I have traveled extensively on three continents over the past year and a half, during which time I have stayed at more hotels than I can count. This has given me the opportunity to observe how different operators are creating and updating guest experiences for the digital age.

Here are six notable mistakes hotel operators make that I have encountered during my travels.

1. Going all-in on app-based experiences

A growing number of hotels offer native mobile apps for guests. These apps generally promise a more streamlined experience, such as the ability to interact more efficiently with staff and more easily take advantage of amenities. In some cases, apps can even replace the need for key cards.

To be sure, these apps can be especially valuable, especially for larger hotel chains that have guests who might stay frequently and/or at multiple locations, but hotels should also ensure that guests who choose not to use an app don't lose out.

For example, one budget hotel chain I stayed at does not include phones in its rooms. To contact the front desk, guests either have to download the hotel's app or physically go to the front desk. Inconveniencing guests who don't want to download an app in this way is not a sensible practice.

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