  • A relaxing bath or shower was business travellers’ most preferred modern nightcap.