TODAY’S HOTEL GUESTS WANT EXPERIENTIAL LUXURY… WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN TO HOTELIERS!
Today’s traveler provides a unique platform to redefine for hoteliers what luxury really means to their guests. Luxury brands are experiencing a crisis because the old meaning of luxury does not apply in all cases. But how does that new meaning translate and how do hoteliers make their hotels relevant and continue to be a value creator? Much of today’s travelers are looking for a place that creates a state of feeling luxurious rather than a specific thing defined as a luxury item. “Successful luxury brands are realizing that by advocating for social and cultural values their customers care about, they can grow their business organically while remaining authentic to their inner essence,” says Dr. Martina Olbertova of Meaning.Global
Photo Credit: Omni Bedford Springs, PA Spa and Resort
Most Luxury Hotels provide as standard, items such as 24-hour concierge, bar service, room service, Housekeeping and Laundry Service, Fitness Center and baby-sitting services. Additionally, they provide complimentary services such as bottled water, coffee makers, coffee served in the lobby, and Wi-Fi. A key offering is an excellent restaurant and bar for the guests dining experience on the property, as well.
But first and foremost, authenticity is the new currency and guests and consumers are looking for that in everything, up front. Today’s guests, millennials especially, do not want to own “things” because they perceive those things as eventually owning them in the long-term. That means moving away from tangible elements to the intangibles such as more customized unique and personal experiences because they provide more of a transformational quality to your life.
While 82% of millennials stated a preference for experiencing a new hotel each year, a significant 42% will return for an impressive design. The research revealed that an overwhelming 87% of respondents cited the interior design as important when booking a hotel, with 81% identified a “cool bar” as a critical factor in their choice. Design truly is at the heart of hotel sustainability!
Photo Credit: The Refinishing Touch®
Photo Credit: Juniper and Kin Bar
Millennials expect their hotel stays to be as convenient as using their phones. They expect a customized experience, digital convenience and relevant information on social media. They want an “immersive destination” and while many plan their trips in ad hoc fashion, they book their hotel before arriving and rely on their hotel as an information resource when they get there. Every guest is different and so are their interests.
The common area with shared spaces is a prime example of how room-service that was considered a value-add, has been replaced with high-end technology wired common areas that everyone can enjoy together as an experience, whether sharing a drink, meal or working on a business proposal. The idea is that of sharing economy rather than owning economy.
Hotels that are investing more money creating those “Instagram-worthy” spaces understand that guests want to create an unforgettable and customized experience thus creating a richer life. There is a drive for fewer but better things of lasting quality – a new minimalism.
If your hotel guest rooms and FF&E need to be refreshed and updated but your common areas need that as well, consider the sustainable and affordable choice of refinishing your furniture instead of replacing it. The Refinishing Touch® services will provide substantial cost-savings and you can reinvest those dollars into updating your lobby, restaurant and bar, outdoor areas as well. You can also reinvest those dollars into upgrading your technology, lighting, HVAC, and so much more that will benefit your guests. Here are just a few examples of how actual clients saved between 70% to over 80% by choosing our environmentally friendly refinishing services.
Photo Credit: The Refinishing Touch®
That drives hotels to also focus on providing guests with “Immersive Destination” experiences. Technology such as the digital concierge platforms provide community information, events, flight tracking and even selfie cameras for guests to capture, connect and experience the culture around them during their stay. Being able to provide this type of technology is an added value for hotel guests and Instagram worthy moments. This ties into an entire marketing program for hotels that want to be immersed into their community as well as their guests. As the saying goes, if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen. “It’s important to look for digital touchpoints with consumers and turn those into experiential activations, perhaps a VIP experience at your restaurant, tickets to a local event, or a personalized message from a celebrity spokesperson,” states Daniel Ramirez, VP of Porter24.
Photo Credit: Porter 24
Hilton announced it is projected for a historic year due to its new luxury hotels. It has opened four locations and has seven more on the way before the year’s close to put Hilton on track to open more luxury properties in 2019 than in any previous year of its 100-year history. The openings this year are through Hilton’s luxury brands; Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts & Conrad Hotels & Resorts in Dubai, London & New York.
Experiential luxury also translates into wellness and the betterment of the quality of life. Investment in wellness in the hospitality industry is a prime focus. “For full-service brands, health-conscious travelers spend as much as 130% more on hotel amenities than other guests,” stated Danica Boyd-Hartenfels, Brand Leader and VP of Operations – Wyndham Garden at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.”
Photo Credit: Hotel Milo, Santa Barbara
The Global Wellness Institute cited Marriott International’s upper-upscale Westin brand which began focusing on wellness in 2011, incorporated amenities like a health-focused breakfast, saline swimming pools, fitness centers, a bike-share program and electric vehicle charging stations. “A lot of hotel chains are jumping onto the wellness wagon in order to cobrand or associate their products with wellness,” stated Ingo Schweder, founder and managing director of health and wellness at Horwath.
Photo Credits: Montage Resort, Deer Valley UT, The Carillon Miami, FL, The Four Seasons, LA.
If you want to travel and get fit at the same time, there may be no better place to stay than The Carillon in Miami, Florida. The hotel offers more than 300 fitness classes every week including bootcamp, TRX, and more. At Montage Resort in Deer Valley, Utah, guests can use holistic nutritionist, celebrity health coach, menu to stay on track and maintain a healthy nutrition plan while on vacation. And the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills launched what it’s calling its “Wellness Rooms.” The five wellness-themed guest rooms and two suites were created to optimize guests physical and emotional well-being while traveling.
Hotel brands such as Hilton, Marriott, IHG and many more understand the critical importance of sustainability and are making major declarations to reduce using plastic, water, electricity, harmful detergents, and more. Afterall, sustainability used to be a luxury, but it is now a necessity! Minimizing your hotel’s CO2 footprint will produce a positive impact on the environment and refinishing your FF&E will dramatically poise your hotel for success with travelers who are looking for exactly that before booking their travel. The chart below shows just how much of an impact making the sustainable choice to refinish your guestroom furniture instead of replacing it will make.
Photo Credit: The Refinishing Touch®
Overall, consumers today are rejecting the materialistic foundation of the consumerist lifestyle, or what is described as a waste culture. If your hotel is looking to increase sustainability in all areas of operations, then begin with your FF&E. It is one of the largest components to hotel asset management.
Also, for other ways to incorporate more sustainability into your hotel operations, be sure and review our Go Green Hotels; Go Green Ideas Guide!
Hoteliers, for you to invest in providing the level of Experiential Luxury guests are expecting today, look at incorporating our sustainable, safe, on-site refinishing, re-engineering and reupholstering community of services into your room refresh. As a trusted and Preferred Supplier for HILTON, Host Hotels and Resorts and many more, you will be receiving 42 years of experience and over 7,000 completed renovation projects knowledge when you choose The Refinishing Touch®.