Upgrade your Hotel Positioning with some Unconventional Amenities & Services
Hotel Positioning Strategies
By Patrick Landman, CEO & Founder at Xotels
Our role as Xotels has developed over time from revenue management into a full hotel management company, we are now looking way beyond pricing and distribution for hotels. We are actually also developing new hotel concepts, and for this it is important to keep up to date with the latest developments in the hospitality industry.
Hotelier insider tip
At Xotels, we work with a number of hotels that offer such services. From this first-hand experience, we have seen that luxury hotel guests don't want to be seen as capricious and wasteful. They value their privacy, yet seek out luxury stays for the unique surprises and thrills that hotel management can offer.
By surpassing your guests' expectations with a spectacular 5-star hotel service, your hotel will quickly gain a reputation for an unforgettable, must-have experience.
We have gathered some examples from hotels around the world to inspire you;
10 OUTSTANDING LUXURY HOTEL SERVICES
1. PAPARAZZI POLICE
Keeping their vacation private is the minimum that your guests can ask of your luxury hotel, right? But, if for instance you have celebrity guests whose daily life involves being followed by paparazzi, maintaining such privacy presents challenges.
To solve this paparazzi problem, the Las Ventanas hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico came up with an innovative solution to ensure their guests' privacy and an enjoyable stay. This hotel's staff are equipped with reflective screens, which protect their guests from prying photographers. These "Paparazzi Police" use their screens to shine light at the photographers, which ruins their photos.
Not only that, it also works as a deterrent, as photographers know that there is now little point in trying to take photos at Las Ventanas.
2. PERSONALIZED FIREWORK DISPLAY
We focus on Las Ventanas again, as the luxury hotel offers a spectacular personalized, private fireworks show. Costing around $1,700 per minute, guests can easily personalize it to their liking. It is another service that helps create a truly unique, unforgettable experience in a part of the world that is known for its mesmerizing natural beauty.
3. ONSITE GIRAFFES
Located in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel. Like its name suggests, it is home to a large group of giraffes, which can be seen walking around the 12 acres of hotel land, and are known to greet guests by frequently poking their heads into their windows!
Giraffe Manor is one of Nairobi's most iconic buildings, hosting international guests since the 1930s when affluent Europeans began to visit for a safari trip. But, by far the hotel's most stunning attraction is its beautiful and friendly group of giraffes, which year after year continues to entice guests in search of luxury hotel experiences.
While you may not be able to offer onsite giraffes at your own hotel, perhaps Giraffe Manor can inspire you to come up with your own unique offering.
4. HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Breathtaking experiences are a favorite of luxury hotel guests prepared to pay extra for the privilege. One such experience is a ride in a hot air balloon. And one such hotel that offers this service is the Kale Konak Hotel, located atop Cappadocia in Turkey.
Leveraging its position amid a location of natural splendor, this hotel helps its guests by organizing a hot air balloon ride, which promises a stunning experience of a lifetime.
How can your hotel take advantage of its surroundings to offer thrilling adventures and experiences?
5. SUNSCREEN-SPRAYING BOOTHS
Hotel guests don't want to worry about anything when they enjoy the beach or the resort pool at remote and exclusive locations. And if there's one thing that can ruin a vacation, it's sunburn. Proactive hotels take it upon themselves to help guests prevent burning up by including sunscreen-spraying booths as a standard luxury hotel service. In particular, many Caribbean hotels offer this service, loved by solo travelers, couples and families alike.
After all, even if a guest carelessly forgets to apply sunscreen and suffers the consequences, they are much more likely to associate your hotel with the negative experience. By offering sunscreen-spraying booths, you cancel out this possibility and create a value-added service for your guests, so they can enjoy their vacation in full.
For hotels that are located with expansive countryside hills nearby, paragliding is a luxury service that ticks all the boxes. It can be relatively inexpensive to run, offers a riveting add-on experience, and will hep move you head and shoulders above your competition.
A novel twist is to offer a paragliding route from atop a hill to the hotel entrance at the bottom. With the help of a professional paragliding expert, the most demanding and fearless of guests can enjoy an extreme sport and make a rock-star entrance at your hotel.
7. SECRET, INVITE-ONLY ROOM
It is an increasing trend to offer a secret or hidden service. But the catch is that it can't be bought by money. Certain luxury desires can only be attained with the right contact, recommendation, knowledge or invite. Think of the appeal of speakeasy bars, or exclusive, secret societies.
Take advantage of this winning trend by creating a secret, invite-only room in your hotel. Make it exceptionally beautiful or intriguing, or offer services that are unobtainable to "regular" guests. Choose a secluded or forbidden area of your hotel for its location. And of course, this secret room cannot be advertised on your official channels, such as your website.
8. IN-SUITE SHOPPING
Luxury is never having to pack a suitcase, no matter where you go or for how long. Take inspiration from London's Hotel Café Royal, which offers its guests a personalized, curated styling service for all occasions during their stay. Guests check in without luggage and find a selection of clothes handpicked by a personal stylist to choose from in their suite upon arrival.
By offering your guests this luxury option, you make them feel like pop stars. And not only is it extremely convenient, everyone loves discovering a new outfit to wear and feeling like a VIP.
9. COMPLIMENTARY LUXURY CAR DRIVES
Some of the very best 5-star luxury hotels offer their guests luxury cars during their stay too, for free. Hotels like The Peninsula Beverly Hills in California provide their guests with Rolls-Royce and Infiniti cars, having developed a strong relationship with the high-end car manufacturers.
If you have the budget to ramp up your luxury hotel with this complimentary service, it will help serve as a magnet for guests eager for exclusive experiential stays. And if not, there are other options. For instance, you can approach high-end car leasing companies to enquire about reaching an agreement. And it doesn't have to be luxury cars. You could also tap into the growing importance of sustainability to guests by offering premium eco-friendly cars.
10. NO-INTERNET DIGITAL DETOX ZONE
C-suite executives and stressed millionaires with companies and scores of people dependent on their decisions and attention find it difficult if not impossible to disconnect. With so much responsibility on their shoulders, they are often available around the clock, seven days a week.
Even if they do get an opportunity to get some much needed time off, they are often interrupted by a colleague who needs their input on the latest emergency or major decision at their company. Cue the growing prevalence of no-internet resorts. No WiFi, no mobile internet signal and no onsite computers to access the web. Completely and utterly offline.
This digital detox is increasingly sought after by hyper-connected individuals who want to get away from it all, even if only for a few days, offering them total peace and quiet, without the fear of their phone blowing up with calls, messages and emails. For typically busy company executives and such individuals in an ultra-connected world, this kind of opportunity to unwind and relax "off the grid" is an increasingly exclusive luxury.
THE FINAL WORD
More and more hotels are trying to make their guests' stay as special as possible so in the near future, many of these unconventional services will be offered by more luxurious hotels all over the world.
This being said, a great hotel manager goes beyond what customers say they want, helping them to realize their wildest dreams by combining fun, joyful experiences with exclusive, unique services that make them feel important.
More ideas? Let me know them in the comments...
Patrick Landman @ Xotels.com
CEO @ Xotels